The two things a Bursar or School Business Manager is always short of are time and money! Our services are designed to save you both.
It is vital that a school conducts procurement activities in the most compliant manner possible and ensure that they achieve the best ‘value for money’ outcome possible. However, most Bursars and School Business Managers acknowledge that they don’t have time to become procurement experts on top of everything else, and certainly don’t have time to keep up with all the changes in school procurement legislation. We take this burden away from you and your staff enabling you to focus on core value-adding activities.
As well as ensuring compliance in all your tenders, we can also help you identify areas where you can make immediate cost reductions. By looking at your school’s spend in a number of categories, and also focusing on ‘how’ your school purchases supplies and the procurement processes they follow, we will help you ensure that you are getting best value for money. Our comprehensive audit 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.
Our Service Options
We have a variety of service packages to ensure that we can offer you flexibility depending on your specific needs.
Cost: Free ‘consultation’ (up to 30 mins, then hourly rate)
30 minutes of free advice once a month. A query can be submitted online, allowing Minerva to research the issue and provide feedback. If further support is required, this will be billed at an hourly rate (with prior agreement from the school).
N.B. Telephone queries can also be dealt with. We reserve the right to initially ‘triage’ the query with a view to further research and investigation prior to providing a response.
All responses will be provided in writing via email.
Cost: £250 + VAT (up to 90 mins, then hourly rate)
A fixed fee document checking service which will provide a high-level overview of procurement documents produced by you (maximum of 90 minutes – beyond that an hourly rate to be agreed with the school).
In our experience a review of documents to highlight areas of non-compliance should take no more than 90 minutes. However, a set of documents which is essentially non-compliant will require further work, the costs of which will be agreed with you at the outset. If you decide to progress with a gold service as a result of your silver review, we will deduct the cost of the silver service from the gold cost.
All responses will be provided in a short summary document sent by email.
Gold Service (non-PCR)
Cost: £1,365 + VAT
We will work with you to produce a full suite of compliant tender documents for your project including a Memorandum of Information (MoI), Request for Proposal (RFP) or other compliant tender documents.* You will need to supply us with the relevant school-specific information (don’t worry, we’ll provide a checklist) and we’ll do everything else. If you have already done a silver review, the cost of the silver service will be deducted from your gold package, as some of the initial work will already have been completed.
If you are considering producing these documents yourself, we would recommend allowing at least 14 hours to create these documents from scratch.
* This does not include the production of a full technical specification of the works or services required. This will be charged on an hourly rate/fixed fee, if required.
Gold Plus Service (PCR2015)
Cost: £1,950 + VAT
We will work with you to produce a full suite of Public Contracts Regulations 2015 compliant tender documents for your project including a Memorandum of Information (MoI), Selection Questionnaire (SQ), Invitation to Tender (ITT) or other compliant tender documents.* You will need to supply us with the relevant school-specific information (don’t worry, we’ll provide a checklist) and we’ll do everything else. If you have already done a silver review, the cost of the silver service will be deducted from your gold package, as some of the initial work will already have been completed.
If you are considering producing these documents yourself, we would recommend allowing at least 20 hours to create these documents from scratch.
* This does not include the production of a full technical specification of the works or services required, nor does it include publishing of the official PCR compliant Contract Notice. These will be charged on an hourly rate/fixed fee, if required.
Cost: on application
Minerva can provide full support for your tender, from start to finish. As you will appreciate, there is a huge variance in the complexity of projects, including: collaborative projects, lotted tenders, multi-school tenders and developing bespoke frameworks to name a few.
Please contact us with a summary of your requirements and we will provide you with a full proposal document including timelines and costs. Pricing options will include a fixed fee or an hourly rate, allowing you to choose whichever option suits your requirements.
Cost: 40% of year 1 identified savings (against an agreed baseline)
Savings-based audit projects, such as telephony, utilities, stationery and cleaning supplies, are focused on making savings whilst still ensuring quality of service. We will work with you to understand your current costs, and then run a mini-tender with selected suppliers. Based on the responses to the tender, we will prepare a detailed report which presents our findings and recommendations. Our fee will represent 40% of the first year of savings that could be made by following our recommendations. If no savings can be made, there will be no charge for the project.
Please note that not all projects are suitable for a savings-based audit and may need to be run as a full PCR or RFP tender. Please click here for information on how an audit project is run, or contact us for further details.
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.
‘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 PCR 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.
“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.
Extremely happy with the service which was always very professional and smooth. Our Audit Committee were very complimentary. Would definitely recommend Minerva to others.
Minerva were excellent at keeping us informed and dealing with all the technical issues encountered. I genuinely could not have managed this process at present due to all the Covid additional work I had. Minerva ensured the process was seamless. I cannot thank Lorraine and the team enough.
I wouldn’t have liked to have run the tender process myself, Minerva running the project removed a lot of the stress and the time that would have been required and their expertise ensured the process was carried out correctly.
It’s really not worth the torture of managing this process in house when Minerva make such a brilliant and excellent value job of it.
Third time we have worked together and service is always outstanding and we receive excellent advice throughout the process and support with external contractors
The process itself was made much easier with Lorraine’s help. Without it, I would have crumbled in a corner, it was huge with so many areas and questions to evaluate I felt I was drowning.