We use our understanding of local authority processes to find ways of producing a desired outcome at the minimum possible cost.
For example, we have been helping schools across the country to provide their pupils with outdoor covered teaching / play space, as it is now a requirement for the Foundation Stage. When the Schools use their devolved capital for these projects, the procurement needs to use the local authority’s processes.
In Wigan, Chowbent Primary School had done their own investigation and found a canopy at a good price from a specialist supplier / installer based in France. However, the standard procurement process specified a competitive tender amongst Wigan Council’s framework contractors. As none of them manufactured canopies themselves, it would mean going through them to a member of their approved supply chain. The school were less impressed with the products available through this route, and the cost of tendering and the contractor’s markup would mean paying a higher price.
We stepped in with an alternative solution to save cost. Our building surveyors researched the canopy market and obtained comparative costings for similar canopies. A report was submitted to the Council, putting forward the advantages of the school’s preferred choice. We proposed that in this case, the standard competitive procurement process was counter-productive and would not reduce costs. The alternative we suggested was for the French supplier to work directly for the school. Wigan Council reviewed the options and agreed with our money-saving approach.
The canopy was successfully installed at Chowbent School by the French company, saving a significant amount from the school’s budget.