At Lifecycle, we’re incredibly proud of our work to help our NHS clients save money and manage their contracts more effectively. But we couldn’t do that without the support of our fantastic team.
To shine a light on some of their great work, we caught up with one of our Senior Procurement Managers to chat about their work on a complex waste management contract.
Tell me about the project. How did it all come about?
We were approached by an existing client who was part of a substantial clinical waste management consortium in the north of England. There were ten Trusts in total, covering over 200 different sites. They were concerned about the spiralling costs of their waste management services.
They also felt that they needed more control over the service and better visibility in terms of performance. This was particularly important as the consortium had a policy of zero waste to landfill and wanted to ensure this was being met.
There were many factors, but they wanted to go out to tender for the service, which is where we came in. This was my first time working on waste management as a category. It was a massive contract for me to take on, so it was very exciting and a bit daunting.
It sounds it! So what happened next?
The brief was to tender for both clinical and non-clinical waste services across their acute and community trusts. Given the scale of the consortium, it was a big tender to orchestrate in terms of collecting people’s requirements, pulling together the correct documents and coming up with the right questions to test the suppliers.
The consortium understood all the technical requirements and the legislation involved, but they were far less confident about the broader market and suppliers for such complex services. Given the scale and number of Trusts involved, we put out a prior information notice (PIN) to better understand the market and the solutions available for a service that went beyond your run-of-the-mill waste management contract.
What happened after you sent out the PIN?
Once we got the information back, we started splitting the tender into lots. But with a contract of this size, it was very complicated. We had to ensure that the questions and scoring were relevant for both the individual and combined lots. Not to mention that we were trying to write this tender on behalf of ten different Trusts. That’s a lot of people to get agreement from!
I think it was pretty unusual for us to take this approach. Most of these sorts of contracts are run through a simple framework. But given the size and complexity of the need, we had to go this different route.
Anyway, after the evaluation of bids, I wrote up individual proposals and board reports for each Trust to highlight the benefits on offer. These were really well received and an essential step in getting the project across the line.
Wow, that sounds like a lot of work, so what finally happened?
The consortium did award at the end of the process, which was fantastic. It went to two separate suppliers in the end.
That’s excellent news – were the Trusts pleased?
Absolutely, I think there was recognition of the fact that this was a very complex contract and that we had gone above and beyond to help ensure its success.
The new contract ensured three things. Firstly each Trust had far better visibility of supplier performance because of the stringent KPIs put in place. Secondly, those KPIs provided greater service quality and minimised the risk of service failure. And finally, the contract supported each individual Trust’s Green Plan and their commitment to net zero to landfill which was so important to them.
This also meant that Trusts realised lower costs based on their actual tonnages. Overall, it was a fantastic result for everyone.