Improving the bottom line for South West Police
South West Police wanted to combine the Procurement functions of four individual police forces to deliver savings and free up more funds for operational policing. But any savings had to be achieved without compromising front-line service delivery.
Efficio was engaged to design and deliver the new Procurement organisation, and prove its effectiveness by delivering tangible cost savings in year one - and we succeeded beyond expectations.
The new combined Procurement unit was up and running two months ahead of schedule. Efficio worked alongisde the new team to build their skills and knowledge, and deliver annualised savings of more than 10%, with no impact on service delivery. In the process, we have created a platform to deliver ongoing value to front-line policing in the South West.
South West Police is a collaboration between the Devon & Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset police forces, created to improve efficiency and free up more funds for front-line police work. Its vision is to make the South West safer and increase public confidence in policing. With a combined spend of around £160m across 18 key categories, procurement was a logical focus for the collaboration.
The approach to procurement had never been proactively driven, and little collaborative, strategic procurement had historically taken place. The 20 buyers across the four forces were all generalists, purchasing a range of commodities.
Efficio was tasked with designing and building a new, combined Procurement organisation. This included defining the new structure and roles, as well as implementing best practice methodologies, processes and tools. It also included upskilling existing Procurement staff to quickly become self-sufficient. Given the need to achieve maximum value for money. Efficio was also tasked with identifying and delivering significant procurement savings to demonstrate the value of best practice procurement. The savings also needed to pay for the consulting investment, making the project cost-positive in year one. Historically, Procurement had never been able to challenge existing ways of working sufficiently to deliver significant savings. One of the key challenges of the project was a high degree of cynicism about what could be achieved.
Efficio was responsible for running the Strategic Sourcing process, with the police Procurement team working alongside us. This meant police staff could see how the new methodology operated in practice, and receive support and coaching from Efficio onsultants to build their own skills and knowledge. Efficio and the police Procurement team worked together to engage with the business, ensuring the project was seen as client-led, rather than being imposed by external consultants.
Efficio worked closely with stakeholders to understand the operational business requirements in considerable detail. We combined that understanding with our deep category knowledge to build a fact-based business case for potential new sourcing strategies. Importantly, we also tested strategies with stakeholders to mitigate concerns about their impact on front-line services.
Savings were delivered via a number of innovative approaches, such as optimising specifications, simplifying processes and challenging the supplier base. In many cases, significant savings were delivered by working collaboratively with existing suppliers, ensuring minimum disruption to the business, while forging stronger relationships with suppliers.
Efficio certainly gave us outstanding category expertise and capability in best practice procurement process. However, the real value they added was the extent to which they engaged with the business and consistently came up with practical, workable solutions that met and often exceeded our needs.
Efficio’s engagment helped deliver a number of benefits to the client, including:
- Annualised savings in excess of 10%, equal to £2.3m from addressable spend of £21.7m
- Achieved savings without adversely impacting operational performance
- Set up new Procurement function two months ahead of schedule, in line with all pre-agreed success criteria
- Achieved staff buy-in by respecting all HR processes during transition
- Changed wider organisation’s perception of procurement and the strategic value it can add
South West Police now has a single Procurement team with the skills, tools and resources to continue to deliver value to front-line policing into the future.