2buy2 to support DfE in saving schools £1bn

North West England
Schools Buying Hub
16 January 2018
Seren Media

2buy2, the professional procurement company that helps organisations secure better value for money, has secured a contract potentially worth £9 million that will see it support and assist the procurement function in thousands of schools in the North West of England, as part of a project designed to help schools save £1 billion by 2020.

The Bridgend-based company has secured the contract for one of two pilot schemes in the form of Schools Buying Hubs initiated by the Department for Education (DfE). The Hubs will be tasked to offer advice, guidance and support to schools in the procurement and negotiation of complex contracts as well as coordinating their procurement activities to generate greater buying power.

2buy2 will deliver the services relating to a Regional Schools’ Buying Hub in the North West. Working in partnership with the DfE, the Hub will encourage schools to engage and ultimately realise a number of benefits, including advice and guidance on complex procurement (complex and time-consuming purchases only made once in a while); aggregated procurement (coordinating schools to buy as a group); and receive consultation services on other areas of buying.

The initial phase of the contract (Pilot) will engage 900 schools in the first 15 months and is targeted to deliver £3.2 million in savings. If the pilot is successful, then the contract could eventually include over 3,000 schools in the North West region and ultimately benefit approximately 1.1 million pupils.

The contract will mean significant growth for 2buy2 and the creation of a number of jobs. The company will employ up to 4 new staff based in the North West of England to help deliver the scheme and a further 14 in its headquarters in Bridgend, South Wales, where it will also increase its office space by 40 per cent.

While 2buy2 is a private sector, commercial company, it has a philosophy of making sustainable but never excessive profits. It also gives 10 per cent of its net profits to charities chosen by its staff every year.

Rob Kissick, founder and CEO of 2buy2, said:

“We are delighted to be participating in a scheme that could make such a big difference to the education system in the UK, freeing up money to plough into other educational resources. It is our aim in everything we do to secure our clients better value for money and make the purchasing process easier and more efficient for them.

“This scheme should encourage more joined up thinking in schools. Their budgets are tight but this initiative, which will change the ethos of the way they engage with suppliers, should free up funds for use elsewhere.

“We also structured the bid in a way that ensures we deliver maximum value for the schools involved and the profits we make are transparent and sustainable. Especially during the pilot phase, it was important to us to deliver this service in a way which meant the concept could be proven to work and the savings generated passed directly to schools.”

Jennifer Williams, Commercial Director of DfE, commented:

“Launching the Schools Buying Hub pilots signifies a major step forward in our aim to help schools to buy better value goods and services.

“A key part of the Schools’ Buying Strategy, published in January 2017, was to provide school buyers practical help with buying decisions and contract management – often a very complex and challenging task.

“Piloting the Hubs will allow the department to test this approach to supporting schools and identify how we can best help schools to deliver best value from their resources, allowing every school to invest in high quality education for their pupils.”

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