Possibility filled the air at this year’s Procurex North Live when representatives from all levels of the supply chain united at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on Tuesday 8 March. Here BiP Solutions journalist Donald MacInnes recounts the day.
Opportunities for discovery and networking presented themselves in all corners of the venue, from the exhibition stands to the Keynote Arena.
Chairing the Keynote Arena and setting the scene for the day with his opening address was procurement expert Colin Cram. Mr Cram discussed the increasingly challenging public sector procurement environment.
Addressing a packed arena, he spoke about the importance of well-managed procurement in the public sector.
He explained: “Procurement is taking up an increasing proportion of public sector spending. If we exclude social security benefits and pensions, it’s heading towards 40% of public sector expenditure. Public services absolutely depend on procurement – and depend on procurement being managed well.”
Following Mr Cram in the Keynote Arena was Chief Executive of Trafford Council Theresa Grant. Ms Grant reiterated the importance of better public procurement, highlighting the busy and exciting role it continued to play in devolving Manchester as a thriving hub of opportunity.
She commented: “The powers and responsibilities transferred from Government to Greater Manchester are geared towards accelerating growth, boosting skills and encouraging local decision-making and increased self-sufficiency of our businesses, our residents and all our public services.”
Moving onto the main exhibition floor, representatives from all types of organisation could be found networking with attendees, building new relationships and passing on their wisdom and experience to delegates.
One such organisation was ISS Kinloss-Lossiemouth, who could be found in the Best Practice Case Study Zone at the Procurex Learning Academy. ISS Kinloss-Lossiemouth Catering and Retail Manager and Corporate Champion, Zee Fletcher, enthused of Procurex North Live: “Bringing buyers and suppliers together at events such as Procurex is massively beneficial.
“We’re in a small part of Scotland but we’re a global company. Working today and meeting with other suppliers helps us engage together and hopefully develop and make new links for procurement.
“Today I’ve already met people who we are going to be doing business with. Without Procurex, we wouldn’t have actually met with them, especially in the rural area of Scotland we live in.”
ISS Kinloss-Lossiemouth went on that evening to win ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Best Service Award – Other Organisations’ category at the National GO Awards 2016/17, held at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.
Another key organisation at Procurex North Live 2016 was its official event partner the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). In the central CCS Pavilion, Neil Martin, Customer and Digital Communications Manager, discussed the success of the day:
He said: “There has been a constant and steady flow of people coming to the pavilion and it’s been a really good opportunity for us to meet with delegates.
“It’s always important for us to get out and network and engage with our key customers and suppliers and events like Procurex North are a great occasion for us to meet lots of them in one place at one time.”
Building upon this year’s success, Procurex North Live 2017 promises to deliver even more opportunities to buyers and suppliers. With yet another busy schedule of engagement, learning and professional development, Procurex North Live 2017 will return to Manchester Central on 17 March 2017. To register your interest, visit the Procurex North Live website.