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The article below was written by David Foad, Editor of Cost Sector Magazine, and published in the April issue. You can read the full article here.

Rather than rolling-up a number of clients and using their combined spending to leverage economies of scale from suppliers, Pelican Procurement Services takes a different approach

Ian Holliday, its business development director, stresses instead a “bespoke” service for each client and the use of cloud-based management systems.

“We see ourselves as an extension of our client’s existing team, providing clients with daily operational support and assistance, ensuring they receive the agreed prices, quality and service levels from suppliers for the whole duration of the contract,” he says.

This can cut purchasing costs for clients as well as offering them total control over spend, increasing operational efficiencies and improving supplier performance, he adds.

“We deliver clients the best market price for every item they actually buy.

“We work with the local, regional and national suppliers that best meet the needs of our clients and offer professional tendering.

“They get post-tender control and management of prices, product quality, and supplier service for the whole duration of the contract.

“And our team of CIPS-qualified procurement managers police contract compliance and budget control.”

This brings a lot more than cost benefits, with clients able to access support for menu development, nutrition and dietetic advice, and full compliance with allergen legislation.

There is support, too, should the client want accreditation for the Soil Association’s Food for Life Served Here, for example.

Holliday says that continuing price management is part of Pelican’s post-tender management: “We will continually review products purchased to identify and recommend alternatives that offer better value. This is particularly important during price review periods when prices fall and new products enter the market.”

At the end of price-hold periods, Pelican measures any price movements proposed by suppliers to ensure that they are fully justified.

In addition, he says the company’s in-house procurement system, Pi, is provided as part of its service offer, while other procurement or purchasing organisations often use third-party systems that can cost the user “tens of thousands of pounds a year”.

Pi offers e-invoicing and e-billing, invoice reconciliation online, automated price checking, contract spend compliance monitoring, detailed purchasing reports, online ordering through one web portal to all suppliers, plus stock, menu and cost management all done online. 

Pelican operates across the public and private catering sectors in schools, universities, leisure and hospitality, care homes and hospitals.

“We support large and multi-site organisations who run their own catering operation,” says Holliday.

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