Procurement officer looking at a laptop screen

Public sector tail spend to be transformed by ‘first of its kind’ CCS solution

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has launched a ‘first of its kind’ digital solution to help manage and aggregate tail spend, ensuring public sector users can get the best deals on the procurement of millions of low value products.

‘Tail spend’ refers to low-value, ad hoc purchases made an organisation, often made from lots of different suppliers.

It’s estimated that public sector tail spend on goods is currently in excess of £1bn per year.

The CCS Tail Spend Solution will help the public and third sector to manage and aggregate this spending – and represents the first time a centralised tail spend solution has been made available to the whole UK public and third sectors.

On January 26, 2022, the CCS’s Tail Spend Solution framework opened on the Mercateo Unite and OT Group online platforms.

This follows an extensive period of engagement with customers and suppliers and will open up public sector procurement to a large supply chain of small and medium-sized suppliers, offering millions of products at market-leading prices.

Simon Tse, Chief Executive Officer of CCS, said: “Tail Spend Solution is the first of its kind, a new agreement that supports the public sector to take control of its ad hoc purchases, aggregating the spending power of the UK public sector as we build back better.

“There is wide agreement across the public sector that tail spend is an under-managed and often overlooked area of spend that is increasingly important for organisations to deal with.

“Use of self-serve, modern technology and aggregation to create efficiencies and empower staff outside of commercial functions is critical for buyers who wish to improve their delivery of commercial benefits beyond just focusing on the largest contracts.”

The new Tail Spend Solution framework will be able to be used by schools, charities, the NHS and other public sector and third sector organisations – supporting the procurement of a vast array of goods including IT peripherals, office and janitorial supplies, educational resources, musical instruments, camera equipment and other non-safety critical products through the online platforms.

Using the new digital solution will also allow public sector organisations to have better visibility and control over their tail spend, with it having often previously been an invisible cost until the purchases appeared on the organisation’s end of year accounts.

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