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Inaugural HEPA Conference 2014 - Programme

Introduction - Simon Fanshawe

Simon was Chair of Governors at the University of Sussex between 2007 and 2013, and describes himself as a “provocateur with a purpose”. He is a respected broadcaster and writer and has great track record in achieving change in and through organizations. We are delighted that he was our chairman for the day.

 

HEPA governance, management and objectives - Marcus McDonald Chair of the HEPA Steering Group, Caroline Blackman-Edney Chair of the PPG

The conference is an opportunity to launch the HEPA in its post-ITF funded phase.

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Keynote - Steve Willis, Director of Finance, Leeds Beckett University

The Higher Education sector has never seen so many internal and external changes foisted upon it in the last 6 years, and this has made the job of planning the business and finances of an institution a challenge. Finance Directors are fortunate to have the support of good teams, procurement managers amongst them, but how much do the team members know about the full picture?

Steve Willis is one of the longest serving FDs in the sector, and gave an insight into pensions, accounting standards, borrowing and banking, TRAC and other issues on his to-do list that could affect the work of procurement managers.

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Keynote - Damian Hughes

Damian is a former England schoolboy footballer and Manchester United football coach and went on to be HR Director for Unilever, where he led a turn around in the performance at the UK’s oldest manufacturing site at Port Sunlight before carrying out similar work in Africa and the USA.

His appearance at the 2014 BUFDG conference left some of the audience in tears, but the majority inspired and thoughtful of the things they could do to make their workplace better and their business more effective. We defy anyone not to be affected by Damian’s talk which was one of the highlights of the day.

 

Panel discussion - “What is strategic procurement and does it have a place in HEIs?” - Chaired by Simon Fanshawe

Is “strategic” an over-used word? How many of us use it without really knowing what it means and what is the difference between running a good operation and leading a strategic business?

The panellists had 5 minutes to tell us what they think the difference is, where they think procurement in HE is on the journey from operationally good to strategically brilliant and how they think institutions and individuals can travel faster and more efficiently.

Simon Fanshawe chaired the session and took questions from the audience in what was a lively session to end the day.

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Workshops

A1 How JISC procures the JANET - Tim Kidd, Operations Director, Janet and Sue Weston, Head of Procurement, Janet

From August 2014, higher education institutions in England are obliged, under the terms of the hefce financial memorandum, to subscribe to JISC. JISC is a company limited by guarantee, owned by the HE and FE sectors and it provides a host of valuable services that would be difficult to buy elsewhere at the price. However, an automatic monopoly is not guaranteed after 2017 and procurement managers will find senior managers will start to ask questions about competitor products and whether JISC offers value for money. This session is the procurement manager’s opportunity to find out what JISC offers and how it procures the Janet – the Joint Academic Network – on which institutions rely to keep UK HE at the forefront of innovative teaching and research.

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A2 The EMM – how it can help you measure, manage, report and improve - Caroline Blackman-Edney, Head of Procurement, University of Cambridge and Steve Butcher, HEFCE

The Efficiency Measurement Model was originally developed to help Heads of Procurement capture savings or efficiency data in a methodical way and provided much-needed, valuable data for HEFCE to use in submissions to Comprehensive Spending Reviews in 2004 & 2007 and in the University Modernisation Funding report to BIS in 2010. It has now been updated and by the time of this conference, the system will hold reliable information for benchmarking and reporting to senior managers and governors. Caroline Blackman-Edney and Steve Butcher explore how Procurement Managers and their senior managers can get the most out of the model, but reinforce the reality that what you get out is only as good as what you put in. 

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A3 Using your imagination to engage with the institution’s core business - Mike Hanson, Director of Procurement, Coventry University

Mike Hanson and his team are this year’s THELMA winners in the Outstanding Procurement Team of the Year category and with good reason. When student tuition fees rose to £9,000, Coventry University took the decision to offer their courses with ‘No Hidden Extras' so Mike and his team worked with professional service and academic colleagues to make this possible. They challenged existing framework contractors to be innovative and worked with them to deliver a smooth and cost-effective service to supply and assist with the distribution of textbooks, e-books, vouchers and core reading material. Mike will tell us how the idea came about and how they made it happen.

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B1 PMAs are painless, they bring on many changes  - Judith Russell, SUMS and some PMA success stories 

With apologies to M*A*S*H * fans for the title of this session, since the launch of the PMA service by SUPC (on behalf of the English sector), 73% of institutions have now been through the first phase of a PMA, with 20% of institutions already into the second phase. For many institutions, this has been the start of a transformation of the procurement function, for a variety of reasons. Judith brings some of her “patients” along to tell their story and to encourage institutions to take the plunge and then share the experience.

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B2 Emotional Intelligence in Procurement - Alison Holmes, Director of Procurement, Durham University

An article in Supply Business in 2012 said, “The growing relevance of using EI in procurement is attributed to the changing nature of the profession over the past few years, with much greater focus on supplier and stakeholder relationships and engagement.”  An interviewee went on to suggest that “while companies were looking for 80 to 90 per cent hard skills seven or eight years ago, this is now down to around 30 to 40 per cent.”

How is your EI? Have you developed it, have you just got it, or do you think it is just another management fad? Alison Holmes at Durham will explore why she believes better EI leads to better procurement and happier customers.

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B3 Outsourcing residential web-services at Exeter - John Malloch, Head of Procurement, University of Exeter

When it comes to outsourcing, sometimes the head and heart tell you to do different things, but ultimately a decision has to be made. John Malloch shares his experience of outsourcing residential web services (for which Exeter was nominated for THELMA)

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And

Using the Strategic sourcing toolkit - Helen Baker, Head of Procurement, UWE

Helen Baker explains how the Strategic Sourcing toolkit could help you as you battle with voices of doubt and scepticism of outsourcing and make the case for the right decision.

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