The Public Procurement Predicament

The Public Procurement Predicament

Those responsible for procurement in the public sector face several challenges which are presented when it comes to how funds are distributed and spent.

Organisations working within the public sector will find themselves bound to specific frameworks which provide a more stringent and structured approach to purchasing, in a bid to maintain a strong set of principles. This must be accomplished whilst ensuring the organisations obtains the best value for money along with the best products and services for the job.

Below we begin to look at what these challenges look like and how Circular Computing™ can have a positive impact

1. Effective Budgeting

If budgets weren’t an issue before, this has certainly been magnified in the ‘new world’ following the pandemic. Local government’s pockets have really taken a hit following the nation, and the world, being on lockdown. It’s more critical than ever before that organisations are getting the best value for money.

Circular Computing™ laptops can help with budgeting, especially when it comes to having a reliable IT infrastructure, therefore with cost savings of up to 40% versus new cost shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Trust in your Suppliers

Trust in your chosen supplier is critical. This is about developing relationships and making sure that relationship is nurtured. To do that the supplier will need to get to know not only the product, but the team delivering the product.

Knowing what you’re getting and who you’re dealing with is helpful and transparency in this area is key for the ultimate working relationship.

3. Availability

They need to be clear that stock is available, and that the provider can supply to fit the needs of the purchaser with no issue is more important than ever before.

In recent times issues like Brexit, Covid, the fuel crisis, and problematic international relations have all compromised many businesses, particularly in supply and logistics. Manufacturers, particularly in the tech sector, struggled to meet supply and demand following 2020. This was owing to lockdown impacting the movement of goods, stalling production lines and furloughed staff; this created a knock-on effect which we saw the direct impact of through the chip shortage that everyone likes to call “Chipageddon”.

Brexit has also been partly responsible on both the delay of movement of goods as well as an increase in costs when it comes to taxes and the like. Choosing a supplier you can not only trust, but who has availability and can fulfil the order in the allocated timeframe, is a key consideration.

4. Supplier Access & Eligibility

Not all suppliers are created equal – and certainly not in the eyes of the various public procurement frameworks.

To be eligible to supply a business that is using funds from the public purse, the supplier must not only demonstrate the value and trust in the product, but they must also tackle the public procurement framework. Unless the supplier is approved to join these elite networks, it is unlikely they will be able to place a bid to supply in public procurement environment.

5. Pressure to Go Green

There is an increasing social and moral responsibility for organisations to be working cleaner and greener in a bid to protect the planet, prevent poverty and other critical issues like modern slavery.

Businesses are called to work with governments to help achieve several sustainability targets. In the UK for example, the government have been very clear on their Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as part of the UN. The SDG’s as quoted on, are “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.”

There are many areas in which organisations can increase their effort in contributing to a positive outcome for these goals, and as such, sustainable procurement has become a hot topic. However, in realistic terms, adopting social value and sustainability into procurement can prove challenging as many organisations are often unclear on what this really means, and how they can truly make a difference, due to lack of meaningful definitions and guidance.

Events like COP26 have been a great tool to bring these topics to the fore and help further educate those responsible on how they can positively impact change.

Governments Can’t Do This Alone

We’ve heard it first-hand from Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State for Trade Policy, who said “…governments around the world can’t do this by themselves”.

To effect change, it is necessary for governments to work hand in hand with businesses.

The team at Circular Computing™ have invested in building relationships and worked tirelessly through the necessary processes to ensure that organisations who are spending public funds are able to access remanufactured stock. This has been achieved by becoming listed as a trusted supplier within the frameworks provided for buyers to make reliable and trusted buying decisions.

In fact, Circular Computing can be accessed via all three of the public procurement frameworks; KCS Framework, Crown Commercial Services Framework, and Everything ICT Framework.

Working within the public procurement framework is the first step to buyer confidence for organisations spending public funds, but it doesn’t stop there.

Accreditations and marks of trust such as the BSI Kitemark™ and the International Standards Organization (ISO) are factors which will help the buyer to make decisions that will be reliable and trusted by colleagues, peers and management in the process.

Circular Computing have done a lot to help our products become a viable, sustainable alternative in the public procurement buying process. Perhaps most notably, Circular Computing have achieved the world’s first BSI Kitemark for remanufacturing laptops.

A rigorous review of processes has enabled us to be able to state that our remanufactured laptops are ‘as good as or better than new’. This greatly reduces the pressure on the buyer as they now have a guaranteed standard that the remanufactured laptop will perform as new. In fact, in many cases our laptops have a lower RMA (return materials authorisation) than some of the mainstream laptop manufacturers.

Further to taking comfort in quality reassurance, the buyer can also tick their sustainability box, since our team re-use existing laptop parts, which means the environment doesn’t take a hit sourcing valuable minerals to create a product from scratch. This not only has a positive effect on the environment, but also a positive knock-on effect on social responsibility, reducing the need for vulnerable workers to risk their safety mining for materials.

In turn, this means the question of budget becomes a no brainer for the buyer, since the savings made from re-use as opposed to creating from new, means that our laptops are on average less that 40% of the equivalent new machine. Customers have also reported that they have gained a better specification of machine, than had they spent the same budget on ‘new’.

To see the impact that using remanufactured laptops had on Bristol City Councils SDG’s, check out our page on remanufactured laptops for public procurement.

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For an overview, full specification and pricing, please download our  catalogue of our core remanufactured laptop models.