Pilgrim Learning Trust – Collaborative Procurement (Telephony)

Pilgrim Learning Trust

Collaborative Telephony Project

The Pilgrim Learning Trust (PLT) was founded in 2012 as a charitable company to raise standards of Teaching and Learning in member schools and Academies.


The trust has a range of schools and Academies for all ages from nurseries to secondary schools and Colleges located in the Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire area.

The Background

Minerva was commissioned to work with the Pilgrim Leaning Trust after a number of discussions with Mick Malton, (PLT Lead at the time).
The schools wanted to take advantage of the group combined spend to enable them to obtain further savings by collaborating together to purchase products and services.
It was agreed that the first project to undertake was telephony (call tariffs and line rentals). Across the 14 schools that ‘opted in’, there was a wide range of suppliers and one of the aims of the project was to use a small number of providers across the group to give them bigger leverage in the future.
Minerva ran a detailed and comprehensive tender exercise on behalf of the 14 schools approaching 14 potential suppliers. The selection of telephony companies included each school’s incumbent provider, companies the schools were interested in including as well as companies that had shown an interest in bidding. One key point here is that Minerva are not beholden to any specific framework arrangements or ‘preferred supplier lists’ meaning we were able to include any supplier of interest to the school.
Each school received their own bespoke Procurement Audit Report which included the appropriate information they required to make an informed decision. It provided details of the new tariffs, customer references, an assessment of the financial standing of each potential supplier and more.

The Results

The schools are now working with their chosen supplier taking advantage of the negotiated group rates. Two companies were chosen across the schools so they have achieved their desired leverage for contract renewal time as well as significantly rationalising their supplier base.
Across the 14 schools, savings of more than £21.5k will be realised over the initial 12 months. This equates to an average saving of 63.12% against their previous costs.
Some schools agreed a 3-year contract, meaning that savings will reach almost £65k across the term. By collaborating the schools benefitted from an average of a further 24.90% off of the ‘standard’ rates provided by the suppliers.
The group are now considering their next collaborative procurement to secure further savings across the Pilgrim Learning Trust.

Customer Feedback

As Chief Operations Officer for Sharnbrook academy Federation I can fully endorse this group approach to procurement, the four schools I represent took a 3 year contract and will realise savings of more than £26,0000.
Being able to use the expertise of Minerva for this project meant that a potentially complex exercise involving technical language, contract variations and value comparisons was instantly simplified for use and the ‘extra’ workload was eliminated.
Lucy has also provided ongoing support where schools need it and remained in contact with our Business Managers to ensure that they take advantage of the rates even if they weren’t able to at the time.
Overall, it’s been a very pleasant experience and we’re grateful for the work carried out. I would highly recommend Minerva based on the service we’ve received and we’re looking forward to working with the team again.
Kirk Sharp, Chief Operations Officer, Pilgrim Learning Trust

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