Please note that this position is offered as a fixed term contract for a period of 18 months.
The advertised role will have a focus on delivering procurement activity within the corporate sector of the procurement team and will cover professional services, libraries, IT, and non-core indirect.
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a very successful track record of delivering transformational change. ECC anticipated change was needed in the public sector and has worked to deliver better quality at lower cost. We have an ambitious transformation agenda – one with the scope to reach every part of the council. We are changing the way we think, the way we work, and the ways in which we deliver our services. We are committed to becoming a place where individuals, partners and communities feel proud to play their role and genuinely want to belong. We’re immensely proud of our flexible working options.
The role of Procurement is to work with stakeholders across ECC to understand requirements for goods and services, make an assessment of the market and determine the appropriate strategy for each spend area. The team also actively manage strategic suppliers and their contracts.
The Category and Contract Manager will manage the delivery of sourcing processes in a compliant and timely manner. They will be directly accountable for the effective management of contracts assigned to them, ensuring that service level agreements and key performance indicators are monitored and that any improvements required are well planned and executed. The role will negotiate all commercial or contractual terms to achieve positive outcomes as well as ensuring that contracts keep pace with ECC’s changing requirements.
Effective leadership of multidisciplinary teams will be needed along with supporting the development of colleagues both within procurement and across the Authority.
* Lead the development, maintenance and implementation of category strategies, ensuring alignment to commissioning objectives
* Develop and implement innovative approaches and solutions in the delivery of complex projects to enhance levels of service and minimise costs. This requires working collaboratively with colleagues across the organisation and externally, to ensure best practice can be achieved when implementing new ways of working.
* Collaborate with and exert influence on Directors, Senior Managers and Members as to the commercial and financial viability of differing commercial options for specific projects within complex and often, contentious environments.
* Manage suppliers to ensure they consistently achieve the performance standards set out in contracts and that adequate controls are in place to protect the Authority’s interests. Take a proactive approach to identifying and investigating contractual, commercial and market risks to ensure continuity of supply and protect the Authority’s interests.
* Operate a continuous improvement approach to identify and deliver on-going changes whilst also leading the negotiation of commercial and contractual changes to ensure they consistently meet business requirements.
* Lead major projects and tenders, ensuring all sourcing activity fully complies with appropriate legislation and regulation whilst also complying with ECC policies.
* Work collaboratively with incumbent suppliers and potential new entrants to identify gaps in market provision and explore opportunities to close those gaps.
* Provide support and advice to stakeholders regarding any contractual or procurement matters.
* Support the adoption of best practice approaches with the aim of ensuring that the Procurement function is seen as ‘best in class’. Ensure policies, procedures, documents and workflows are kept up-to-date and remain best in class.
Skills, Knowledge and Experience
* Educated to degree level with a relevant professional qualification such as MCIPS and or equivalent demonstrable work experience with evidence of continuing professional development.
* Knowledge of category management and experience of using this methodology in complex commercial environments to deliver significant cost or service improvements.
* A demonstrable track record of managing multi-million pound strategic contracts in business critical environments. This should include evidence of defining, measuring and improving key elements of supplier performance.
* Experience of delivering continuous improvements in large, strategic arrangements with evidence of generating significant cost and service benefits.
* Knowledge of contract law and legislation relevant to the specific category / categories within their control and its impact on market management, finance and contractual arrangements.
* Extensive knowledge of public sector procurement law with an ability to explain the law to non-procurement staff and find pragmatic solutions to potential legal difficulties.
* Comprehensive negotiating skills appropriate to multi million pound contracts and experience of planning and delivering successful negotiations.
* Experience of working in a political environment and skilled in understanding and responding to different perspectives.