Procurement and commercial services
The University of Central Lancashire spends circa £100M on goods, services and works. This can significantly increase when the University invests in its infrastructure through capital programmes such as the £200M transformation of the University’s campus including the Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC), the Student Centre and New Square.
Our vision is to create ‘a centre of excellence for unlocking value’ and be an exemplar of professional procurement in Higher Education. To do this, we are guided by the following principles:
- Build best practice in terms of sourcing and contracting.
- Create a high performing team.
- Create policy and processes that enable an effective organisation.
- Ensure that procurement and commercial services is a cost-effective service.
- Create a sustainable operating model for procurement and contract management activity.
- Reduce the risks associated with procurement activity in the University.
Our Procurement Services mission is to ‘unlock value’ by delivering through four key goals:
- Value – by delivering value for money services we will strengthen our financial stability.
- Innovate – by delivering value for money services we will strengthen our financial stability.
- Commercial – by delivering the best outcomes across the organisation whilst maximising commercial opportunities.
- Collaborate – by working together with our key stakeholders, to deliver the best outcomes by listening to others, challenging each other constructively and respecting each other’s point of view.
The University employs professional Sourcing Managers in the Procurement & Commercial Services department who specialise in the management of key categories of spend (See Professional Resources tab below).
The University has adopted an eSourcing Platform, UCLan eSourcing for the tendering of all strategic spend over £50,000.
UCLan eSourcing provides a simple, secure and efficient means for managing tendering, evaluation and contract management activities whilst reducing the time and effort required by buyers and providing suppliers with the instant access to new opportunities and supporting documentation. To express an interest in a tender or to receive notifications of potential contract opportunities, suppliers need to register at UCLan eSourcing.
To ensure the University treats all suppliers equally and without discrimination and in a transparent and proportionate manner, all communications with the University in relation to any procurement activity advertised via UCLan eSourcing, during the tendering process shall be conducted through UCLan eSourcing.
The University complies with the Public Contract regulations 2015 (PCR 2015). All University opportunities and the award of contracts for public procurement above the EU threshold are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and on Contracts Finder. In addition, all opportunities and the award of contracts for public procurement below the EU threshold but above £50,000 where the University has chosen to advertise the opportunity, are advertised on Contracts Finder.
The University maintains a Contracts Register in UCLan eSourcing to increase visibility and report on every aspect of the contract’s lifecycle. All types of contracts are instantly accessible to Procurement & Commercial Services providing a clear picture of contractual obligations and commitments.
Procurement & Commercial Services provide all University staff with access to a list of all registered supplier on UCLan eSourcing, as a reference guide for those managing supply opportunities less than £50,000.
The University will award contracts on terms and conditions agreed in conjunction with Procurement & Commercial Services and Legal Services departments. A specific contract will always be put in place for all activity above £50,000. Subject to the type of supply, it may be necessary to put in place a specific contract for activity below £50,000. All other activity will be on the University’s standard terms and conditions (see tab below).
Additionally, no goods, services or works should be provided to the University without a valid Purchase Order and suppliers must comply with the University’s ’No PO, No Pay’ policy.
The University of Central Lancashire is a member of the North West Procurement Consortium (NWPC). The University can access supplier agreements via the NWPC without tendering as they have already been tendered on behalf of the members of the North West Procurement Consortium (NWPC).
In order for the University to deliver its Procurement Strategy, we support the employment and development of professional resources and membership of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply. We further endorse continuous professional development of those procurement resources to ensure the Procurement & Commercial Services team are building upon their knowledge, expertise and capabilities.
Procurement & Commercial Services has two areas of knowledge and expertise; Sourcing and Procurement Development.
Our Sourcing team include a number of specialist Sourcing Managers who provide expert knowledge and advice to the University and are aligned to our major spend categories. The major spend categories as below are mapped to a UCLan category tree for detailed analysis of spend. All Sourcing Managers lead on all procurement activity with an aggregated value over £50,000.
Major spend categories:
- Facilities Management & Construction.
- Information, Communications & Technology.
- Professional Services.
- Business Operations.
- Academic Supplies.
Our Procurement Development Team support the development of the operating model for procurement across the University including the framework within which procurement and contracts management is performed including policy, process, governance, performance and systems. Procurement Development are responsible for the development of our eSourcing platform, UCLan eSourcing.
Under the leadership of our Director of Procurement the Procurement and Commercial Services department will delivers against its three-year Procurement Strategy (see more in the tab below) and our Vision to create ‘a centre of excellence for unlocking value’. The Procurement Strategy sets out the approach we are taking to achieve best value through the use of professional and commercially savvy resources as well as the use of technology, innovation, best practices and procedures as part of the transformation of Procurement & Commercial Services.
The University’s Procurement Strategy has been adopted for the period 2020 to 2023. The purpose is to set out a medium-term strategy for the transformation of Procurement & Commercial Services and the delivery of procurement activity to support the University and align with the broader strategy for the University.
Procurement & Commercial Services is a centre-led strategically focussed procurement function that aims to improve value, build influence and drive transformational change through delivering procurement excellence.
Procurement & Commercial Services strategic objectives for transformational change are:
- Implement a new Operating Model that is both ‘fit for purpose’ and drives value for money;
- Develop and implement a new 3-year Procurement Strategy for 2020-23.
- Appoint a permanent Director of Procurement and permanent resources.
- Adopt a common strategic approach for all tendered activity.
- Implement a common approach to support devolved Contracts Management and improved Supplier Relationship Management.
- Create a commercially savvy and high performing team.
- Adoption of improved commercial governance.
- Adoption of a new eSourcing Suite.
A full list of the University’s Procurement-related policies can be found at the bottom of this page.
The University has adopted a Procurement Code that is designed to ensure that the University achieves best value from procurement activities, risks are minimised, and procurement complies with the University’s own Financial Regulations, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) where applicable, the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 (CCR 2016) and other relevant legislation.
The Procurement Code sets the mandatory rules on behalf of the University of Central Lancashire and its wholly owned subsidiary companies including all staff of the University, and any persons or organisations that are responsible for supplier selection and awarding, managing and monitoring procurement contracts on behalf of the University.
The overarching principles of the Procurement Code are that:
- Best Value (which may not necessarily be the lowest price) shall be obtained for all works, goods and services (including consultancy).
- All procurements shall take place in an open and transparent manner.
- Fairness shall be demonstrated, with all potential and existing suppliers being treated equally.
- All actions are compliant with applicable UK and EU Legislation.
- Responsible Procurement objectives (including where possible social, economic and environmental characteristics) are included in all procurements in excess of £150,000. See Responsible Procurement below.
The University has an annual turnover in the region of £225 million, of which c£85 million is spent on goods and services to support the running of the University with a further £25 million on average on its capital program. We therefore have a significant opportunity to work with our supply chains to deliver additional benefits to the University’s students, local residents, businesses and communities.
The University ensure that decisions taken by the University on the procurement of goods, works or services are undertaken in line with our commitments set out in this Code under the following themes:
- Delivering social value
- Improving environmental sustainability
- Promoting ethical sourcing practices
- Encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion
The following social value outcomes are the priority areas the University has identified as best able to support the University, its students, local residents, businesses and communities.
- Opportunity: We know employment has many benefits – from creating life chances to the related physical and mental health consequences of being employed. We want suppliers to take a part in helping:
- UCLan students to develop skills to support their personal development and employment when they leave education; and
- Local unemployed residents back into meaningful employment.
- Locality: Demonstrating visible commitment to the University’s local neighbourhood by volunteering time or skills to support local voluntary groups in making local neighbourhoods thriving places
- Environment: Making a difference to the University and the local community by making a positive contribution to a healthier environment.
While the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 only requires relevant authorities to consider social value in service contracts (and goods or works contracts where there is a services element), the University will also apply the approach to goods and works contracts with a total contract value over £150,000.
In April 2020 the University approved its new procurement strategy – a three-year plan for transforming procurement and creating a centre of excellence. This procurement strategy underpins the University’s commitment to acquiring goods, works and services for its use without causing harm to others. In doing so, the University is committed to supporting the UK Government’s approach to implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Due to the ever-changing nature of modern slavery and trafficking the University expresses its commitment to work towards greater transparency on the University's supply chains. This will involve increased collaboration, increased supplier engagement, and increased awareness regarding the risks of modern slavery and trafficking.
Each year, the University publishes a Modern Slavery Statement setting out the actions it has taken to combat modern slavery in its supply chains and across its business.
Where a specific contract with a supplier for the provision of goods, services and works has not been agreed, then the University’s standard Terms and Conditions will apply for the purchase which should be supported by an official Purchase Order.
The University will award contracts on terms and conditions agreed in conjunction with Procurement & Commercial Services and Legal Services departments. A specific contract will always be put in place for all activity above £50,000. Subject to the type of supply, it may be necessary to put in place a specific contract for activity below £50,000
The University is a member of the North West Procurement Consortium (NWPC). The University can access supplier agreements via the NWPC which will be awarded on the terms of contracts agreed between the consortium and the supplier.
‘No purchase order, no pay’
The University operates a fully enforced ‘No Purchase Order, No Pay’ (No PO, No Pay) policy with all suppliers and contractors providing goods, services and works. The policy applies to all such purchases from suppliers/contractors unless an alternative formal route of engagement has been agreed with the Director of Procurement.
All University employees must:
- only commit University funds by issuing a purchase order.
- use a University approved supplier in compliance with our procurement guidelines.
- raise an appropriate purchase order, gain its approval and communicate the purchase order number to the supplier/contractor.
In accordance with the University’s ‘No PO No Pay’ policy, any invoices received from a supplier/contractor which does not clearly state a valid Purchase Order provided by the University will be rejected and returned to the supplier/contractor.
The University has introduced more efficient processes for the processing of supplier invoices and only accepts PDF invoices, PDF credit notes and MS Word files.
PDF invoices, credit notes and MS Word files should be sent to a dedicated mailbox: email@example.com
PDF documents and MS Word files can only be processed if they meet the following criteria:
- PDFs and MS Word files must be 1 PDF / Word file to 1 Invoice / credit; as each file is treated as a new document.
- MS Word files must be a .DOCX or the older .DOC file type.
- The PDF or MS Word files must not have security applied, as these cannot be read by our automated system.
- Documents other than invoice / credit related PDF or Word files (for e.g. T&C’s, statements) should not be sent to the dedicated email address as the automated system will reject them.
- The PDF or Word files must be attached to the original email and not embedded as part of a forwarded email.
- The dedicated inboxes are not manually monitored and therefore supplier queries or questions etc. will not be dealt with.
- It is highly recommended that any scanned PDF files are of a minimum resolution of 300dpi. This helps to ensure consistent and accurate extraction of data from the images.
- It’s also recommended that the PDF or Word file size be kept as low as possible; typically, less than 150KB.
PDF and MS Word documents that do not meet the above criteria cannot be processed and this will delay the payment.
Invoices and credit notes should not be sent directly to a member of staff or posted to the University as we will be unable to process them. The University cannot be held responsible for non-payment where this occurs.
Supplier self-service portal
The University has introduced a self-service Supplier Portal for you to manage your supplier record with the University and to view invoices and payments
The key benefits are that:
- We have enabled our suppliers to view and amend their own Masterfile details, which are checked and approved via workflow.
- We have allowed our suppliers to view, search and download their invoices and payment plans by status, dates and amounts.
- We have given suppliers the ability to view their transactions, as well as download a CSV of them.
- We will display Supplier Notices within one centrally managed location.
- Suppliers must accept our terms and conditions before they are able to use the portal.
Existing suppliers only can register to use the self-service portal. To register, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to commence the registration process.
We want to alert you to a fraud that is targeting existing and potential suppliers of goods to many Universities in the UK.
The main victims are not the Universities but hundreds of organisations across the UK and Europe. In the UK alone it is estimated that the sums run into millions.
- A supplier will receive an email or phone call requesting a quotation for goods – on extended payment terms.
- Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the supplier that is similar to an authentic University purchase order.
- The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address that may or may not be affiliated with the University.
- After shipping the goods, they are collected and despatched, usually abroad.
Identifying fraudulent emails and POs
The following will be evident in these fraudulent emails and purchase orders:
- An incorrect domain name (incorrect email extension) will be used to send emails and purchase orders. At first glance these fraudulent domains may appear genuine.
- Suppliers must always ensure that the email address is genuinely the university email address.
- Delivery addresses will typically be a self-storage facility or freight forwarders, often nowhere near the University.
- In some cases the delivery address may be a genuine university address, which is later changed or redirected
Never contact the name or number used on the email or purchase order. Always contact through the main University switchboard.
For high value orders please refer to the Universities guidance on public procurement.
We advise all suppliers to consult with their IT or cyber security advisors to ensure they remain vigilant and informed on how to identify suspicious requests.
The University has adopted a number of key policies which will apply to all suppliers subject to the goods, services or works that they are providing the University. Where there is a contractual obligation on a supplier, a policy may be referenced in the contract. Our standard terms and conditions of purchase also reference specific policies.
The University additionally operates a number of additional policies which apply to all staff engaging and managing suppliers.