To reassure UK Universities Purchasing Consortia members, we have recently assessed our sector activities linked to contract management and found positive activities that provide assurance and consistency linked to our management of supply chains.

As members will know, Contract and Supplier Management is the process by which a contract or framework agreement can be managed to ensure effective supplier performance and contract compliance. All members of UKUPC aim to manage their portfolio of contracts in a simple and effective way on behalf of their members.

The Joint Contracting Group help to provide an operational overview of this activity by sharing contract usage data, KPIs (where utilised) and best practice to consortia members linked to key strategic contracts. Each consortia endeavour to prioritise their contract management portfolios based on levels of risk and value. This generally can be grouped into agreements that are Strategic, Managed or Routine.

The contracting authority will take the lead in managing their particular agreement on behalf of any party it represents, this is often carried out by the Contract lead who then works in partnership with key suppliers to carry out discussions linked to current live agreements

All Consortia carry out reviews with their contracted suppliers and cover such topics linked to market impacts, risk, commercial management and opportunities along with responsible procurement including aspects around their carbon footprint and modern slavery in their supply chain. Feedback and input into these reviews is encouraged and welcomed from member institutions, depending on the level of contract management required.

With impacts during 2020 linked to COVID19 and Brexit, it has proven even more essential that the HE sector join up to oversee contract management risks and help to support and react to market issues as they have appeared. There are many similarities between each consortium which will allow for additional synergies to be achieved wherever operationally possible.  This is continually reviewed as appropriate to ensure best practise is adopted.

Contact your consortium for details of their contract management process.