9 August 2023 | Innovation | Our Work

View from the top: The best thing since sliced bread?

This week, I joined the LCRIG led webinar “LCRIG IPS – Your Questions Answered.” as an attendee.

I have worked directly in council procuring frontline services at national level in organisations, delivering procurement guidance for councils and latterly the supply chain before joining LCRIG. I’ve seen procurement in the public sector from several different viewpoints! The webinar for me was a great opportunity to see just one of things we’re doing to help connect the supply chain and innovators to councils.

The webinar, which initially invited supply chain organisations, with a council focused webinar to take place in October, was an opportunity to showcase to suppliers and innovative organisations how they might get onto the LCRIG Innovation Procurement System (IPS).

I want to share several important points from the webinar:

  • The LCRIG IPS is the only national dynamic purchasing system for innovation for the highways sector.
  • The LCRIG IPS is the only national DPS for the sector delivered in partnership with LCRIG and Crown Commercial Services.
  • The LCRIG IPS, for me truly provides councils with a clear route to access disruptive and other industry innovation across all the nations!

Referencing back to the sectors I mentioned earlier, I’ve worked in government advisory, grounds maintenance contract management, streetscene management, waste tenders advisory, cultural services procurement (leisure in old money), policy (and procurement) and now the highways sector. I literally, as a local authority, would have been falling over myself to use a DfT supported, and CCS delivered route. Why? Because getting innovation into a public service can be tough, and sometimes lengthens (or stalls) the process, which creates frustrations for both the public and private sector. The net result of this, is that ultimately communities lose out if that innovation brought efficiency, cost reduction or a better service to the council.

Another important procurement distinction brought out in the webinar, was the difference of a dynamic purchasing system and a framework system. Sometimes not everyone understands how different these approaches are. A framework is for a limited period (1 to 4 years), whilst a DPS has no such limitation and new suppliers can join a DPS at any time during its lifetime. This also allows the market to adjust their process for each competition, in contrast to a framework, where supplier rates and pricing can be set within the agreement. The other point emphasised by Jason Sprague (who is leading our technical support) is that the IPS is for innovation and disruptive innovation, not for standard delivery items which can already be procured through other framework or contract procurement routes.

As with much in life, things start with a front door and if you are interested in the IPS supplier or council then please use the LCRIG front door.

Is the LCRIG IPS the best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not? But, what a gift for the highways sector when it comes to selling or buying innovation!

You can access the on-demand webinar here.