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A Day in the Life of a Procurement Consultant


By Lee Duckworth

Steve Haines is a procurement consultant for Tenet Education Services, part of the CPL Group.

A much-loved member of our UK-wide team, Steve arrived September 2021 and currently looks after two institutions in the South Wales area, Coleg y Cymoedd and the NPTC Group

With a name meaning ‘College of the Valleys’. Coleg y Cymoedd operates four main campuses, in Aberdare, Nantgarw, Llwynypia and Ystrad Mynach, covering the Rhondda Cynon Taf (birthplace of famed singers, but not relatives, Tom and Kelly Jones) and neighbouring Caerphilly County Borough.

The college is approaching its tenth year, after being formed from a merger of the previous Ystrad Mynach College and Coleg Morgannwg and has been a CPC member for all of its modern existence.

The NPTC Group was born of a parallel August 2013 merger, as the evolving educational landscape in Wales saw the existing Neath Port Talbot College link up with Coleg Powys to create an expanded FE offering, comprised of an initial 12 campus sites.

Among the alumni to have cut their teeth at one of these root institutions, the likes of Wales rugby union stars James Hook, Dan Lydiate and Justin Tipuric, as well as national treasure Michael Sheen.

By retaining a variety of experienced, knowledgeable procurement consultants across the UK, Tenet can provide member institutions with a consistent, tailored, personal service, as explained by Steve.

“I work for Coleg y Cymoedd for two days per week and the NPTC Group for two-and-a-half days, which means time must be managed and split between the two college groups accordingly. 

“Most days I work from home, so my day regularly consists of logging in to my work computer in my purpose-built office (converted spare bedroom!) at 9am. My first tasks are to check my calendar for any meetings or events and then to respond to any emails I may have received.

“I can then start working on the current projects I am delivering for my colleges”.

With FE colleges often having a variety of procurement needs, from major, long-term projects to smaller, quick acquisitions, Steve can juggle multiple tasks in working for his specific institutions.

“A day in my life as a Tenet procurement consultant may entail working on documentation for an upcoming tender requirement, whether that be as a one-off tender process or via a framework”.

“This would involve gathering information from the relevant college department, processing this information and then presenting it in a way that will allow suppliers to respond to the tender.

“Some days, I will be required to attend meetings at the colleges to provide updates on projects, or work within a team on site, allowing us to share information that is required to construct a tender. 

“Others, I might be on site at a college to assist with supplier days, where potential suppliers have an opportunity to see the college up close and ask questions related to the tender they are involved in.

“I also get involved with advising the colleges’ departmental budget holders on the most effective route to market for a particular requirement.

“A full tender process will not always be required and a Request for Quote (RFQ) can be a perfectly acceptable and quicker option for the client in some cases, whilst still delivering potential savings.

“I can be involved in data analysis too, where we can prepare workplans based on our findings.

“I have also worked with the finance directorates to update and enhance the colleges’ financial regulations and produce usable ‘bitesize’ procurement guides, to allow them to follow the process correctly and remain within the rules of both the college and the Public Contract Regulations (2015).

Kathryn Holley, Vice Principal of Financial Services at NPTC Group, underlined Steve’s value, stating: “I have received glowing reports from everyone at the College about the procurement service Tenet is providing. We are delighted with the work you are doing. It is fantastic to have you on board”. 

Maybe you could do with a Steve at your institution?

Much like how Steve has helped in these south Wales colleges, a locally-based Tenet procurement consultant can help you to 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 our procurement consultants, Steve 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 Steve 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.

“There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day in this role”, concludes Steve. “There are so many things going on, every day is different. Everything I do, though, is with the aim of saving the college time and money, while ensuring it remains compliant with the regulations it needs to adhere to”.

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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