Case Study - Buyer profile: Alison Ure, Procurement Manager, Abertay University Dundee

The power of collaboration is a topical theme for Tayside public sector buyers who meet regularly to discuss best practice and objectives. For Alison Ure, procurement manager at Abertay University Dundee, being a member of TOPIC (Tayside Opportunities for Procurement in Collaboration), is a valuable opportunity to meet with colleagues and exchange expertise and experience.

Details

TOPIC is an informal buying group made up of NHS Tayside, University of Dundee, University of Abertay, Angus Council, Dundee City Council and Perth and Kinross Council – together they work to deliver the benefits of combined purchasing.

Examples of contracts which TOPIC works together on are laundry and window cleaning – the joint-working approach ensures a more cost-effective and consistent approach to common requirements by all partners.

In addition to working closely with TOPIC, Abertay University is also a member of APUC  (Advanced Procurment for Universities and Colleges), the  procurement centre of expertise for Scotland’s universities and colleges.

Abertay University is currently working with the University of Dundee and local public sector bodies to finalise a travel contract, and, by joining together to advertise one tender, the  organisations can be assured of a better deal.

Alison has been in her procurement role since 2009, and although much of the small procurement requirements are devolved, her department is responsible for any spend above £15,000.

Alison Ure, said: “The opportunity to work with local partners, as well as those within other educational organisations, is very beneficial. We are able to combine purchasing requirement when advertising contracts to maximise budgets, but even more importantly, we can compare experiences and expertise, which is a great way to evaluate what you do in-house and make sure you are following best practice.

“Abertay University has been using PCS since 2009 and the service has delivered significant benefits to the organisation. In particular, as our spend tends to be quite small, we use Quick Quotes extensively and being able to engage with local suppliers in such an open and transparent way is a great advantage.  In addition, Quick Quotes makes it easier to evaluate tenders so we are able to choose suppliers which will deliver value for money and quality, and, the process is fully auditable.”