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Five ways our Tail Spend Solution helps local authorities build social value and sustainability into their procurement

Products classified as ‘tail spend’ are often low volume and low value. Organisations usually purchase tail spend products to meet a specific, short term need and are unlikely to buy them again or in the near future. 

Local authorities make a diverse range of tail spend purchases each year as part of the services they provide. For example, they might be supporting a young person to set up home for the first time and may need to purchase an iron or a washing machine. 

Tail spend purchases are often not visible until they appear in an organisation’s end of year accounts. This is because staff members usually make these purchases outside of an organisation's more formal procurement practices as the purchases are too small, or too infrequent. This is one of the key factors which makes tail spend hard to manage and can cause significant budget pressures for local authorities if not controlled properly. 

How local authorities can make the most of our Tail Spend Solution

It’s estimated that public sector tail spend on goods and services is currently more than £1 billion per year. With financial resilience a priority for local authorities currently facing funding cuts from central government, our new ‘first of its kind’ Tail Spend Solution will allow them to bring this spend under control, by supporting them to spend less time and money on invoicing, increase visibility and control of 'hidden’ spend, and improve their spend data

This is the first time a centralised tail spend solution with a single route to market has been made available to the whole UK public and third sectors.

Social value and sustainability 

In addition to the commercial benefits, customers can also secure social value benefits through the framework. 

Each of our suppliers supports sustainability and carbon net zero (CNZ) initiatives, striving to work with customers aiming to comply with Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/21.

Here are 5 ways our Tail Spend Solution enables customers to build social value and sustainability into their procurement.

  1. Create a more efficient supply chain to reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint. 

The Tail Spend Solution allows customers to minimise their carbon footprint by creating a bespoke, environmentally friendly supply chain. Tail Spend Solution providers will work with customers to onboard, as part of their bespoke supply chain, only third party suppliers who support their customer’s carbon footprint priorities. This bespoke supply chain can, therefore, help Tail Spend Solution customers meet their own carbon net zero targets by providing a tailored set of third party suppliers. 

  1. Create search filters that give customers the option to search products based on their social value priorities.

Technology and online procurement can play a big part in selecting products to match sustainability and social value credentials. The Tail Spend Solution has built-in filters to enable customers to choose the criteria that are important to their organisation and align with their social value priorities. The advanced search filters available through the Tail Spend Solution allow customers to quickly identify product and vendor options related to social value and green credentials.

  1. Set user restrictions to encourage or compel purchasing from vendors with strong social value and CNZ credentials.

The Tail Spend Solution allows customers to curate a personalised marketplace. A customer can set up user restrictions via an administrative account or as part of the onboarding process with their chosen supplier, enabling purchases from vendors with strong social value and CNZ credentials. Customers can also choose to purchase solely from local vendors to reduce their organisation's carbon footprint and support local businesses.

  1. Bring existing suppliers onboard.

The Tail Spend Solution allows for the onboarding of existing suppliers, subject to conformance with Gov Buying Standards. For example, where a customer is already purchasing from a supplier with strong social value and CNZ credentials, they can work with them as part of their bespoke supply chain.

  1. Access self-serve reports to support social value agendas.

The Tail Spend Solution provides customers with access to key management information (MI) on their purchases. For example it enables customers to run self-serve reports to measure their performance in priority areas. This MI data can provide valuable insight when setting strategic direction around sustainable procurement practices within a business.

Learn more

To learn more about our Tail Spend Solution, you can contact us at [email protected] or engage with the suppliers directly. 


To learn more about how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint, visit our CNZ website.

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