Smarter procurement is needed for sustainability

Improved procurement could be the secret to balancing the sector’s books in tough times, Nick Petford and Andy Davies suggest. With income falling for the first time and predictions of mounting pressure on surpluses, smarter procurement could be the key to a more sustainable form of higher education in England.

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  1. The potential for collaborative procurement to help close the gap between projected income and cost could be described as the sector’s best kept secret, so it was refreshing to see this revealed in Nick Petford and Andy Davies’ article.

    The HR departments of around three quarters of UK universities are already in the know through a long-established consortium – ECC (Educational Competencies Consortium) – that operates as a not-for-profit company creating and sourcing leading role analysis, job evaluation and reward products and services.

    By shining a light on existing successful arrangements such as these the sector can I’m sure develop other effective models. As with other forms of collaboration such as mergers it is far better to investigate this within the sector willingly, than wait to be compelled to do it.

    Of course I’m always keen for new members to join ECC, but aside from that I’d love be part of a debate or exchange of ideas with users of this forum to see how we can make best use of the consortia we’ve got.