Meet the Hub Team  

The Schools’ Buying Hub South West team is on a mission to help schools achieve best value for money on non-staff spend. We attend and run several events throughout the year so we can meet you and discuss how we could be helping you save your school time and money.

From Spotlight on Savings sessions to sitting back to watch our lively new Hub Live! webcasts, we feel sure we have something to suit your busy diary. Here’s what the Hub advisors will be doing to help you increase your procurement savings throughout the term.

Spotlight on Savings: A new way for busy School Business Leaders to enhance savings

Last term we introduced Spotlight on Savings, where we spotlighted specific categories of spend that we knew schools were particularly interested to learn more about. We are back this term with nine sessions to help you enhance savings.

The sessions focus on a particular category of spend, for example ICT equipment and services, and you will be provided with the latest news and deals on the topic. The sessions are backed up with expert insight and advice to get your school’s savings underway immediately. The sessions will conclude with one-to-one discussions with a member of our expert procurement team who will answer questions about your specific requirements.

 

Spotlight on Savings sessions:

Every session will include news of latest deals, how to achieve best value and generate savings, and changes to procurement legislation since Brexit.

Catering services – Wednesday 5th May

Professional Services – Wednesday 12th May

Collaborating with local schools – Wednesday 9th June

ICT equipment and services – Wednesday 16th June

Risk Protection Arrangement – Wednesday 23rd June

Top tips for planning your procurements – Wednesday 30th June  

End of term Q&A for September 2021 – Wednesday 7th July

Staff Absence Risk Protection – request a copy of the presentation

All you need to know about frameworks – request a copy of the presentation

If you would like to join a Spotlight on Savings session or suggest a category area that you and your colleagues would like us to spotlight, please fill in the form. If you can’t make any of these sessions but would like to book a consultation with us, just let us know and we will find a convenient time for you.

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The Hub Hotline: A fast and effective way to receive procurement support

Keen to speak to an expert about your upcoming tender? The Hub Hotline is your fastest route to a specialist who can provide answers, discuss the detail, and offer support with day to day requirements.

Here are our procurement experts, they are ready to answer your questions and assist you where you really need it …immediately. Whether it’s to procure a new service, run a tender for minor works, buy equipment and resources, or just provide advice, we are here to help.

The Hub Hotline is available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, it has been designed to be responsive: your expert will be on hand without having to book appointments. Please click here to access the Hub Hotline.

 

Hub Live! Advice and Guidance webcasts at the click of a button

The Hub Live! webcasts are back for a third series! These short videos tackle those thorny procurement issues in a lively and refreshing way. In each webcast our procurement experts share their knowledge, advice, and guidance on an array of topics.

This term we will be releasing five new videos focusing on:

  • Specifications: social value, sustainability and data collection
    An accurate and detailed specification which highlights your priorities is crucial to a successful procurement. This webcast will help you understand the information and key elements that you need.
  • Statutory testing for MATS
    This webcast is full of tips and advice for procuring your statutory testing needs, from understanding the supply market to how to structure your service.
  • TUPE: avoiding the pitfalls
    Transfer of staff is an essential aspect of many procurements for schools. This webcast covers the key TUPE requirements in an accessible manner, to ensure you are prepared for all your staff transfer requirements.
  • Managing you printing requirements
    Whether you require single printers or a suite of interconnected devices across multiple sites, this webcast can help you understand how to procure your MFD and printer services to get best value for your school.
  • Energy management
    Energy management is an important consideration for schools and this webcast is full of tips on how to manage your energy procurement and ensure you get a good deal on gas and electricity.

The series has been designed with your busy week in mind and is perfect for viewing during a coffee break. Click here to access previous webcasts. These include:

  • Post-Brexit Procurement
    Unsure about the impact leaving the European Union may have on your school’s procurement? The Hub explains the upcoming changes to procurement practices and legislation in our short and accessible webcast.
  • ICT Managed Services, Hardware and Software
    This webcast covers a range of ways to procure ICT effectively and compliantly for your school, with top tips on how to save time and achieve best value for money on your ICT requirements.
  • Consolidation v Lotting
    This webcast looks at the cost and management benefits of undertaking a tender process to consolidate contracts as well as examining the options to split a contract into ‘lots’ to award to more than one supplier.
  • Contract Management Tips
    This webcast will cover some helpful tips enabling you to effectively manage your school’s contracts, including managing supplier performance through the use of Key Performance Indicators and building relationships with your suppliers.
  • Procurement Planning and Timelines
    Knowing what a complex procurement involves and how long it will take is key to robust planning and being compliant. This webcast allows you to plan effectively and be ready well in advance.
  • Evaluation
    How do you get the contract that you need? How can you ensure it is fair, transparent, and compliant?  Listen to this webcast to find out how a robust evaluation process can help meet all your requirements from the outset.
  • Catering
    Catering is one of the few areas where schools can generate a surplus, and this webcast covers how to secure the best value contract and get the right quality for your school.
  • Cleaning
    This webcast is full of tips and practical advice to help you organise your cleaning contract so that it is compliant and that you get the service you want.
  • Frameworks and Dynamic Purchasing Systems 
    Find out about frameworks: how easy it is to use them, how they can help you and how to pick the right framework for your needs. Hear how DfE frameworks have been selected with your school in mind.

Our Hub experts are friendly, knowledgeable, and very experienced. If you have any questions after watching the webcasts our Hub advisors will be happy to help! To pre-register your interest for any of the new webcasts, contact us today.

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Request a visit to your school, network or cluster

Our procurement experts can visit every corner of the South West and are keen to meet schools, academies and MATs to discuss your procurement priorities. Get in touch with us here to request a visit.

A message from Norma Johnston, Head of School Engagement

Meeting with school business leaders and managers has proven the best way to build strong working relationships.

Understanding precisely what each school, academy or Multi-Academy Trust needs ensures the Hub can move promptly to create tangible savings. It also gives SBLs the chance to meet others in the same profession to see what’s working for them and whether buying together could be an option.

The Hub team is on the road across the South West, please contact us for a visit or to attend one of our Roadshows.

Contact us