Cost Control & Reduction | Process Improvement | Procurement Systems | Supplier Leadership

University procurement teams are under pressure to deliver savings in an environment where stakeholders have autonomy to buy whichever way they like. Delivering real value to the business becomes critical in times when traditional revenue sources have dried up.

COVID 19 and several rounds of funding cuts to Universities mean a greater expectation for procurement to deliver savings. University procurement teams often struggle with complex stakeholder groups, public sector-like compliance requirements and underdeveloped systems.

Grosvenor works with leading Universities to deliver cost control and reduction. But we don’t stop there. We help our clients with process improvement to uplift their own capabilities to be fit for the future. This includes state of the art spend analysis with our proprietary tool SPAT. Our supplier leadership offer ensures that benefits actually flow to the University post contract award as contract management and supplier relationship management are often underdeveloped in this industry.

We are happy to dive in wherever you need us but no matter what your specific requirements maybe as part of any prospective engagement we offer an initial Situation Analysis.

In this consultation we analyse your current situation benchmarked against best practice and a roadmap of the options and activities that could be undertaken to improve your results.

We will also share how we have worked with UNSW, Monash University, University of Queensland, Charles Sturt University, RMIT, Macquarie University and La Trobe University to drive real change.

Case Studies


Is your University or procurement team facing the following challenges?

  • Tasked with finding another round of cost savings
  • Tasked with buying complex services we don't have any expertise in
  • Forced to procure within unreasonable timeframes
  • New to your position, looking for focus and some quick wins
  • Struggling engaging meaningfully with academic and non-academic stakeholders
  • Frustrated with how procurement works and how little value it is perceived to deliver
  • Procurement data is too poor for meaningful spend analysis
  • Our procurement systems are not fit for purpose

We help Universities and their teams:

  • Identify which categories present the most likely cost savings and bang for buck
  • Analyse quickly where they stand in terms of procurement capability, systems and gaps to best practice
  • Align the procurement function so that it delivers business objectives
  • Supplement your own team with our category expertise (eg in travel, property, FM, capital works and ICT procurement)
  • Supplement the capacity of your team through our 'team on-demand offering 
  • Improve existing procurement systems
  • Guide teams when selecting and implementing new procurement systems so they work
  • Implement better practice contract and performance framework

We do this by:

  • Embedding our team of industry leading category experts into your project team for rapid upskilling of your procurement capabilities
  • Work closely with your stakeholder early and throughout the engagement
  • Diagnosing problems with your contracts, systems, process and capabilities and implementing better practice
  • Benchmarking your procurement function with the leading Universities in Australia
  • Using artificial intelligence to categorise spend and use our experience to predict where savings are possible
  • Providing end to end change management support for procurement systems

Our Consulting Services

Cost Control and Reduction

When it comes to cost control and reduction there is more than one way to skin the cat. University Procurement teams actually have 4 levers at their disposal - Pay Less, Buy Cheaper, Buy Less, Buy Smarter.

Our team will:

  • Help you identify and apply a 4 levers strategy to your procurement function and buying process.
  • Deliver real value and savings while working closely with all stakeholders, including Academics
  • Provide you with deep category insight that quickly identifies cost saving opportunities (including in travel, property, construction, facilities management, professional services and ICT)
  • Give you on demand access to our resources to supplement your own team.

Process Improvement

Transforming the way procurement is done often receives internal resistance particularly if to date it has been ineffectual or an impediment to getting things done.

Our team will:

  • Streamline procurement policies, processes, guidelines and templates
  • Analyse your spend data with our proprietary tool SPAT, which is a machine learning tool trained on University spend data
  • Getting all stakeholders aligned and ready for change
  • Assess the procurement capabilities of people, systems and processes.
  • Diagnose exactly where the pain is, what is causing it and then implement the changes with you.
  • Give you the time to focus on the important not only the urgent through improved planning and better category management.

Procurement Systems

Chances are procurement outcomes can be significantly improved through better procurement systems, especially in a decentralised buying environment of Universities. We offer truly independent and system agnostic advice on how you get more of existing systems and how to drive customer adoption of new systems.

Our offer:

  • Clearly identify why your existing systems do not deliver the benefits and efficiencies they should. Then we help you implement the fixes.
  • Use artificial intelligence to rapidly understand your spend even if the underlying data is poor.
  • Assess your readiness for the implementation of a new procurement system and develop the business case.
  • Support the change management that is required for any successful eProcurement system.

Supplier Leadership

More often than not service providers disappoint. Managers end up spending most of their time putting out fires and dealing with poor performance rather than making strategic decisions.

We help you:

  • Introduce a contract management and supplier relationship management framework to drive the required behaviour from your suppliers.
  • Determine if your contracts are on track and where they are under-performing and get them up to scratch through our contract health checks.
  • Fix a dysfunctional contract or relationship.

Insights & Resources

Contract management: seven challenges to better practice

Contract managers right across Australia face difficulties in getting the most from their suppliers. How can we set up our contractual relationships so that the supplier will go the extra mile? Look no further than how we manage our staff and you get an idea of what better practice looks like. Here is a list of seven challenges contract managers often face and how to overcome them.

Why you are not happy with your eProcurement system

Often the answer to why your existing system is not firing from all cylinders can be found in our previous article. It’s likely that your implementation project skipped one of those lessons-learnt and you have consequently ended up in a situation where the uptake of your system is poor, end users complain about the usability, manual workarounds are in place, suppliers are unhappy and most of the benefits from your business case have gone out the window.

How do organisations go about creating savings post COVID?

Procurement professionals have four spend levers in their toolbox. But which ones were mainly used to combat the impact of the COVID-19 recession? Read on to find that it was the more traditional negotiations that procurement turned to in 2020 and how to generate further savings in 2021.

What Finance can (and should) expect of Procurement – A Webinar

Join Grosvenor's head of procurement, Dr Stefan Gassner, in discussing the findings from our latest study, 'What Finance can (and should) expect of Procurement, and how a recent pandemic has shaped these results in 2020.

Where to Start?