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The London Borough of Bexley takes next step in ‘future-proofing’ its commissioning cycle by including Proactis Contract Management

Executive overview

Profile

Sector
Public Services

Population served
250,000+

Operates in
United Kingdom

Customer since
2009

Objectives

  • To drive forward efficiencies and consistency  within contract management and the commissioning cycle.
  • To increase visibility of supplier contracts and contract details.

How Proactis helped

  • Set up a central electronic repository for all types of supplier contracts, to standardise organisation-wide contract management.
  • All contract data is now visible by the relevant Contract Manager and appropriate officers.

Benefits

  • The Council now keeps up with contract dates and events, reducing risk and maximising awareness.
  • All required data now captured and transparent in one system.
  • Minimised time and effort required in the contract management process.
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Profile

The London Borough of Bexley is a London Borough in South-East London, forming part of Outer London, and serving a population of almost 250,000 residents.

The Borough takes a long-term view of its procurement strategy, not only to ensure it is improving for today but that it is also future-proofing its operating models. “We see technology as a core building block to our future-proofing contract management and the commissioning cycle,” explained Caroline Allen, Supplier Relationship Manager / Purchasing Manager at the London Borough of Bexley.

The Council has been a Proactis customer since 2009 and took the decision to extend its Proactis solution to include contract management to deliver organisation-wide contract efficiencies.

Objectives

The Council originally started with a strategy programme, which included a deep dive to identify what was being done at that point in time and the effectiveness of contract commissioning and management. As a result of this exercise, a number of recommendations were made, one of which, was to implement a system to gain better control over contract management. At that point, contracts were managed in different ways, to varying degrees of success.

“The contract documentation we had at that point wasn’t always fully visible or easy to find, so, trying to find specific contract information was often quite long-winded,” continued Caroline. “While the knowledge about contract classification, performance and operational effectiveness of the contract, and how it’s performing was out there, it wasn’t visible to our Procurement team.

“There was a lack of visibility into the 233 contracts that are managed by 90 Managers across the Authority, so we needed something to give us visibility, accountability and flexibility to manage them.”

How Proactis helped

Having already implemented Proactis’ sourcing tool, the decision was made to approach Proactis about helping to manage the Council’s contracts, the terms and conditions, health and safety and insurance documents, and more importantly, making these available to those that needed it.

“When we first started, we didn’t really know what we wanted, but when we were shown what Proactis could do, it exceeded our expectations. We already had Proactis software at the front-end of our tendering process, so, we were already familiar with it. The reporting tool in particular is quite vast -- if we’ve got a field in the system, we can report on it,” stated Caroline.

Through the solution, the Authority has set up a central electronic repository for all types of supplier contracts, to standardise organisation-wide contract storage and management. All contract data is now visible by the relevant Manager, as well as the management team across the Authority, and an audit trail is created.

Benefits

Proactis Contract Management has delivered on the aims of increasing visibility of supplier contracts and all contract details, helping the Council keep up with key dates and events, reducing risk, and maximising awareness and usage of contracts across the Authority.

Now, at the point when a contract goes live, all the relevant information is available from the system. “This vastly helps our long-term goal of future-proofing our operating models,” explained Caroline. “We are also alerted about important dates, such as review dates and when health and safety documentation is about to end. This not only improves our processes, but also removes a lot of the manual tasks involved with managing our contracts.

“Overall, as an Authority, we are challenged with becoming self-sufficient so using a contract management solution is a really good mechanism to minimise the time and effort within that particular process. Proactis has been a real driver for us to ensure that we capture all the data we need and making it transparent within the system,” concluded Caroline. “The solution has the flexibility to change with our needs.”