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About Minerva

As procurement specialists in the schools sector Minerva offers a unique service to independent schools and academies.  We understand that schools have their own distinctive characteristics and challenges and use our knowledge to meet your specific needs.

Our audit process combines information on cost reduction opportunities together with advice on improving your school's purchasing practices.

With a ‘no savings, no fee’ guarantee Minerva can give you peace of mind that engaging us is financially risk free.

At Minerva we stand for the traditional values of openness, honesty and integrity.  Our aim is to provide you with a commercial solution whilst maintaining a personal relationship enhanced with a large dose of enthusiasm for what we do!

We really are passionate about helping you to save money and develop robust purchasing strategies for your school.

Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Our Main Contacts

Lorraine Ashover, Director

Lorraine Ashover is Managing Director of Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Limited.  Fulfilling a long-standing ambition to be her own boss Lorraine set up Minerva in 2010 in direct response to feedback from the school bursar community and helps schools reduce cost, streamline procurement practices and save time. 

The company looks after many independent and academy schools and manages significant spend on behalf of clients.  Prior to setting up Minerva, Lorraine worked for Barclays Commercial for 20 years, the last seven of which were as an Industry Specialist in the education sector.  When not working Lorraine runs after her daughter Maisie, escapes into a good crime novel and bemoans the demise of her beloved Nottingham Forest!

Kerry Harkins, Tender and Compliance Manager

Kerry joined Minerva in March 2017. Kerry has had an extensive career within the procurement and purchasing industry, both in the UK and Australia. She has worked in the private, and public sectors, and has procured services on behalf of the UK Nuclear Waste Executive, UK electricity generating industry, and the Victorian Government in Australia.

Upon returning to the UK, Kerry has most recently been working in a local primary school, and has first-hand experience in relation to the challenges experienced within the UK education sector. She is committed to helping schools achieve greater value for money within their procurement spend, and passionate about easing pressure on budget constraints.

At weekends, Kerry is either getting up in the wee hours of the morning to watch her cherished Australian Rules Football team (St. Kilda), or out exploring the many wonderful cities in the UK and Europe. 

Plum Garland, Executive Assistant

Plum joined Minerva in May 2015. Previously Plum worked at a London University and, prior to that, at a Local Authority. From her previous roles, Plum brings experience of supporting busy people with busy calendars, whilst trying to keep the office running smoothly.

When not at work, Plum can usually be found watching rugby, covered in paint and glue making something crafty, or clutching her Kindle.

Maisie Simper, Work Experience Girl

Maisie joined Minerva in 2016. Maisie has lots of knowledge and can work under pressure. She is ready to help in all situations. Whether the work is hard or easy she pushes though to find a solution. Maisie is there to help the business. She is part time and when she is off she reads, does Sudoku and word searches and also does arts and crafts.

Work for us!

Interested in what we do and want to join in?  Find out more about working at Minerva.

Awards

Below are just some of the awards we have won. Click here to view more


Stevie Award Winner 2012    Best of Best 2014.jpg      Awards2016FINALIST-01.jpg   

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  • I cant thank you enough for the the professionalism of Lorraine and Nathan. Given the extremely tight time schedule to complete the cleaning procurement, the whole process was handled brilliantly from start to finish. Thanks again.
    – Glynn Porter, Estates and Assets Manager, Swindon Academy
  • I am pleased to have the opportunity to provide a letter of recommendation for Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Ltd. We began our association with Lorraine Ashover, their Director, a little over 7 months ago and whilst our association has not been that long her company has always provided us with a high quality and first rate service at competitive rates.

    In particular Lorraine has enabled the College to make significant savings on our utility contracts, our reprographic function and most recently our franking machine contract. Her attention to detail when listening to our needs, identifying appropriate solutions and then presenting her findings has been exemplary. Her Procurement Audit Reports are comprehensive, free of industry jargon and identify the costs and savings involved with both current providers and proposed alternatives in a clear and unbiased fashion, leaving us free to make our own judgement on which proposal best suits our needs.

    Minerva’s ‘after-sales’ service has also been excellent. Lorraine runs her firm with integrity and skill and she herself is friendly, approachable and highly professional. She is readily available by both phone and email and her response to any concerns or queries has always been timely. For example, we experienced ongoing problems with the suppliers of one of our gas contracts, however having contacted Lorraine the whole matter was taken out of our hands and, most importantly, she worked with them on finding the best solution for us. Problem solving is an extremely time‑consuming and costly activity, and to be able to confidently pass this over to someone else in the sure knowledge that they are serving their customer’s best interest at no additional cost, has been a great bonus.

    The industry knowledge demonstrated by Lorraine and her team at Minerva has I am sure been the reason why they have been able to achieve such successful outcomes on our behalf, their business terms are straightforward and transparent, and I would recommend their services to you without reservation.
    – Robert Lougee, Bursar, Salesian College Farnborough Limited
  •  “I have referred a number of our independent school clients to Lorraine at Minerva. The schools have been delighted with the innovative approach Lorraine has taken to finding cost reduction solutions and some very significant savings have been made. Lorraine has great specialist skills in this sector and a very positive approach to helping clients – she is a joy to work with.”
    – Mike Farwell, Charities & Education Partner, James Cowper LLP, Accountants & Business Advisors
  • “…the procurement exercise has generated significant savings for the College.
    The College obviously has to ensure that all suppliers are covered to work with children and Minerva was able to ensure the suppliers have relevant cover. Minerva provided support throughout the process and was available for interviews and meetings to ensure the decision making process was made simpler.
    The work Minerva completed for the College enabled us to review all proposals in a very clear manner and was instrumental in making sensible decisions on the projects. I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of Minerva for future procurement in the College or for other businesses.”
    – Derek Fargher, Financial Controller, Bradfield College
  • “Lorraine works in a very efficient and professional manner, and she has secured considerable cost savings for my school. We particularly like the ‘unpushy’ approach. Having known her for several years I have no hesitation in recommending Lorraine and her service to any other school.“
    – Alastair Graham, Headmaster, Hall Grove School
  • I have worked with Minerva for a number of years because they provide procurement expertise and focus that enable our school to achieve higher quality results at a better price. The recent catering tender achieved an initial investment into the school of £50,000; a contract with Chartwell's that will achieve a profit share within one year; and a much better range and quality of food. Minerva manage the whole process to remove the pressure from the school; they ensure that the tender sticks to a tight timeline; and enable full compliance with procurement legislation. I would strongly recommend Minerva and we are already working together on our next tender.
    – Dave Cobb, Business & Development Manager, Saint Cecilia's Church of England School
  •  “Lorraine, thank you so much for the quick and efficient service you and Zenergi have provided to The Abbey School in regards to our gas and electricity contract renewals.  It has been a lot easier than it ever was with CMR.  In addition it’s very reassuring to know you will be monitoring our bills on an ongoing basis. We would be very happy to recommend your services to other schools.”
    – Tim Hartley, Finance Manager, The Abbey School
    Tim Hartley, Finance Manager, The Abbey School
  • Southcote Primary School have used Minerva Procurement for several years now. They have procured cleaning services, HR, telephony systems and photocopiers.

    On all occasions they have dealt with matters efficiently and professionally arranging presentations from prospective suppliers through to signing off the contracts and checking through the “small print”.

    They have followed up issues with preferred suppliers following acceptance of contracts and continue to do so on our behalf.

    I cannot recommend them enough.
    – Lesley Rooney, Bursar, Southcote Primary School
  • I would like to express our gratitude for all the work that your colleague, Lucy Smith, has done on the grounds maintenance tender at Chipping Norton School. She advised and guided us throughout the tender process, updating us when required, and ensuring that all steps were taken in a timely and efficient manner. She worked closely with our Site Manager, Steve Edwards, to produce a detailed specification of the work to ensure the tender documents covered all our operational needs a well as regulatory requirements. Lucy also arranged and conducted a site visit for a number of suppliers. The tendering process was well documented and the detailed report produced by Minerva should satisfy external auditors during the annual review of accounts and has enabled us to make an informed decision of the best company to meet our grounds maintenance needs.

    The savings by re-tendering the contract will more than offset the procurement fee paid to Minerva resulting in an overall projected savings of more than £750 over the three year period of the contract.

    We are very pleased with the experience we have had with Minerva in facilitating this important procurement process and for all the work done by Lucy to produce a successful outcome. I would happily recommend Lucy for similar procurement projects and look forward to working with her and the rest of the Minerva team in the future.

    Thank you again for providing a high standard of service.
    – Gary Kelly, Business Manger, Chipping Norton School
  • Above and beyond our expectations! When Oxfordshire academies’ business managers engaged Minerva to procure a new payroll provider, we did not expect that this would be the beginning of a strong on-going partnership. In fact the service from Minerva has been well above and beyond our expectations. It has undoubtedly been the best decision the group has made. Lorraine and her team are extremely responsive, months after the procurement element of a project has been concluded they are always happy to support us if an issue arises or to provide assistance or advice on a particular aspect of the contract or service provision. In an era of sales people who ‘over promise and under deliver’ it is refreshing to deal with an organisation with integrity and commitment that genuinely puts the customer first. I cannot recommend Minerva highly enough.
    – Alan Lane, Strategic Finance Consultant, John Mason Academy Trust

Call our friendly team today: 01256 688654
Not feeling chatty email us at - plum@minervapcs.com