Office Supplies Case Study - South of England Procurement Services


A case study on implementation of a Fully Managed Service of Office Supplies for South of England Procurement Services (SoEPS).


Primary Contract Requirements

SoEPS were looking for the contractors currently supplying various products and services to expand their scope of existing contracts and look at ways of improving various streams of process to take out waste, avoid stockpiling of product, improve on the delivery and distribution services and ultimately save money and time.

Additional Contract Requirements

SoEPS awarded Clares a 5 year contract to provide a Fully Managed Service to consolidate Office Products spend over many different product areas with a minimum contract value of over £1.3 million.

Due to the nature of NHS business, their 300+ sites are often in extreme, remote or highly secure locations.

Requirements Breakdown

  • Fixed annual pricing

  • A cost-down strategy for the life of the contract

  • Over 60 different billing requirements

  • Credit account or purchase card payment

  • Core goods delivered next business day

  • Deliveries no later than 3pm daily

  • Electronic proof of delivery

  • All back-orders noti ed before 10am next business day

  • All quotation requests responded to within 3 hours

  • Customer order number visible on every package

  • Online ordering system with consolidated back up files with detail enabling recharging to budgets

  • Auto toner ordering

  • Service billing to allow for VAT Reclaim on contracted out service elements

Current Contract Value


36% Savings Delivered



About SoEPS

South of England Procurement Services (SoEPS) aims to deliver best value procurement in support of innovative, high quality services and to be a centre of excellence for all of your purchasing needs. SoEPS will provide and promote a proactive procurement service in-line with the procurement strategy to all the organisations we serve today and in the future, delivered through the professionalism and skills of our staff.

South of England Procurement Services (SoEPS) was formed in 2006 as “Solent Supplies Team”. We provide a full range of services, including; A to Z Strategic and Category Sourcing, Data Management and Consultancy services, Commissioned Healthcare, Operational Procurement, Supply Chain Management, and Advanced Inventory Management.



Dedicated Personnel

There are a number of staff servicing this contract including but not limited to:

  • Dedicated drivers for NHS deliveries

  • Specialist Consultancy under agreed category areas support for 1 day per week based at the Trust site

  • Procurement negotiator and buyer dedicated to the contract ensuring all service contracts deliverables are being met

  • Dedicated store area within contractors premises and top up service

  • Dedicated customer service personnel in line with the level of spend for each trust utilising the contract

Clares Staff Skills

Clares staff supporting this contract have the following skills/knowledge:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the NHS Strategy for delivery of savings

  • Strong experience in purchasing and procurement services

  • CIPS quali ed where appropriate

  • Prince 2 trained where appropriate

  • DBS (CRB) checked where applicable

Stationery and Toner Costs

The table below shows guaranteed discounts generated from current spend data. Spend data is calculated using the following formula:

‘customer current price X annual usage’

All prices & discounts will be subject to a diligence audit, agreed standardisation & basket of goods. Fixed fee option will include an element of VAT Reclaim. All spend figures are exclusive of VAT.


Bespoke Contracts

Each Trust holds it’s own unique contract tailored to suit each trusts individual requirements:

NHS Portsmouth CCG
Sussex Community NHS Trust
Royal Devon and Exeter NHSFT
Buckingham Healthcare NHS Trust
NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG
NHS Horsham & Mid-Sussex CCG
NHS Commissioning Support South
NHS Surrey & Sussex CSU
NHS North Hampshire CCG
NHS Isle of Wight CCG
NHS South Eastern Hampshire CCG
Southampton City CCG
NHS West Hampshire CCG
Solent NHS Trust

North East Hants & Fareham CCG
NHS Property Services Ltd
West Middlesex University Hospitals NHS Trust
University Hospitals Southampton
Portsmouth Hospitals Trust
Oxfordshire Learning Disability NHS Trust
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Southport & Ormskirk Hospital
Southern Health NHSFT
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
Health Education England
NHS Trust Development Authority
Portsmouth Hospitals Trust


Historically the Trusts had numerous stationery providers that had no more than 60% compliance, with a further 30 suppliers delivering the rest. Clares account managers worked with each business unit to identify & provide a solution to consolidate this spend with Clares. Not only has this simpli ed each Trusts business but has increased core list savings. Leakage is now less than 2%.

Standardisation of Office Products

At point of tender the core list extended to over 2,500 product lines, which meant there was too much choice in certain product areas. Clares were also able to make the customer significant savings, this meant the core list now represented a lower percentage of spend (32%).

At the first 3 month review meeting Clares suggested 423 contract deletions and 167 additions. This change was agreed and implemented, increasing contract spend to 82%. The changes also made product selection easer for end users.

Clares Performance and Achievements

Clares have provided a dedicated internal & external account management team to not only ensure all SLA’s are upheld but to continually save the NHS money & simplify their business;

  • All SLA’s are being exceeded, proving Clares are a first class national provider

  • Annual saving is reported at £1,136,91

  • Contract purchases are at 82% of spend, benefiting from contract pricing

  • Online ordering represents 94% of spend,

    reducing manual purchase orders

  • 99.1% of all orders are delivered next day

Clares Business Solutions are very aware of the NHS challenges and offer solutions that are aligned to national initiatives and direction. I have worked with them on a number of projects, over the last 5 years and they continue to be a valued supplier to the NHS South of England Procurement Services. They have delivered significant savings working with my teams on process efficiencies and innovation.

Alan Hoskins, Director of Procurement and Commercial Services

Clares were awarded to supply a standard range regionally because:

  • 94% of orders were processed online - no new system to learn, simple procurement

  • Proven track record to consolidate spend – our management information helps to control spend

  • Next day delivery to either desktop or receipt and distribution areas within hospitals


Deliverables for Managed Service Free of Charge Consultancy

These deliverables have a clear program of works attached to them which will be agreed in line with priorities set by the Trust for making savings and reaching efficiency targets. This program is currently in progress,

  • To provide the Authority with a strategy for making the category area a zero waste category for the Authority

  • To provide the Authority with speci c advice around standardisation of products to reach savings targets

  • To identify and work with the Authority on those projects identified in a comprehensive manor and to ensure road maps and project plans are updated in accordance with the Prince 2 methodology

Auto Toner Ordering

Auto Toner Ordering Dispatch Process On-going analysis takes place to determine whether the new toner call level is set correctly. Sometimes 10% remaining could mean another few months of use depending on the volumes of the device so these levels are tweaked to ensure a Just In Time Supplies delivery.


More reading…

LiveGary Stevens