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Cirrus Services

Click below to find out more about each of our range of services:

Our approach to effective delivery is practical and team-based. Having a team-based approach allows us to apply the flexible capacity necessary to ensure delivery of objectives, as well as ensuring continuity of support throughout the year. This approach represents good value for money as clients have access to a team of highly skilled and experienced procurement specialists able to deliver targets and outputs over and above the day to day advice and internal support expected of a purchasing manager role.

An important feature of the outsourced procurement service is that it is tailored to meet individual client needs. However, typical activities include:
  • Hands on management of EU compliant tenders
  • Supplier rationalisation
  • Assessment and improvement of procurement processes
  • Benchmarking prices
  • Achieving cost savings
  • Procurement training for internal staff
  • Review and/or introduction of policies and procedures
We deliver the service through a combination of scheduled onsite time to co-ordinate specific activities, telephone support, staff training and regular drop in surgery days.
  • Major Works & Decent Homes programmes
  • Responsive Repairs and Voids
  • Repairs Materials
  • Developers/Constructors Frameworks
  • Vehicle Fleet
  • Audit and other Consultancy Services
  • Mechanical & Electrical Services
  • Environmental Services & Grounds Maintenance
  • Agency Staff Services
  • Cleaning & Window Cleaning
  • Training
Support can be tailored to suit client requirements, ranging from light touch 'critical friend' guidance during the process to lead consultant role with full responsibility for design and delivery of tender packages, contract and tender documentation, project management, publication of EU contract notices, evaluation, award and bidder liaison.

We have managed all our tender projects fully electronically through online tools since 2008.
  • Benchmarking of current value for money against our extensive database of market rates and deals across the sector
  • Identifying opportunities for cost savings and other efficiencies
  • Options appraisals to inform strategic direction and choice of supply model e.g. stores and materials supply options appraisals
  • Structure and resource allocation for purchasing within the organisation
  • Regulatory compliance audits
  • Efficiency of purchasing processes and mechanisms
Benchmark exercises which target areas of significant expenditure are powerful tools to identify and drive cost savings. These can be individual targeted projects, or part of a larger strategic review such as a stores options appraisal.

We can undertake benchmarking analysis on your behalf to test the value for money you currently achieve with your purchasing terms, or to validate critical tender results to ensure future expenditure is optimised.

"Knowledge is power"
We can tailor the service to meet your individual needs. Working in consultation with your departmental budget holders, Cirrus can review either all, or individual departments within your organisation and together identify deliverable opportunities for cost reduction.

This approach does not simply reduce the price paid for the products and services your organisation purchases, but challenges the assumptions underpinning the requirement. This can result in cost avoidance, rather than cost reduction, which can yield an immediate and higher % saving for your organisation.
The award winning Cascade Review methodology (previously known as 2nd Generation Partnering) has been relaunched to meet the current challenges faced by the sector, and is characterised by:
  • Identified savings opportunities in the 1st and 2nd tier supply chain are used to drive contractor efficiency with benefits shared between the client organisation and the contractor
  • Drives extra value from existing contracts and partnering agreements while preserving contractor margins
  • Contributes directly to client efficiency targets with minimal disruption
  • Recognised by the Centre for Construction Innovation, Constructing Excellence, a winner of the North West Regional Construction Awards 2007 (see our Cirrus News for more details) and a finalist in the 2007 CIH UK Housing Awards, the Cascade methodology has been tried and tested with contracting organisations across the UK of all sizes and disciplines
To watch the Audit Commission best practice film about our Cascade Review projects in action in the Social Housing sector, please follow the link below:
Lack of time or resources to deliver a project have the same impact as lack of skills, the result is either delays in delivery or sub-optimal outcomes. Engaging additional external support when needed to give your existing team a lift and to deliver projects over and above existing workloads can be a valuable decision.

The Cirrus team do not just represent an additional pair of hands, they are specialists with extensive experience in the delivery of procurement projects from complex tenders through to implementation of managed stores solutions, purchase order processing systems and eProcurement systems.
The frameworks were each undertaken as EU compliant tender procedures, meeting the requirements of UK Public Contracts Regulations.

The resulting frameworks are available for use by all contracting authorities (as defined by Regulation 3 of the UK statutory instrument Public Contracts Regulations 2006/5), but particularly Registered Providers of Social Housing, local authorities, ALMOs (Arms Length Management Organisations) and NHS Trusts.

Every contracting authority that uses a Cirrus Consortium framework agreement qualifies for free membership to the consortium. This allows the member organisations to have an active input to the frameworks under the consortium, while retaining the ability to use framework suppliers, contractors and service providers autonomously.

Current consortium frameworks include:
  • Building materials, including general build, plumbing & heating, electrical components, kitchens and managed stores services
  • Agency labour and recruitment services, including technical role specialist agencies, master vendors and neutral vendors
For more information about each framework please visit our Frameworks page.
Recognised experts in EU Public Procurement legislation, we provide practical and realistic guidance on the regulations and legislation affecting procurement in the housing and public sector.

Bespoke training to address specific procurement learning requirements can be provided on request. For more details contact either Mike Barnett at Tel: 07572 108320 or Claire Paton at Tel: 07828 143935
In addition to strategic procurement advice to senior leadership, the Cirrus team can develop effective strategy and policy documentation to underpin your procurement direction. This can either be the alignment of your existing documentation with best practice, or, following consultation with the relevant personnel within your organisation, production of bespoke documentation that meets your corporate and VFM objectives.

We have detailed experience of producing procurement strategies and advised the previous Audit Commission Housing Inspectorate on how to assess strategies and procurement in general as part of the now-superceded KLOE inspection regime.
Counting amongst our clients consortium groups in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, we have supported consortia in the establishment of major frameworks, and the provision of training and advisory services. Cirrus have handled consortium tenders in excess of 300 million, covering a range of categories including legal services, building materials and development frameworks for both constructors and consultants.

To balance the diverse needs of your consortium members and optimise the benefits of collaborative working, please contact us.
Whether you engage with social enterprises or want to drive local labour opportunities, we can help you deliver tangible positive impacts for your communities that go beyond basic compliance with the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to achieve significant social benefits.

As part of this commitment we are proud to have been delivery partners for the Merseyside Single Procurement Vision, an EU funded initiative to raise the profile of social entrepreneurship amongst public sector buyers.
  • Business process and purchasing efficiency reviews
  • Cost reduction and efficiency projects
  • Hands-on project management and implementation support to deliver strategic level purchasing initiatives
  • Advice and support on locating, bidding for, and winning work

To view the best practice film by the Audit Commission about our Cascade Reviews please click below:

- Audit Commission Best Practice Film
To see some of the clients we have already worked with, please visit the Cirrus Clients page.

For more information on our range of services please contact us directly to discuss how we can help your organisation.

Whatever your procurement needs, we are here to help you meet them.