Universities and third-level education institutions face a number of challenges when it comes to procurement. From pens and paper to high-tech laboratory equipment, they need to ensure that their procurement is both efficient and cost-effective. With so many diverse needs to cater for, budgets and regulations to consider, it can be challenging to stay on top of procurement while also focusing on delivering high-quality education. That is why many Irish institutions are turning to central procurement models to help streamline the process and get the goods and services which meet their requirements.
The Education Procurement Service (EPS) represents education in the central procurement model, by tailoring arrangements specifically to meet the procurement needs of universities and third level institutions. We offer a streamlined procurement process, allowing universities and third level institutions to compliantly purchase goods and services through central frameworks and arrangements.
Partnering with a central procurement model ensures access to a broader range of suppliers without the need for time-consuming negotiations. There will be a readily available variety of trusted relationships with suppliers previously established. This can foster the building of strong connections leading to better deals and higher levels of service.
Some other key benefits of working with a central procurement model are as follows:
At the University of Galway, we have been involved with the Central Procurement Model since its inception in 2014.
Our institution and the Education Procurement Service (EPS) have a long and very beneficial relationship in terms of collaboration and information sharing.
We have adopted all of the technically suitable EPS’s centralised frameworks and arrangements, ensuring that we are purchasing goods and services in a compliant and efficient manner and are proven to be value for money. Our University professional procurement team works closely with the EPS Team to assess our specific needs, agree the most suitable procurement strategy and support our Budget Holder through to the award of contracts.
Like all change, there is an initial period of uncertainty, when the central procurement model was introduced, however this was quickly overcome with a series of roadshows that were designed as group specific, per category of expenditure e.g. our ISS colleagues, the Lab Technical Officer Group, our Team from Buildings & Estates met separately with the representatives from EPS and discussed the model and shared procurement experiences. This proved to be a very empowering experience for all involved.
Our Teams have undergone, a series of procurement workshops which have been designed and delivered in-house by our University Professional Procurement Team. Where the EPS lead out on procurement procedures on behalf of our institution, we are very certain in the knowledge that our Budget Holders are well supported by the EPS Team and achieve their desired outcomes.
The central procurement model has a number of advantages, which includes:-
Embracing the Central Procurement Model and working together is very worthwhile for the professional development of both teams. Our University embraced the central model and invest in its continued development.
The central model has already proven successful for defined categories of goods/services.
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