Case Studies

Please Contact Us for more information on any of the case studies detailed below.

Commercial Contracting Challenge for South Kesteven District Council

In 2018, SKDC began an ambitious programme of transformation and modernisation.  The challenge being to achieve a step change in improved contract management and procurement practice and to critically evaluate current contract management arrangements and processes. 

To underpin this, the Council undertook the Commercial Contracting Challenge devised by East of England LGA (EELGA) and SPS.  Read more from SKDC here.

Driving up C&RM Standards at Brentwood

Brentwood Borough Council undertake the Commercial Contracting Challenge, sponsored by Phil Ruck, Brentwood CEO: "Market shaping, procurement and contract management need to be viewed as an integrated and important activity, and everyone involved needs to have the appropriate tools and skills to undertake it effectively. People don’t identify with, let alone own, the problems by following the usual audit-style path."

Read more about the process and outcomes here.

Pan Essex Compliance and Counter Fraud Scheme

A Collaborative Commissioning Project supported by EELGA and Ken Cole. 
The Audit Commission estimated in a study published in 2013 that between 3% and 11% of any discounts, reductions and exemptions claimed against Council Tax are either incorrect or fraudulently claimed. There are also other taxes and benefits that are fraudulently claimed, contributing to a significant loss to the public purse. In 2014, 15 Essex based local authorities agreed to tackle this problem collectively. They wanted a simple, easily implemented, user-friendly system which allowed them to search information in order to identify anomalies, such as redundant discounts or multiple benefit claims. The system had to be low cost providing a clear return on investment to all the participating authorities. Read more here.

Aster Group - making procurement information valuable

As with many organisations, the Aster Group are looking for more ways to achieve better value for less cost from their commissioning and procurement activity. Fundamental to this is having the ability to turn expenditure data into valuable information that can be used for planning, control and savings purposes. But is it possible to do this quickly and without buying any third party software? Read here how Aster found the solution.

Helping Thurrock Council commission a new Housing Management System

ICT contracts are often perceived as problematic and many organisations think they are different from any other category. They are not, they simply require good planning, a clear understanding of what is required and a good team effort built around strong people relationships and communication. Thurrock Council recently went to market for a new housing management system to be provided as a managed service and put the team approach to the test. Read more here.

Contributing to Greater Profitability to Fund More New Homes at Aster Group

The Aster Group is one of the biggest social enterprise organisations of its kind currently covering the south and south west of England providing high-quality affordable homes to rent or buy, together with care, health and education services.  Aster commissioned SPS to underake a review of procurement across its five main companies.  The objectives of the review were to  establish the scale of any opportunity and determine what organisational and cultural changes were required to exploit it.  The immediate challenges were to get engagement from Group Company representatives and help people develop a clear understanding of why commissioning and procurement is important and how it fits together.  Read more here.

Managing the Changes to Deliver Effective Procurement at North Hertfordshire

North Herfordshire District Council wanted to establish whether their current procurement arrangements were meeting their needs and whether opportunities to save money and improve contractor performance were being taken given the Council's decentralised, commissioning-led approach to contracting.

SPS were delighted to help out through EELGA's talent bank programme.  Read more about about the study and findings.

Commissioning and Procurement Transformation at Thurrock Council

How SPS helped EELGA deliver procurement transformation at Thurrock Council with some significant constraints - the programme had to be delivered in twelve months, for a budget of no more than £120k and was required to embed a lasting legacy so that the Council could operate independently from third party consultants.  Read this success story here.

Keelvar - Supporting Keelvar in the UK

Keelvar's innovative e-auction solution caught our interest.  This case study shows how we helped Irish solution provider Keelvar enter the UK local government market.

Dacorum and Three Rivers Councils

Dacorum Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council are adjoining Hertfordshire councils. As with all other English local authorities, they face challenging financial times. Along with Watford Borough Council, they have been looking to share services and rationalise the way they are delivered. SPS was invited to review their procurement and commissioning activity and investigate the case for shared category management teams. Read more here.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service

Essex Fire and Rescue Service commissioned a Procurement Challenge to ensure they were providing appropriate, cost effective and efficient service to the area they are responsible for. Read more here.

East of England Local Government Association (EELGA)

The EELGA (formerly Improvement East) is a voluntary association set up by the 52 local authorities in the East of England. Throughout 2012 they have run fully funded programmes offering opportunities for attendees to improve their skills and capability in key aspects of procurement and commissioning. The "Procurement Series" developed and delivered by SPS has been run in over 25 authorities in the region with incredible results. Read more here and also find out about the individual authorities taking this forward with SPS to the next stage - click here for details.

London Commercial Fleet Project

London Boroughs spend in excess of £100 million per annum acquiring and maintaining 6000 vehicles. The London Commercial Fleet Project is an ongoing major opportunity to deliver significant cashable savings and improve the way fleet is acquired. Read more here.

London Borough of Enfield

LB Enfield is a forward thinking north London local authority with a strong reputation for prudent financial management and delivery of top quality services to its citizens. SPS was instrumental in assisting them develop an ambitious three year programme of cashable savings. Read more here.

London's Online Expenditure Analysis

London local authorities need to be able to join together to exercise maximum leverage when engaging with large suppliers to enable them to drive out cost and encourage markets to innovate. Find out how the collaborative online expenditure analysis tool helped them to achieve this. Read more here.

London Postal Services - Shared Contract and e-Auction

Fourteen London Boroughs came together following an initiative driven by SPS and the Government Procurement Service and within six months generated combined cashable savings of £1.2M. Postal services is a category where smart demand management and aggregating volume produces significant discounts. Read more here.

Setting Up and Running the London Centre of Excellence

Setting up and running a new regional efficiency organisation from scratch and getting buy-in for it was a big challenge from the start. SPS beat off high profile consultancy companies to win the contact. The London Centre of Excellence, however, was very effective and contributed £millions of cashable savings across London local government. The LCE has now been replaced by the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership - Capital Ambition. Read more here.

ProClass and the Procurement Agency for Essex

Major procurement exercises should not be undertaken without access to good and reliable expenditure information for planning, comparability and analysis purposes. Expenditure analysis specialists SPS provided expenditure analysis services to the Procurement Agency for Essex (PAE) for the first four financial years of its existence, including undertaking the first ProClass mapping exercise using subjective codes in conjunction with suppliers. Read more here.

Stirling Council and the McClelland Review

In 2005, the Scottish Executive's Minister for Finance and Public Sector Reform asked John McClelland to undertake a detailed review of public sector procurement in Scotland. SPS worked with Corporate Procurement and the Management Team at Stirling to help them find further sources of cashable savings and help redirect expenditure into other more important areas through innovative procurement strategies and improved collaboration. Read more here.

The Pan London Contracts Register Service

The CRS (developed by NIP Ltd.) has now been successfully adopted across the London Boroughs following an earlier implementation by the Procurement Agency for Essex (PAE). It is now used by all of the London Boroughs and can be found at - a restricted version available to the general public con be found at Read more here.

Setting up the Procurement Agency for Essex

The Association of Essex Chief Executives was keen to develop a business case for collaborative working and capacity building and establish a shared organisation to lead it. SPS was selected to develop the case and encourage both local councils and other public sector bodies to take part in the resulting organisation. The Procurement Agency for Essex  started here in 2004 and became one of the earliest models for shared services in English local government and continues to flourish today. Read more here.

Procurement Healthcheck at Clackmannanshire Council

Clackmannanshire Council is the smallest unitary authority in Scotland. The Council has never had a corporate focus on Procurement, with decentralised purchasing activity being the responsibility of the individual service areas including education, social services and property services. SPS created the business case and established procurement as a serious mainstream business function. Read more here.


Airbus is the leading manufacturer of commercial and military aircraft. It employs modern IT systems in its operations, one of which covers General (Indirect) Procurement. This system covers engineering and contracting on aircraft services, large and sophisticated machinery as well as mainstream commodities like facilities management and indirect goods and services. The total annual spend on this is €6BN.

As leading experts in expenditure analysis and procurement classifications, SPS were asked to review the UNSPSC mapping used in core ERP systems and the in-house Harmonised Materials Group (HMG) codes used in SAP R/3. Read more here.

Transforming London Highways  Management (TLHM)

TLHM was keen to test the ability of e-Auctions to deliver cashable savings in the acquisition of lights, columns and electrical testing and inspection. Working with SPS and other partners they did just that and showed just how much can be saved from standardisation. Read more here.

Shropshire Council

As early as 2004 Shropshire Council wanted to be ahead of the game and identified procurement as a route to delivering cashable savings and improved service delivery outcomes. SPS were invited to advise them on what had to be done to achieve these savings and make improvements. Read more here.