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Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils: GO Awards Scotland finalist

Wednesday October 17th, 2012

Government Opportunities talks to Craig Innes, Head of Procurement at Aberdeen City and Aberdeen Councils, a finalist at this year’s GO Awards Scotland 2012/13…

Why did you decide to put yourselves forward for the GO Awards Scotland this year?

Submitting awards incurs valuable resource time so you should really only enter if you feel you have a good story to tell which will provide for a realistic chance of recognition.  From a personal perspective we should also only be concerned with entering awards where there is a genuine level of competition from those who are recognised as being at the forefront of most initiatives, and best practice. GO Awards Scotland is recognised as being the main event in Scotland for all public procurement practitioners and as such it makes it very appealing.

What do you think sets you apart from the other nominees in your category/categories?

I feel we have provided excellent examples in our submission which demonstrate the leadership from the top of two distinct organisations. We are a unique shared service, which is shared in every meaning of the word, and have shown significant tangible results that have been achieved along a road of measurable continuous improvement. Our entry evidences clear engagement with stakeholders at all levels, both internal and external, to the organisation, crossing often challenging cultural and operational barriers. The entry shows how we have been extremely innovative in the way we have engaged our customers to embrace change management to deliver business transformation. In turn the team has grown into a core and enabling strategic function.

What would be the biggest benefit to your organisation from winning a GO Award?

The capability of the Procurement Team will be recognised at a national level which we would promote and celebrate. Being recognised through such an award is a huge motivator to staff. It grows confidence and acts as a great platform for the team when engaging with customers. This engagement will accelerate and open doors to new areas of the organisations, that we genuinely feel can benefit from the value a strong procurement team brings to the table.

What would you say has been your biggest challenge in the past year and how have you overcome it?

There are many, which to be honest, is healthy as it helps to stop complacency and stimulates team energy. Being accepted to participate in other services’ management teams as a regular fixture was difficult but we have presented them with spend data, analysis and general management information in formats that they have never seen before. As such they have now got a clear overview of their spend and contractual commitments which helps them significantly with work-planning, budget monitoring and general compliance to council financial protocols.

What’s next for your organisation?

Delivery of our three-year strategy is obviously key with the main themes of improving contract management and supplier relationship management at the fore. The strategy is aligned to the council’s business plans and the service plans of the customers we provide support to and it’s vital we report progress regularly to the highest levels. We have ambitions to be best in class. We’ve started to progress further engagement with the Oil & Gas sector, initially through CIPS, on benchmarking and we’re in discussion regarding shadow working and knowledge transfer whilst also looking at a joint training programme specifically on construction and commercial disciplines across the sectors.

Aberdeen City and Aberdeen Councils are a finalist at this year’s GO Awards Scotland, which takes place on Tuesday 23 October at Marriott Hotel, Glasgow.

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