Procurement of Innovation platform

Our Stories

15 March 2019

Interview with Ingrid de Doncker, founder of PTI (Ireland)

The procurement transformation institute has been recently created. Why was it important for Ireland to have a competence centre pushing for innovation procurement?
The Procurement Transformation Institute was established on the back of the frustration of its founders to get real traction to “buy right” and “buy the right thing” for the benefit of all parties in Ireland. We were seeing a very fragmented landscape in relation to the capability and capacity of procurement professionals, a tactical approach to the procurement function itself and a genuine disregard for the value of procurement in organisations, in the private or public sector.
Between 60-70% of the turnover or expenditure of any enterprise is spent with third party providers and the lost opportunities by not 'Buying right' and not 'Buying the right thing' were becoming a real challenge for Ireland to stay competitive in an ever fast moving and changing environment. We decided to do something about that.
The Procurement Transformation Institute (PTI) was established in 2018 and PTI’s Vision is to be the Performance Hub for procurement in Ireland, for the advancement of the profession towards achieving best value for money decisions for People, Profit, Planet by developing Ireland’s current and future talent pool. This challenge of innovation is being addressed by the Procurement Transformation Institute (PTI) as an integrated Procurement Competency Centre.
• Culture - Procurement Maturity Framework – capacity building framework for organisation
• Process - Standardised Approach – efficient and lean decision flows
• People - CPD Program – continuous professional capabilities development
• Knowledge - Community – peer to peer learning and best practices from the EU and the OECD
• Technology – advising on latest augmented intelligence tools
Both public and private sector have common challenges when it comes to procurement and innovation.
We have developed a national and international movement to build procurement capacity and capabilities for the benefits of (1) the individual - career development, wage growth remuneration and work satisfaction -, (2) the organisation - lower costs, higher profit, margins, better governance and sustainable growth -, (3) the economy - job creation and attractiveness internationally, and (4) Europe -sustainability agenda and Procurement of Innovation through Collaborative Procurement. 
PTI has a particular focus on innovative procurement, with one National and two International Research Projects ongoing on this topic. PTI acts as a gateway that enables innovation brokerage between buyers and sellers, between regions and industries, between Ireland and Europe. PTI has a unique position as the only Irish participant in the EU consortium P2I, in which we collaborate regularly and have access to case studies, best practices, resources and knowledge. PTI’s growing community consists of full and part-time buyers, procurement academics, professionals, industry leaders and subject matter experts; the ethos of this forum is ‘collaborate to innovate’

What is the level of awareness on innovation procurement among procurers, policy makers and innovative suppliers in Ireland?
In Ireland, there is currently no consistent approach in how decision-makers identify, recruit, develop and measure procurement competencies to continuously deliver agility, innovation and value for their organisations.
As per the latest PWC innovation benchmarking profile report and scorecard in November 2018, that was commissioned by the EU Commission, Ireland is a follower in the innovation procurement arena. PTI is trying to change that: PTI has taken a leading role in collaborating with all stakeholders in Ireland to advance procurement excellence and becoming the Irish gateway for European engagement in procurement innovation. The PTI has created a community that fosters peer-to-peer learning, innovation, social inclusion and sustainable solutions.
In our plight to improve the awareness and the impact of innovation procurement in Ireland, we are delighted to be supported by both public and private enterprises who care about the value of procurement. They give their time freely to be on our advisory council and they guide our thinking and we are proud to have public, private and academia giving us their thinking power to make a difference.

What services are you offering?
PTI provides a range of services through which we promote procurement innovation.

  • Academic and accredited training courses
  • Topical workshops on innovation and sustainability
  • Strategic procurement support to national programs such as GPP4Growth
  • Coordination support for pre-commercial procurement (PCP)/public procurement of innovation (PPI) projects with the support of our EU colleagues
  • Online procurement community which facilitates peer-to-peer learning, innovation, social inclusion and sustainable solutions
  • Networking opportunities and events

Can you already tell us about any upcoming activities for 2019?
Procurex April 4th 2019 in Dublin. PTI will have a stand and will collaborate with the HSE, the health agency for the Irish Health Sector, to provide a training session and workshops on procurement of innovation. Procure2Innovate speakers Sarah Bedin, Leonora Yannakis and Doris Scheffler will present at the conference on behalf of PTI and Procure2Innovate.
University of Limerick for buyers and sellers alike. In June 2019, there will be a Sustainability and Circular Economy workshop. In August 2019, TAIEX procurement innovation workshops (at application stage) will be organised.
Innovation Procurement Brokers workshop, Cork, June 25-26th. We will have five consortium members, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Austria and Ireland. We will discuss aggregation of needs across consortium and mapping solutions providers across regions.

You would like SMEs to engage in public tendering. What are the benefits for them to do so?
PTI engages with SMEs to help them achieve greater Value For Money

  • Increase their current participation levels from the low base of only 10%. SMEs can be discouraged by the time, effort and work involved in tender proposals. This process needs to be refined and simplified to make it easier for them to participate.
  • Promote SME awareness of the long term benefits of participation
  • Submit stronger more competitive tender proposals in Ireland and EU market place
  • Increase their win rate which will support SME growth and regional impact
  • Develop best practice procurement skills that can be used in their business the day to day
  • Removes the barriers to EU markets

PTI further supports Joint tendering where requirements are satisfied by a group of SMEs as a whole and not by each individual member. SMEs can by their very nature be a little inward looking and need to be convinced of the merits of forming consortium, combining their individual strengths and working together. PTI assists in fostering the participation of SMEs under joint proposals in public tenders. This increases the spread and ripple impact, allowing SMEs to grow, increase employment and bring further business to region.
While the short term goals will be to focus on Irish public spend, the longer term goas will be to enable Irish SMEs to also compete in the growing European marketplace.
PTI is cognisant of the potential impact of Brexit on Irish business and the need to assist SMEs in securing new European markets and public sector spend that is still available to Irish Business post Brexit and OJEU implications, and becoming suppliers of Innovation.
PTI is collaborating in the EU COSME InnoBroker Call, which aims to establish an Innovation Procurement Brokers network. This project will facilitate the procurement of innovative goods and services between contracting authorities, suppliers of innovation (with a special focus on SMEs and start-up companies), investors, and researchers. As part of this project, PTI will establish an Irish Procurement Innovation Broker network that is a matchmaker between progressive public procurement buyers and innovative suppliers, while this innovative community will have engagement and impact for EU partners also.

Being a fairly new Competence Centre, what are the benefits of being part of the Procure2Innovate network and cooperating with more experienced networks?
Ireland directly benefits from the activities of the Procure2Innovate Network through the support received from their existing innovation procurement best practices and toolkits. PTI has the opportunity to learn from its peers about common challenges, initiatives, pressures, obstacles and opportunities, and to share these with local/regional SMEs in Ireland.
We are so proud to be part of the Procure2Innovate family and we have already learned so much from our first buddy country, the Netherlands, where PianoO truly is leading in their process of procurement with regards to pushing innovation and/or circular economy concepts. Working with Floris den Boer, Baldwin Henderson and Jacobien Muntz-Beekhuis has been very beneficial as the questions we have as a new competency centre, they immediately had the answers to.
Our key learnings to date:
• Understanding what Best Practice Buying processes are for Innovation, Circular Economy, Sustainability and Social Inclusion.
• Sharing ways of working for Buyers and Suppliers to collaborate on buying innovation.
• Understanding how other competence centres started up and share and communicate information with their audience. PTI aspires to adapt these learnings and emulate through our PTI Community.
• Having access to a fully transparent model of tools and templates on how to innovate using an Innovative Tool Box.
• Sharing of frameworks which support buyers without the risks associated with buying innovation.
• Through the Procure2Innovate Network, the PTI has a greater understanding of the need for buyers to have practical experience and that Government Buyers need to involve themselves in the innovation process to make informed and better buying decisions.
We sincerely thank all of the other members in our Procure2Innovate consortium for their guidance and openness. This is a unique collaborative format that will deliver more than the Procure2Innovate project deliverables, it is already creating a cross-border cohesive thinking around the common challenges we all encounter in our respective national borders. I would hope that the thought leadership that will derive from this collaborative approach of thinking will become the template of many others.