Colleges in Wales are pioneering an initiative that is reaping rewards, not only for the colleges but also for local businesses.
The Welsh Further Education Purchasing Consortium (WFEPC) has joined with the Welsh Colleges” forum (fforwm) to provide better services and prices for college supply contracts throughout Wales. The alliance will hopefully also give smaller local firms an advantage in winning some of the larger procurement contracts, with the guidance being offered by the consortium.
Mike Evans the Chairman of WFEPC reacted to the plan, saying: “Together, FE colleges across Wales spend millions of pounds every year on supplies. The WFEPC is helping the colleges to cut costs and increase efficiency by getting the best value deals for their purchases. We have already saved colleges £2 million over the last four years. We are now looking to expand the range and nature of contracts in order to make further savings across the sector.”
Mike Evans went on to explain, “The consortium wants to ensure that local Small and Medium – sized Employers (SMEs) are not disadvantaged through not knowing how to respond to an EU tender that the WFEPC may be advertising, so we”ve produced a Guide for potential suppliers to help them through the process. In addition, where best value can be shown, the WFEPC may be prepared to divide a national contract, making it more manageable for smaller companies. And where a supplier’s tender is unsuccessful, the WFEPC always offers feedback to those companies, which can improve their prospects of putting forward successful tenders in future.”
John Graystone, Chief Executive of fforwm commented, “I am delighted that the Welsh Further Education Purchasing Consortium has become part of fforwm. The Consortium is going from strength to strength, helping colleges become more efficient and providing opportunities for Welsh businesses to compete with the largest companies.”
He continued, saying: “Through the work of the Consortium, the FE sector is playing its part in taking forward the Welsh Assembly Government’s ambitious agenda to increase the efficiency of the public service in Wales.”
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