STAR Procurement benefits from LGA Shared Service Expert Programme

Over the past few months, STAR Procurement has benefited from the support of the Local Government Association’s Shared Service Expert Programme.  We needed expert help to explore the art of the possible as STAR grows as a shared procurement service and review ways in which we could structure ourselves to meet future demands and challenges, whilst continuing to deliver high quality services to our Councils and partner organisations

The Challenge

A forth Council (Tameside) jointed STAR in 2018, combined with a growth in collaboration across our partners and the wider Greater Manchester public sector.  We needed to ensure that this growth was both managed and sustainable

The solution

Through the LGA Shared Service Expert Programme, STAR Procurement accessed support from an expert who worked with its senior management team to

  1. Advise on structure and capacity building
  2. Offer guidance for the successful on-boarding of Tameside Council
  3. Look at growth options and risks for the future
  4. Provide options for consideration regarding operating models for a shared service
  5. Review options for further new partners and existing clients
  6. Demonstrate financial models for longer term sustainability

The impact

During this time and with the support of the shared service expert programme, STAR was able to

  1. Successfully welcome Tameside Council into its shared service, taking the number of GM councils to four out of ten
  2. Widen support across the STAR Councils to include Clinical Commissioning Groups
  3. Temporarily restructure and bring additional procurement resources into the service
  4. Develop a sustainable growth strategy
  5. Undertake a full financial appraisal of its operating budget
  6. Continue to deliver a return on investment for the STAR Councils, taking the total savings to date to a massive £22.5m over the first five years of its operation

How is the new approach being sustained?

STAR is now operating under an interim management and delivery structure, affording time for a fuller review of operations which will culminate in a finalised structure in 2020.  We have a better understanding of our finance and will be able to determine a more sustainable budget to accompany the new structure in 2020.  We have clear foundations for growth and strategic decision making.  Most important of all, we are better placed to deliver an excellent strategic procurement service to our Councils and partner organisations.

 Lessons learned

  1. Shared services have unique complexities, not widely understood in a public service setting
  2. It is important to strategically invest resources in order to facilitate sustainable growth
  3. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ governance approach and operating model

You can read the full case study on the Local Government Association website.

For further information, please contact

Lorraine Cox
Director of Procurement

(t) 07817 882169

Posted on Tuesday 5th March 2019