Procurement: The Battle between Private and Public Sector

Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 by Venn GroupNo comments

On the surface Procurement in simplest terms is buying, not only this, but it is ultimately trying to achieve the best value for money.


However, what has always been quite clear is the differentiation between the Public and Private sectors; Stakeholders, relationships, budgets, rules and regulations, which can all affect the outcome of negotiations and contract agreements.


Clearly there are a lot of different opinions, but as this article discusses, is there really any difference, and can the industry start to sweep opinions under the carpet to achieve the required results?


Public vs. Private

Public Procurement is known to follow by strict EU regulations and compliance and because of this is often contrived as ‘slow’. On the other hand, Private Procurement is often viewed as having a larger budget, more freedom to choose their suppliers and what is negotiated is more confidential. A more forward thinking and driven industry perhaps, which some say, competence and success are more recognised with having the opportunity to drive value for money.


However, achievements within Public sector procurement are often overlooked and there are many professionals who have transformed organisations and implemented changes to drive businesses forward. With the backing of Lord Carter, Procurement Champion, who claims, “Procurement can deliver £1billion of NHS savings a year” and by 2019-20 a very possible £5billion, it is quite evident then, Public procurement are not only proactive but are still passionate about not only improving our services but help reduce costs.


A change of view

But is Procurement in general missing out here? What about those who are able to come and go between both of sectors?

Due to these stereo-typical views and presumptions of how these sectors work, it could be argued the physical core of procurement is becoming less affective.

Procurement Professionals have remained within the NHS, for example, because of their relevant expertise and desirable knowledge, but this in affect has caused a lack of change and therefore no new procurement strategies. Has everything become recycled?

What if organisations started to look at Professionals with a more open and commercialised background? Surely a different outlook and implementations, a change, would work well. Not to mention opening doors for job seekers and clients alike.


Is there any difference?

It is quite evident; therefore, there are many different opinions in regards to what makes Public and Private sector Procurement. But should these presumptions affect procurement standards?  Are there more doors that need to be left open? I shall leave for the readers to discuss….


Elizabeth Dawson, Venn Group          

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