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Transforming healthcare procurement at P4H England

The UK’s premier healthcare procurement event, P4H England, returned to the NEC, Birmingham on 4 July 2019. The event welcomed over 1500 delegates from the NHS, the wider healthcare sector and the private sector supply chain, with a packed schedule including keynote talks, training and knowledge exchange sessions, and many opportunities for buyers and suppliers to meet and discuss their needs.

Many of the day’s sessions had standing room only, demonstrating both the quality of the talks on offer and the enthusiasm of the P4H audience.

Keynote Arena

The Keynote Arena witnessed a plethora of talks from procurement leaders from throughout the healthcare sector, as well as a motivational lecture from world-famous explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Chair Glen Hodgson kicked off the day by suggesting that “our job today is to avoid the noise and think strategically – focusing on the great work done by colleagues to make the NHS safe.” Stephen Foulser, Customer Engagement Director at NHS Supply Chain, delivered the first talk of the day, reflecting on a year of the new NHS Supply Chain Operating Model. Next up, Michael Pace, Managing Director of Corporate Services at the NHS London Procurement Partnership, stressed the importance of collaborative work to efficient procurement. Mr Pace said that despite the huge changes that have come to bear on NHS procurement over the last 12 months, and what he understands as areas where improvements still need to be made, there was much to be positive about.

“I’m more excited by the opportunities in front of me than I ever have been as an NHS procurement professional before.” – Michael Pace, Managing Director, Corporate Services, NHS London Procurement Partnership

Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ lecture proved to be the day’s main draw for many attendees, with delegates queueing several rows back from the Keynote Arena to hear about the explorer’s experiences over more than 50 years across Oman, the River Nile, Vancouver, Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. Sir Ranulph emphasised the importance of teamwork, framing all his expeditions as the achievements of a dedicated team. Aside from the focus on collaboration, the relevance of Sir Ranulph’s talk to a healthcare audience was made obvious through his sharing of several graphic photos detailing the after-effects of severe frostbite!

ranulph-fiennes-p4h-england

Sir Ranulph Fiennes delivers his keynote lecture

The afternoon at the Keynote Arena was equally busy, with talks including Pia Larsen, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain at University College London NHS Foundation Trust, delivering a detailed case study of what transforming procurement at a particular trust looks like. The theme of asking what ‘collaboration’ looks like, and how it can change NHS procurement, continued with two talks about the experience in different parts of Greater Manchester, from Neil Hind, Procurement Lead at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, and Joe Lever, Group Procurement Director at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. The final keynote talk of the day saw Tom Wynne, Head of Procurement for London at NHS Improvement, talking about the forthcoming Procurement Target Operating Model, allowing delegates to see some of the ways in which NHS procurement is set to be reshaped in the coming months and years.

Market Support and Engagement Zone

The Market Support and Engagement Zone at P4H England 2019 allowed suppliers to understand how they could best engage earlier with buyers across the NHS and beyond. Teams representing Tracker, Supply2Gov, Cyber Essentials and Market Engagement heard first-hand about some of the challenges faced by the private sector and were able to offer expert advice on how to leverage best-in-class tools to improve tender win rates and identify strategic business opportunities. Delegates were also able to visit the on-stand juice blend bar, which proved unsurprisingly popular on a very warm day!

“We’d like to say a massive thank-you to Tru Foo, our juice suppliers, for keeping us and the delegates refreshed throughout the day. We had some really insightful conversations with suppliers looking to increase their visibility in the public sector market, and we hope that each of them left the stand with actionable information that helps them grow their business in this market.” – Susan Staley, Head of Digital Marketing, BiP Solutions

BiP Solutions customers were also offered exclusive access to the VIP lounge, providing a quiet space throughout the day to catch up with colleagues and emails, enjoy refreshments and attend several VIP-only talks.

Health Online

As the official media partner of P4H, Health Online was proud to be represented at the event. Interest in Health Online’s dedicated online healthcare community proved high, with a talk from Health Online Sales Manager Soafyaan Zia seeing delegates literally queueing out of the door to attend! You can learn more via Health Online’s own P4H review.

Soafyaan Zia delivering a talk on Health Online at P4H England

Soafyaan Zia’s talk introduced delegates to Health Online

What’s next?

Scotland’s and Wales’ procurement communities will come together later this year at Procurex Scotland on 29 October in Glasgow and Procurex Wales on 7 November in Cardiff. Register today or learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

There’s also still time to enter your procurement team or project for the prestigious GO Awards, with presentation ceremonies taking place on the evenings of Procurex Scotland and Procurex Wales. Share your procurement success stories here!

“One of the greatest showcases for innovation”: Procurex National 2019

The UK’s premier public procurement showcase, Procurex National 2019, took place at the NEC, Birmingham on 30 April, welcoming over 1400 delegates from both the public and private sectors. Across the four Skills Development Zones and the Public Sector Solutions Live Stage, attendees were able to enjoy a wealth of training sessions, talks by subject matter experts from all areas of the procurement landscape, and product showcases.

You can see some of the highlights from the day below.

Public Sector Solutions Live

The Public Sector Solutions Live Stage saw keynote talks from six leading experts in procurement representing the public, private and third sectors. The first speaker, Malcolm Harrison, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), stressed the need for social value at every stage of the supply chain. Mr Harrison warned against the misconception that social value is only important in local government procurement, as it is now equally important to central government in many countries across the world and in the private sector too.

You can still deliver value for money while embracing social value and the local economy agenda” – Malcolm Harrison, CEO, CIPS

The theme of social value continued in keynote talks from Mark Roberts and Claire Smart. Mr Roberts, Continuous Commercial Improvement Director at the Cabinet Office, emphasised: “A number of organisations – not just in the public sector – are stressing the need for social value. This is something we need to learn about from a variety of stakeholders.” Ms Smart, Procurement Director for the National Trust, spoke about the lessons that the charity sector and the public sector can learn from each other in procurement. Ms Smart highlighted that while many working in public procurement may find legislation such as OJEU restrictive, the absence of such rules for the charity sector can prove difficult: “Rules can distract, but they also professionalise.”

Talks from David Brown, Project Director of Online Marketplace for Dubai Expo 2020, and Adam Stewart, Regional Manager, UK Public Sector for Google Cloud, gave delegates the chance to learn more about these two innovative digital services.

The final keynote talk of the day was delivered by Simon Tse, Chief Executive of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). Mr Tse began his talk by saying: “Procurex continues to be one of the greatest showcases for the innovation that drives public service. It offers tremendous opportunities for us all to collaborate.”

Mr Tse’s wide-ranging talk addressed areas such as the strategic goals of CCS, the balance between social value and financial savings, and the differing challenges faced by larger organisations and SMEs.

Market Support and Engagement Zone

This year at Procurex National’s Market Support and Engagement Zone delegates were given their very own ‘Passport to Early Engagement’ – as well as a complimentary BiP-branded flight pillow.

The teams on stand (Supply2Gov, Cyber Essentials, Tracker Intelligence, and Media & Marketing Solutions) were there to direct public procurement professionals to the solutions that can help their organisations to fly high.

‘Flyers’ were also given the chance to mix business and pleasure as the stand hosted a ‘paper planes’ UX competition, with the winner grabbing an experience day prize.

GO Excellence in Public Sector Procurement Live Stage

The afternoon saw several of the finalists for the evening’s UK National Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2019/20 interviewed ahead of the evening’s gala Awards presentation. Representatives of finalist organisations including Scan4Safety, the Bank of England, iHELP and the Department for International Development described what prompted their procurement exercises, some of the unique challenges they faced, and their excitement about the possibility of winning an award.

David Smith, chair of the GO Awards judging panel, told the gathered nominees that “procurement people are probably the most important in any organisation.” After the interviews, every finalist was presented with a certificate announcing their nomination.

What’s next?

PH4 England is happening on 4 July 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham.

Register interest or contact us today to discuss booking your 2019 exhibition or sponsorship package asap.

How to use networking strategically in public procurement

How to use networking strategically in public procurement

Networking public procurement

Whilst this may sound obvious, it’s important not to overlook the value which networking can bring to the public procurement process.

Networking offers procurement professionals and organisations the chance to interact with their peers and industry leaders to find out how real value can be created through the public procurement process.

Here are four ways to use networking strategically in public procurement:

 

Put yourself out there by attending events

Top of the list is making sure that you’re putting yourself out there regularly and attending good old-fashioned networking events. They exist in every industry – including procurement – for good reason: because they provide enormous value when it comes to building your network.

Moreover, networking events give you the chance to engage with the wider industry by interacting with like-minded individuals, peers and market leaders. They also present an excellent opportunity to gain specific insights that you can use in the future. At these events, everyone is on the same page and chances are that your fellow delegates will be just as eager to discuss and analyse the ideas presented throughout the day as you are.

Keep an eye on our events diary for any procurement networking opportunities.

Utilise social media to grow your network

Social media is also a great networking source. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn can expand your network by bringing together contacts from around the world that share a common interest or are involved in the same field.

Twitter is a great way to participate in these industry-wide discussions and to follow the pulse of public procurement by connecting with others who are asking the same questions and have similar priorities.

LinkedIn is also a great platform to expand your knowledge on public procurement by joining relevant groups. There are a number of showcase pages on LinkedIn, including our own, which feature commentary and analysis on the latest developments in the industry and which will put you in much closer contact with those who are discussing procurement in greater detail.

 

Build a network which covers your blind spots

Networking events and social networking also give you a valuable opportunity to significantly expand your knowledge of the procurement industry, which will have a number of benefits in the long run.

It’s important to build strategic relationships with those in your network who can fill the gaps in your own knowledge and whose experience you can draw on to help you make better decisions in the future. Additionally, expanding on your core area of expertise will allow you to become more commercially aware and help put you in the best position to take advantage of relevant opportunities when they arise.

Mix it up with the market leaders

Just as networking events give you the chance to showcase best procurement practice, so do procurement competitions and they afford an excellent opportunity to network with the procurement industry’s leaders.

There are a number of procurement competitions taking place regularly throughout the year including national competitions such as the GO Awards as well as industry-specific ones such as ADS’ Supply Chain 21 programme.

Participating in these competitions is not only an excellent way to network with those who are in the procurement industry who have the same objectives, but it also gives your organisation the chance to increase visibility whilst measuring yourself against the market leaders in procurement.