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Who are the East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit (EMSCU)?

The East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit (EMSCU) was formed in July 2012 and brings together the commercial/procurement specialists from the two forces of Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire.  We support both police forces to procure goods and services to create efficiencies and generate savings. Not only do we ensure that the Forces’ requirements are procured in a compliant fashion, using robust yet efficient systems, but we also maximise value for money through collaboration, innovation and the management of supply markets.

Excellent customer service is central to EMSCU, and we have dedicated Engagement Partners embedded within our member Forces. These Engagement Partners work with their clients within the respective Force to identify upcoming requirements, which they then forward to our Procurement Efficiencies team. Our Procurement team then identifies the best means of engaging with the supply market, as well as any opportunities for collaborating with other Forces.

We develop strategic relationships with our clients’ key suppliers in order to work together in partnership to identify cost savings and explore innovative supply solutions. This enables the Forces to manage and influence the market to achieve cost savings and support the Forces’ objectives. Once the procurement process is complete and the contract placed our Supplier Services team is available to support our clients should they experience any significant contract performance issues. It is also the aim of our Supplier Services team to help build our clients’ commercial awareness and capacity for managing contracts.

EMSCU’s Organisational Structure is based around three services – Engagement Partnering, Procurement Efficiencies and Contract and Supplier Relationship Management.

How do you contact us?

If you are a public sector organisation interested in becoming a client of EMSCU or a potential supplier wishing to speak to EMSCU regarding upcoming contract opportunities please contact us at emscuenquiries@emscu.pnn.police.uk

The Frequently Asked Questions section below tells you:

  • What does EMSCU buy?
  • What is EMSCU’s procurement strategy?
  • How do I find out about opportunities to compete for contracts?
  • What are EMSCU’s priorities when buying goods and services?

What does EMSCU buy

In undertaking procurement exercises and supplier relationship management on behalf of its member forces, EMSCU is responsible for buying a wide range of goods and services – from IT software to construction works, and from Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to temporary agency staff.

Unless the contract is particularly complex necessitating bespoke terms and conditions the contract will generally be based on EMSCU’s Standard terms & conditions.

What is EMSCU’s procurement strategy?

In order to benefit from economies of scale, a quick route to market and risk mitigation through pre-agreed terms and conditions, EMSCU initially searches for an appropriate framework agreement or collaborative/corporate contract once it has worked up a client requirement. If an appropriate framework agreement/contract is not available then EMSCU will commence a tendering exercise.

EMSCU is currently working to align its member forces’ contract procedure rules. At present it is generally the case that, as a minimum, all contracts with a total value of £25,000 and above (meaning the threshold at which its member forces engage EMSCU to manage the procurement exercise) are advertised.

How do I find out about opportunities to compete for contracts?

EMSCU uses a number of channels to advertise its member forces’ contract opportunities:

  • Crystal (EMSCU’S own eTendering system)

  • Bluelight (Emergency services eTendering system)

  • Source East Midlands (Regional public sector advertising portal)

  • Tenders Electronic Daily (European public procurement journal used for all requirements with a total contract value above EU thresholds, i.e. £164,176 for Supplies and Services and £4,104,394 for Works)

  • Relevant trade publications

What are EMSCU’s priorities when buying goods and services?

EMSCU has developed a number of procurement/commercial policies, procedures, guidance and templates that look to balance the need for ensuring compliance and value for money, against the importance of keeping our processes as lean and efficient as possible.

Given that our clients are public sector organisations, our policies and procedures recognise the need to consider what wider social, economic and environmental benefits can be gained through the procurement process and ultimate contract. Our policies and procedures also take proportionate account of the risks that are particularly pertinent to police forces, such as information security and business continuity.

EMSCU’s SME Policy recognises the value of Small & Medium Enterprises and therefore the need to ensure that our procurement processes are as SME-friendly as possible.