YPO, the UK’s largest publicly-owned buying organisation, has recently established a new team dedicated to simplifying the procurement process for its UK-wide customer base of over 5,000 primary and secondary schools.
Research carried out by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) found that 40% of schools currently believe that their procurement process is not cost-effective. With education budgets increasingly tight, the YPO Contracts for Schools team offers customers a way to maximise their buying power and simplify the procurement process while also remaining compliant with public sector procurement regulations.
Since it was first established in 1974, YPO has helped drive public sector efficiency savings through its bulk buying power for product supplies and centralised contract services initiatives. The newly established team offers schools direct access to these benefits completely free of charge, reducing the need for costly in-house administration and procurement support.
Amanda Quinn, Procurement Projects Delivery Lead at YPO, explains:
“The new team has been established to ensure that our education customers achieve a compliant, value for money route to market for their requirements. Over my ten year tenure at YPO, I’ve seen the education landscape shift, with an increased focus on budgetary control and multi-academy trusts becoming increasingly prevalent. What has remained constant is the need for schools to access equipment and services in a timely and cost-effective way.”
“Our team has the commercial expertise, sector understanding, and buying power that schools need to access the best commercial deals. Our aim is to offer schools a helping hand by acting as an extension to their own teams, anticipating their needs and helping to take the confusion out of complex processes.”
As a well-established supplier of products and services, YPO’s range includes around 30,000 products and 100 frameworks; offering average savings of over 20% on branded office supplies, 12% on cleaning, 40% on office essentials such as printers and photocopiers and 10% on stock food lines*. As well as gaining access to competitive pricing, a verified and reliable supplier database and a guarantee that contracts will comply with public sector procurement regulations, users of this free service will also benefit from the team’s extensive expertise.
As project delivery lead, Amanda is supported by an experienced team including Zain Malik and Elle Barratt, Procurement Project Support; Megan Robinson, and Kirsty Gledhill Procurement Projects Advisor; and Liann Thomson, MATs Relationship Manager. In addition to the core team, YPO has a dedicated team of 20 people across the UK to help schools with their procurement.
Amanda continues, “Schools are tasked with delivering value for money and positive community impact for every pound they spend. As well as being extremely resource-intensive, the traditional procurement process and the need to navigate supplier frameworks adds time and resource pressures on schools who are already managing the challenging circumstances of the return to school amidst Covid-19. Our free service simplifies the contracting process and removes risk, providing a valuable service to schools throughout the whole procurement journey.”
The Contract for Schools pilot is currently available for existing customers but will be opened to the wider education audience in October 2020.
To learn more about YPO visit www.ypo.co.uk/education-home
*based against 2019 products and services data