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Minerva services

The two things a bursar or school business manager is always short of are time and money!  Our service is designed to save you both.

Most bursars and school business managers acknowledge that they could streamline their procurement practices to make them more efficient and effective but it is finding the time to do it.  We take this burden away from you and your staff enabling you to focus on core value-adding activities.

As well as looking at immediate cost reductions we spend time focusing on the ‘how’ your school purchases supplies and the procurement processes they follow.  Our comprehensive report looks at the ‘overall cost of purchase’ not just the product/service prices.  This ensures that we review areas such as delivery, quality of service and payment terms.

Ask yourself these core questions:

  • Do you know how much your school is spending externally?
  • Do you know how much is spent in each area or category e.g. utilities, insurance, stationery?
  • Do you know who your key suppliers are?
  • Do you have a close working relationship with them?
  • Do you regularly benchmark your suppliers in terms of both cost and service?
  • Have you, or your staff, got the time to fully investigate the best deal for your school?

If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions then Minerva can help!

Spend categories

 Minerva review an extensive list of spend categories. There are too many to list here, so click here to find out more. 

Specialist banking and finance consultancy

Minerva director Lorraine Ashover has over 20 years commercial banking experience with a major High Street bank, most recently specialising in providing advice and services to the independent school sector.

This experience enables Minerva to offer unique insight in this area and allows us to provide expert advice in the following - Read more

How we do it

So what is involved in the process?

Stage one – Initiate the audit

This stage will involve us meeting with the bursar or school business manager and defining the scope and objectives of the audit. This would include identifying key suppliers and relationships, understanding any issues or problems that need to be addressed and ensuring that any other personnel involved in the project are ‘on board’. We will also define the ‘baseline’ on which cost savings will be calculated.

Stage two – Research

Minerva will then conduct the necessary research and data gathering to gain an in-depth understanding of your purchases, suppliers, relationships and processes. In addition we will identify potential suppliers and prioritise the opportunities.

We specialise in the independent school and academies sector and we include many suppliers who do exactly the same thus ensuring that they have the necessary understanding of your industry.

Also at this stage we will create specifications for each category of spend, engage with potential suppliers and negotiate on your behalf.

Stage three – Present

At this stage we will prepare and present our findings. Our report will include a full breakdown of savings identified, recommended suppliers and suggested changes for your procurement processes.

Stage four – Implementation

Whilst not a part of our core offering, Minerva will be happy to engage with the school to deliver the findings of our audit. This would involve preparing an implementation plan, completion of any documentation, assisting in the transition from old supplier to new (if necessary), communicating changes with key personnel and supporting any additional training required.

‘In-tend’ e-tendering system

At Minerva we carry out every procurement process in full compliance with all regulations. To that end we have invested in the use of online e-tendering platform ‘In-Tend’, a platform also used by local authorities and other large public sector organisations. If you choose Minerva to assist you with a tender, from a simple one stage Request for Proposal (RFP) through to a full multi-lot OJEU project, you can rest assured that it is being run fully compliantly and that you’ll have a complete audit trail at the end of the process to prove it. All of your documents, questions and requirements are uploaded to ‘In-Tend’ so that all suppliers see the same opportunity and can provide a complete proposal every time.

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Service guarantee

At Minerva we don’t want you to feel you have paid for a service which you are not 100% satisfied with.  This is why we have introduced our service guarantee.

“We guarantee that you’ll be fully satisfied with our work or our services won’t cost you a penny”.

That’s it.  Simple really.  We just want to give you the peace of mind that we’ll deliver you some decent and tangible benefits or our services won’t cost you a penny.

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  •  “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
  • 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
  • immediate savings, amounting to £000’s…..Minerva Procurement Consultancy were thorough, detailed and analytical in their approach whilst not being intrusive…..I would have no hesitation in using Minerva again, for any audit, small or large, and would recommend their service to anyone
    – Jonathan Frost, Bursar, Rookwood School Trust Limited
    Jonathan Frost, Bursar, Rookwood School Trust Limited
  • “…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
  •  “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
  • “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
  • “It is now a month since the outcome of the negotiations that Minerva undertook on behalf of the School and that the resulting transport contract has been in force.   Can I firstly say a very big thank you for the time you personally put in to obtaining the baseline information and the comparison of services and costs and briefing me on the results.  The quality and standard of the groundwork and the final report was first class and exceeded all my expectations.   As a direct result of your involvement we now have a supplier who meets an agreed and realistic specification, with proper terms and conditions in place, at a very acceptable price.  I genuinely sleep much sounder at night knowing that this area of school operations is assured.
    As I said at the time, if it hadn’t been for Minerva I would still be using an unsatisfactory service provider, simply because I did not have the time available nor the necessary expertise to review and revise the situation I had inherited.  Once again – thank you – and please stay in touch.  If required I would unreservedly recommend Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Limited for similar projects.”
    – Roger Walker, Director of Operations , Notting Hill & Ealing High School
  • “I cannot speak highly enough of Minerva Procurement and of Lorraine Ashover and her colleagues. I have been most grateful for the advice and help given in renegotiating better deals on everything from utilities to stationery with copiers, printers and postage in between.
    Lorraine is a delight to do business with and her cheerful and professional manner are always reassuring us that we are in safe hands.
    You have nothing to lose and everything to gain; I can highly recommend Minerva Procurement to you.”
    – Tanya Hutt, Bursar, Lyndhurst School
  • I wanted to formally thank you for all the extremely hard work that you and Lucy put into supporting us through this complex process which has enabled us to secure excellent services at very competitive prices. Your tenacity and willingness to chase down every detail has made the ‘maze’ much easier to negotiate and has certainly given me a great deal of confidence that due process has been followed correctly.
    – Mary Shorland, School Business Manager, EP Collier Primary School and Nursery
    Mary Shorland, School Business Manager, EP Collier Primary School and Nursery

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

Minerva Customer Service