Jade McHale - Procurement Co-Ordinator
One year on from implementing the Procurement Knowledge Map from First Adapt, homes and community organisation livin have seen the benefits of the new system.
livin, was already in the process of centralising and updating its Procurement procedures when it was introduced to the Maps. Following a thorough evaluation and having put forward a successful business case, the project team set about implementing the Map. They took a staged approach to implementation, taking the opportunity to further streamline procedures as they went along. Implementing Knowledge Maps is an iterative process and livin found it useful to have First Adapt review what had been done to help make adjustments prior to going live.
Jade McHale, Procurement Co-ordinator for livin, who has been closely involved throughout, liaising with First Adapt and taking feedback and comments from users, said: “We had very clear ideas from the start of what we wanted the maps to achieve. One year on, they have exceeded our expectations. Most feedback has been positive and complimentary and usage has rapidly increased.”
livin has embraced the idea of having centralised points for Procurement Procedures and users have found the Document Library of particular benefit.
Jade added: “Introducing new systems always has to be approached sensitively. Users can become used to their own way of doing things and of course it’s important to keep hold of all of that individual knowledge and expertise when it comes to implementing a Map.
“Knowledge Maps are also an excellent source of information when it comes to new starters and because the Maps are so easy to navigate, they can be used as an effective training tool in their own right. It’s great when users tell you that they have found a system straightforward. It makes implementation worthwhile.”
Having successfully implemented the Procurement Map there is a chance that other areas of the business will see the benefit of expanding the use of Knowledge Maps further.
UK Housing featured in our last newsletter but for those of you who haven't yet had the opportunity, we recommend that you take a look at their website which contains a wide range of information pertinent to the housing sector including monthly updates on both housing and legal issues.
The diary section provides a useful one stop shop of events and seminars, a real time saver for those who want a quick and easy way to stay in the know. First Adapt was one of the first to join the UK Housing's Featured Website section and contributes both articles and press releases on a regular basis.
First Adapt and UK-Housing are collaborating on a number of projects, using the skills and expertise of both parties to further promote the use of Knowledge Maps as well as encourage people to make use of the valuable resources available via the UK Housing website: www.uk-housing.co.uk
First Adapt, leaders in the provision of Knowledge Maps, have been commissioned by the Institute of Mental Health to develop a Knowledge Map which will significantly help clinicians when it comes to simplifying the process of carrying out detailed research. Formed in 2006, the highly respected Institute of Mental Health is a partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the University of Nottingham. With their mission to achieve ‘Research Excellence for Innovation’, The Institute of Mental Health’s key activities are to promote research, support clinical practice, provide educational courses and act as an expert resource in promoting best practice.
First Adapt is delighted to have this opportunity to work with the Institute and looks forward to a successful collaboration over the coming months.
Stephen Ashton, MCIPS Public Sector Procurement Consultant
Stephen is a Public Sector Procurement Specialist and Practitioner with many years’ experience of working strategicially in senior roles within public sector organisations. He has advised on Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT), TUPE and European Procurement Regulations and e-tendering.
First Adapt came across Stephen whilst he was at Cheshire East Council. Whilst there, he focused on developing leaner and more effective procurement processes, ensuring that the organisation gained competitive and commercial advantage in all procurement dealings - a subject close to First Adapt and Knowledge Maps.
Stephen was instrumental in introducing new procurement processes and systems within the highly competitive engineering industry and was able to capitalise on this experience when he made the move to Local Government.
He has also taken the lead on major procurement exercises on behalf of Highway Maintenance, Residential and Nursing Homes as well as the provision of domestic care services for the elderly.
When Stephen branched into consultancy, he worked initially with schools, charities and SMEs, to provide a comprehensive range of procurement services from the ad hoc to the full procurement life cycle.
Customers are reassured by his long experience of working on high risk tender projects and are confident in his market research abilities which include analytical assessments of statistical data ensuring the dissemination of best practice.
Stephen’s approach is personable and straightforward, applying a tailored service to each organisation’s procurement requirements. This flexibility has earned Stephen a respected reputation with his customers.
“Using Stephen Ashton Consulting definitely ticks the Best Value box. It has transformed the process from one I was dreading, to one in which I can confidently report to Governors that new Contracts were being awarded in line with all the guidance” - Poynton High School
“He provided an efficient service from start to finish and ensured that we complied with the current National and European Regulations. I would have no hesitation in using him again.” – Wilmslow High School
For further information:
t: 01244679543 or mobile 07557386853
We are delighted to welcome Devon & Cornwall Housing Group (DCH) as our newest customer. DCH have taken the HR Knowledge Map which they will be implementing for use across the Group in support of their overall HR strategy and policies. With a staff of 700, DCH, which comprises Tor Homes, Penwith Housing Association, Independent Futures, Westco Properties, Devon & Cornwall Leasehold Solutions and Call24, manages over 19,500 properties.
Sheila Whelan, Group HR Director adds:
‘I always thought the HR Knowledge Map was a great idea when I first saw it several years ago when first launched. Since taking the post of Group HR director at a large geographically spread organisation we have bought the Map to enhance communication with staff across the Group, increase transparency and consistency and make our policies and procedures easy for staff to find and use. We will start implementing it shortly’.
More news on this story once implementation is underway.
Challenge, compare, consult and compete – the Value for Money (VfM) mantra by which providers must abide in order to stay ahead of the game. But what steps are required to ensure that this is truly embedded in how an organisation operates?
The first step has to be taken at the top and the Board needs to agree the main objectives of a VfM strategy and how these tie in with its overall business plan. This in itself requires a real understanding of how well the organisation is doing and how it compares with others in the sector. Time needs to be spent internally on performance evalution and externally via benchmarking with other providers. This will also give a steer of where improvements need to be made and where new services can be offered.
Developing clear operational plans from the top level strategy is crucial not only to ensure excellent communication at all levels within the organisation but also as a vehicle for staff involvement and performance management. By cascading objectives and actions, the strategy itself will remain dynamic and relevant to what is happening on a day to day basis.
But it is not just about buying goods and services at the price/quality mix. It is also about customer involvement since they are best placed to help shape these services so that they are tailored at the local level. This approach also favours the longer-term interests of the organisation, its customers and stakeholders. Collective procurement, partnering and Shared Services are also increasingly being adopted as routes to more professional procurement strategies.
Another important step is making sure that there is a comprehensive and up to date library of policies, processes and operational documents.
Our Procurement Map has been specially designed with this in mind and allows you to make this information available to all staff across via an organisational intranet.
So, is your organisation operating an efficient and easy- to-use tendering process in an environment which frees up staff to operate effectively?
A central database of standardised processes and template documents guarantees improved operational efficiency. The majority of our customers have chosen to implement the Procurement Map for these very reasons and with the experience we have gained from numerous projects, we can offer a standard template design which substantially reduces the amount of in-house resource required to implement the maps.
Download more information about our Procurement Map.
Liverpool Mutual Homes have launched ASK (their new Advice and Support Knowledge Map). This innovative on line resource which is available via their website and via reception kiosk areas, aims to answer the many questions their customers may have about accessing LMH's services.
- Accessing LMH services
- Applying for an LMH property
- Maintaining a property
- Managing finances
- Getting involved with LMH
- Making a complaint
- Reporting anti-social behaviour
- Owning a property
Click HERE to take a look at ASK!
When Midland Heart conducted a thorough review of their procedures and policies for Procurement, they were delighted to find that we had a tried and tested package that would do exactly what they needed. They found it slick and visually very attractive but recognised that beneath the veneer were multiple layers that made the solution particularly rich. They liked the idea that you could drill down to more detail if you needed to, but equally, if you just wanted to click through the process, you could do that as well.
Midland Heart's view of the Procurement Map is that it's a very interactive way of working and because the data is presented in an attractive way, users quickly find a level that suits their ability and knowledge. When Midland Heart was going through merger, it was of huge benefit to be able to adapt the map and pull together all the procurement policies and documents from legacy systems and organisations into one easily accessible place.
They now have a centralised system which is easy to use and gives greater access to documents needed by staff. Consistency of information has also greatly improved communications across the organisation and with staff able to find what they need first time round, efficiency savings have been achieved.
Read the full Midland Heart procurement knowledge map case study