Procurement specialist launches UK-wide £500m innovative solution to help education institutions

A UK procurement specialist has launched a new £500 million procurement solution that will help schools, colleges and universities across the UK save time and money on their cleaning and catering arrangements when they reopen in September.

2buy2 already supports more than 1,000 education professionals ranging from teachers to school business managers and CFO’s of multi-academy trusts with their procurement (www.educationbuying.com). It helps schools source everything from energy to stationery in a more time and cost-effective way.

Now, it has created a procurement solution for cleaning and catering – areas facing significant changes because of the coronavirus pandemic. New government guidelines stipulate new, intensive, cleaning regimes education providers must adhere to in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Some schools have suggested the enhanced cleaning regime could as much as double their cleaning costs as a result.

2buy2’s innovative new platform is capable of handling half a billion pounds worth of procurement solutions (a figure based on 1,000 institutions using it for five years), helping education providers better manage the costs and time associated with cleaning and catering. And its procurement specialists estimate that education providers will realise an average saving of 12% by using the facility.

The solution is hosted by a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) that allows schools to easily customise to their requirements, invite incumbent suppliers to bid as well as choose from a range of other suppliers after a quick and straightforward tender process.

Because 2buy2 is buying in bulk, the costs will be lower. Its innovative service will negotiate preferential prices by buying on behalf of all members (aggregation buying). It will also ensure equipment is quality-assured, ethically sourced and all procurement procedures are correctly followed.

When it comes to buying services, the platform offers the advantage that all suppliers will have been vetted, robust and legally sound contract terms will have been agreed, all

compliance protocols taken care of – and the process is compliant with EU regulations, which remain applicable to public sector bodies and in place until after Brexit.

While the platform already has interest from many UK-wide suppliers, schools and colleges can also easily work with existing, local, suppliers via the platform if they wish. The school or college simply needs to ask them to sign up and bid for the work; if they are selected, all the paperwork and compliance is taken care of by procurement experts at 2buy2 and the school or college is free to keep its existing, local, supplier or switch to another bidding supplier.

The solution offers further value because it integrates social, training opportunities and community initiatives into the tender process. This means that the buying-power of schools and colleges can be leveraged for social good of local communities if they decide to work with suppliers committed to giving back.

2buy2’s Education Buying purchasing service already supports the education sector across the UK to offer guidance and support in the procurement and negotiation of complex contracts as well as coordinating procurement activities to generate greater buying power across a range of contracts and supplies including energy.

Jonathan Morgan, Procurement Director, 2buy2, said:

“I am delighted that 2buy2 are equipped to respond so quickly to the needs of schools, colleges and universities and launch this platform at a time when their costs associated with cleaning and catering have soared because of the coronavirus.

“Our new platform will allow education institutions from anywhere in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to easily sign up to the platform and source a wide range of products and services associated with cleaning and catering services. The platform will enable buying organisations to nominate suppliers of their choice to participate in a formal procurement solution which will be fully compliant with all public sector procurement regulations”

“Buying organisations will be able to conclude a competitive procurement process in a timely manner as opposed to going out to tender by themselves, taking advantage of specialist catering and cleaning expertise from our category team. The solutions will be underpinned by robust terms and conditions designed to protect education institutions and will benefit by having the most efficient and commercially attractive specification which will be designed to achieve best value for buying organisations.

“To complement this, our solutions also integrate social initiatives into the cleaning and catering specification requirements, this will mean schools using these solutions will be able to invite proposals that also help to deliver social value to their local communities, reduce the impact on the environment and offer local economic, training and employment opportunities.”

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