Industry Sector Manager Damian Wynne shares how RS expertise supports MRO in a range of public sector services

Industry Sector Manager Damian Wynne leads a dedicated team of public sector specialists supporting organisations on their Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) journey. He believes, however, that there are many more opportunities for RS to assist the nation’s education, emergency, government, health and research services with indirect procurement – reducing both costs and carbon emissions in the process. He shares his insights below.

Reducing total cost of ownership
We organise the public sector into three sub-sectors. First there’s education, which is predominantly higher education and universities. Second is the NHS. Third is blue light services and government research facilities.

The breadth of the sector means that there are inevitably differences between different aspects of it. Some services, for example, still tend to look only at the purchase price of a product rather than the total cost of ownership (TCO), whereas others are concerned with TCO.

eProcurement solutions such as RS PurchasingManager® and the RS PunchOut tool are widely adopted within universities because they understand the importance of TCO. They understand the amount of effort that goes into raising orders and that eProcurement takes so many steps out of that process – and that’s where the true savings lie.

Ensuring compliance
That said, indirect procurement within the public sector does share some characteristics besides those you’d find in most industries.

It’s a great area to work in, but you do need to get your head around how it operates. It’s all regulated spend and you’ve really got to understand that as well as all the frameworks and how they work.

Once you’ve got to grips with those, the big focus is compliance. All spend must be compliant, which is an added pressure. Governance and compliance are definitely two driving factors in the sector.

Action on environmental and social issues
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) is also very high on the agenda in the public sector. It has been for a number of years but is now becoming even more prevalent.

"We’ve already done some great work in this respect, including our eco totes system"Damian Wynne, Industry Sector Manager, RS

ESG is high on the agenda at RS too, and we’re moving towards being carbon zero as part of our ESG plan for 2030. We’ve already done some great work in this respect, including our eco totes system. RS Local branches consolidate orders for an institution and put them in what we call a tote box, meaning no packaging waste for the customer. We deliver the products and take back the boxes.

As well as reducing the impact of packaging, multiple orders can be consolidated into one, rather than several deliveries. We know that this is important to customers: in the 2021 Indirect Procurement Report produced by RS and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), 45% of survey respondents stated that their organisation a strategy in place to consolidate orders and thus reduce carbon emissions from transport.

"What value are you giving back to the community"Damian Wynne, Industry Sector Manager, RS

We are also seeing a growing emphasis on social value within the sector. Say you’re bidding for an NHS Trust contract in Manchester, the social value element is what you are doing in Manchester. What value are you giving back to the community?

If another contract comes up in the same area, you can’t count it again. Each contract requires its own social value commitment. We’re building up our social value case studies as it has a minimum weighting of 10% at the moment but that’s increasing. It’ll be a big factor in future contracts and frameworks.

Delivering products and more
We help public sector organisations to overcome challenges in other ways too. What we’ve always done is buy products, stock them, sell them and deliver them – and we’re good at that. That’s our strength and that’s what the customer wants. They want to be able to go on the RS website, see plenty of stock and know they’re going to get it the next day because our service levels are world class.

"We’re able to offer a suite of value-added solutions that we can tailor to support customers on their journey"Damian Wynne, Industry Sector Manager, RS

I’m also a massive advocate of RS Pro. These are quality products, are comparable to the leading brand and offer cost savings, so it’s a true win-win for the customer. On top of this, we’re able to offer a suite of value-added solutions that we can tailor to support customers on their journey.

We’ve always been strong on eProcurement but also we have Inventory solutions such as the industrial vending RS VendStock® service and the vendor managed inventory RS ScanStock® service. The latter is gaining traction in universities and there are opportunities in hospitals – we’re having those conversations with estates departments as well as government and blue light services. There’s the maintenance solutions side of the business too. We offer a breadth of services including lubrication management, energy loss surveys and condition monitoring alongside related products such as vibration monitors and energy meters.

A partner you can trust
RS knowledge and expertise in the public sector offers a huge amount to customers in these industries:

• We have a team that really does understand the sector and their agenda.
• We can offer a high choice of product with our high service levels.
• We understand total cost of ownership and have solutions that will support you to operate for less.
• We have value-added solutions in areas that are very relevant to the public sector.
• We have maintenance solutions that can help in many public sector institutions.

As a result, we’re well placed to be that core supplier in terms of product and we have a range of services that are relevant for the sector as well. We can support public sector organisations of all kinds with both products and service solutions.

Find out the latest insight on supplies for MRO in the RS & CIPS 2021 Indirect Procurement Report here.