Efficiency Exchange update 28 January 2014

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A round-up of news and comment on smarter working in universities. Now weekly! 

Strategic sourcing

Universities are beginning to discover the benefits of new business models in their dealings with suppliers, say researchers at the University of the West of England. They argue that institutions should become ‘intelligent customers’, which will involve investment in new skills, changes in culture and raising the profile of procurement and supply professionals. Dr Wendy Phillips and Dr Dharm Kapletia of the Bristol Business School, University of the West of England (UWE) have been investigating the sourcing strategies and practices of UK HEIs and assessing what can be learnt from experiences of other sectors and expert organisations. They present their findings at the ‘Strategic Sourcing: new approaches to deliver success’ conference on 4 February (see below) and have released a Strategic Sourcing Toolkit.

‘The beginning is the most important part of the work’ says Plato. Suitably inspired, Meeta Thareja and Suzie Campbell offer 5 ways to kick start your change programme.

Queen Mary University of London: why taking responsibility is good for business: An institution with its origins in Victorian philanthropy values the contributions of all its workers and makes a positive impact on its local community.

Other news and comment

Universities reap the benefits when information security expertise is shared ‘by the sector for the sector’, reports Andrew Rothwell who talks to Matthew Cook, Ian Griffiths and Peter Darby about the Education Shared Information Security Service (ESISS) as a shared service.

The creation of a process improvement unit at the University of Sheffield helps free up cash to support resources for learning, teaching and research. Read Rachel E McAssey’s article on the Guardian Management and Administration Hub.

Janet Whitworth talks about her new role as chief operating officer at the University of Cumbria.

Steve Butcher, Head of Procurement and Shared Services at Hefce discovers how the University of Lincoln is being transformed. The strides they are making in delivering efficiency are not just about ‘cashable savings’; they are about putting students at the heart of everything they do.

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