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A Day In The Life of a Procurement Consultant


By Lee Duckworth

Jay Beedie is a procurement consultant for Tenet and recently celebrated his first full year with us. Arriving at the CPL Group from the RNLI, Jay is based in Bournemouth and a keen supporter of the town’s Premier League football team, while assisting with procurement issues at the nearby AECC University College, as well as Farnborough College of Technology and Barnet & Southgate College.

Established back in 1965 as the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (hence the AECC acronym), before moving to its present site in 1982, Boscombe’s AECC University College is a specialist higher education institution focused on a range of health science disciplines, from physiotherapy to sports and exercise psychology, becoming a Crescent Purchasing Consortium member in December 2019.

Farnborough College of Technology

A CPC member since September 2008, Farnborough College of Technology is primarily an FE college, though the institution also incorporates University Centre Farnborough, offering a range of higher education courses, as accredited by the University of Surrey.

Meanwhile, Barnet & Southgate College is the result of a 2011 merger and proponent of an ambitious vision to be the most innovative, inspirational and employment-focused learning organisation in the education sector, joining our sister brand CPC membership in March 2012.

With his present patch stretching from the south coast to the capital, we asked Jay to expand on his role and responsibilities; his typical daily duties as one of Tenet’s regional procurement consultants.

“I work for AECC University College three days a week, Farnborough College of Technology one day a week and am currently assisting with Barnet & Southgate College a further one day”, he explained.

“This does require careful balancing at times, as you must consider that, though I am working for some institutions for just one day, not all procurement-related activity will happen on a single day.

“I tend to work on site at AECC University College, as it is only a 15-minute drive from my home.

“This helps greatly in understanding how the college works and for building relationships.

“My visits to Farnborough College (almost 75 miles up the M3) tend to be monthly. 

“This coincides with meetings, which can benefit from being face-to-face”.

Being based so close to his primary place of work offers Jay the opportunity to start the day off right.

“I usually have an early start, heading to the gym first thing, which I find is great for clearing my head for the remainder of the day.

“I am normally then logged on at 9 and will run through what I have outstanding from my To Do list.

“Checking the calendar for my activities for the day ahead, I then plan and prioritise what needs to be done, as well as checking my emails.

“I can then look at what projects are currently running and those that are in the pipeline”.

With procurement projects naturally varying in difficulty and scope, Jay was keen to underscore some of the background work he will commonly undertake during a project’s formative days.

“Starting off a project will involve a lot of research”, he elaborated.

“Generally, I start with meeting the stakeholders to understand the current state (if there is one) and establish what works well, what requires improvement and what future state they are aiming for. 

“I will then acquire information from market research and analysis, which aids with advising the client as to the optimum route to market”.

Localisation is one of the selling points of Tenet’s procurement consultancy service and Jay’s close vicinity to the AECC University College in particular allows him to contribute regularly and directly.

“Being on site provides benefits to clients in that they can approach me for procurement advice, be it simple queries or checking costings, as well as procurement strategies and programmes of work.

“I will assist contract review meetings with suppliers and also site visits for tender opportunities.

“The route to market is not always straightforward and each project is unique”, he stressed.

“For example, AECC University College is a Grade 2 listed building (thus of special interest and warranting every effort to preserve it), which can provide challenges to work being undertaken. 

“Meanwhile, benchmarking will provide a good indication whether value for money is currently being achieved or if there are opportunities to do so”. 

Ultimately, Jay’s service as a regional Tenet procurement consultant can be seen for its value, both in terms of what his institutions may gain from his presence and, indeed, for what they might save.

“I work with the clients to update and enhance their internal procurement processes and policies, relaying information across the institutions in the form of procurement guides and, also, training.

“Each day brings its own opportunities, each institution is unique, and ultimately for me it is about ensuring the institution achieves value for money. 

“Saving money and time in all procurement-related matters is a great way to give back to the future, to provide students with the best they deserve”.

Maybe you could do with someone like Jay at your own institution?

Much like how Jay has helped in Bournemouth and beyond, a locally-based Tenet procurement consultant can help you save valuable funds, while establishing that vital regulation compliancy.

Likewise, our procurement consultants can take the strain of potentially complicated procurement tenders, freeing you up to do what you do best, namely teaching and nurturing the next generation.

Education establishments across the UK are already making use of on-site procurement support.

In total, we work with more than 400 of them each year.

Like all of our procurement consultants, Jay has access to Tenet’s Sourcing Cloud software and the service includes licenced use of this, averting the need for additional software subscription outlays.

For institutions that qualify for our Guaranteed Savings Model, the costs in bringing in a consultant are offset by savings generated, making it a risk-free proposition for these groups or establishments.

A procurement consultant like Jay can contribute expertise in the field, with an approach specifically tailored to your institution and its collective, yet individual, procurement needs.

Such help can range from half-day at your institution per week to a regular, long-term presence.

Rather than operating at an external level, an on-site Tenet consultant at your institution can feel like a member of staff, but with the added benefit of specialist education procurement knowledge.

For more information on Tenet procurement consultants and what they can bring to your school, college, university or public sector institution, contact us today via [email protected]

Tenet Education Services is a not-for-profit organisation, owned by the education sector, under the banner of the CPL Group, which operates as a registered charity in the United Kingdom (1130461).

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