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The East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit (EMSCU) was formed in July 2012 and brings together the commercial/procurement specialists from the forces of Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire. We support the police forces to procure goods and services to create efficiencies and generate savings.
Not only do we ensure that the Forces' requirements are procured in a compliant fashion, using robust yet efficient systems, but we also maximise value for money through collaboration, innovation and the management of supply markets.
Excellent customer service is central to EMSCU, and we have dedicated Business Partners embedded within our member Forces. These Business Partners work with their clients within the respective Force to identify upcoming requirements, which they then forward to our Procurement team.
Our Procurement team then identify the best means of engaging with the supply market, as well as any opportunities for collaborating with other Forces.
We develop strategic relationships with our clients' key suppliers in order to work together in partnership to identify cost savings and explore innovative supply solutions. This enables the Forces to manage and influence the market to achieve cost savings and support the Forces' objectives.
Once the procurement process is complete and the contract placed our Supplier Services team is available to support our clients should they experience any significant contract performance issues. It is also the aim of our Supplier Services team to help build our clients' commercial awareness and capacity for managing contracts.
EMSCU's Organisational Structure is based around three services - Customer, Procurement and Supplier services - with on-site representation of each of the services within each of its member Forces.
In undertaking procurement exercises and supplier relationship management on behalf of its member Forces, EMSCU is responsible for buying a wide range of goods and services – from IT software to construction works, and from Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to temporary agency staff.
In order to benefit from economies of scale, a quick route to market and risk mitigation through pre-agreed terms and conditions, EMSCU initially searches for an appropriate framework agreement or collaborative/corporate contract once it has worked up a client requirement. If an appropriate framework agreement/contract is not available then EMSCU will commence a tendering exercise.
EMSCU is currently working to align its member Forces’ Contract Procedure Rules. At present it is generally the case that, as a minimum, all contracts with a total value of £25k and above (i.e. the threshold at which its member Forces engage EMSCU to manage the procurement exercise) are advertised.
EMSCU has developed a number of procurement/commercial policies, procedures, guidance and templates that endeavour to balance the need for ensuring compliance and that value for money is realised, against the importance of keeping our processes as lean and efficient as possible.
Given that our clients are public sector organisations, our policies and procedures recognise the need to consider what wider social, economic and environmental benefits can be gained through the procurement process and ultimate contract. Our policies and procedures also take proportionate account of the risks that are particularly pertinent to police forces, such as information security and business continuity.
EMSCU’s SME Policy recognises the value of Small & Medium Enterprises and therefore the need to ensure that our procurement processes are as SME-friendly as possible.
If you are a public sector organisation interested in becoming a client of EMSCU or a potential supplier wishing to speak to EMSCU regarding upcoming contract opportunities please contact us at [email protected]