At Xamk, any procurements of over EUR 60,000 are made by the procurement unit. RDI projects and other units make smaller-scale purchases independently, sometimes through competitive tendering. In recent years, the procurement unit has increasingly focused on supporting small-scale purchasing by providing advice to project personnel.
The Cloudia e-procurement system
The Cloudia procurement system helps to see the big picture. Use of the system was expanded in 2019; project staff were actively invited to use it when RDI projects launched new competitive tendering processes.
From January 2020, it has been possible to sign procurement decisions digitally. This enables the use of e-procurement throughout the process for all procurements requiring competitive tendering. This has contributed to the fact that there are already 45 users of the system at Xamk.
Active and green procurement
In 2019, altogether 72 competitive tendering processes took place through the procurement system, a 25 per cent increase from the previous year. The value of as many as 12 of these exceeded the EU threshold of EUR 221,000. This resulted from the competitive tendering processes relating to the planning of the Kotka campus, conducted by Xamk together with Kymenlaakson Kampuskiinteistöt Oy.
Of the procurements made, 14 exceeded the EUR 60,000 national threshold, whilst the value of 24 procurements was lower. In addition, 23 procurements relating to RDI projects were made applying a light competitive tendering process.
In 2019, environmental aspects were already considered in more than 40 of the 74 procurements made through the system. This was a considerable increase from approximately 30 per cent in 2018. Nevertheless, the consideration of environmental aspects still usually focused on the environmental systems of the supplier partner.
With respect to describing the service or product to be purchased, we are not yet at the quality level we could achieve. In 2020, we aim to remind everyone making purchases that it is possible to specify more detailed requests for products and service provision.
Responsibility is required also in computer procurement
In 2019, Xamk aimed to test, where applicable, a model in which the supplier candidates for electronics (computers in this case) undertake to meet the specified minimum requirements for responsibility. This is demanding for both parties, and the model can best be introduced at the beginning of a long-term (several years) supply contract.
The model was not yet piloted in 2019, as the next competitive tendering process for computers takes place in 2020. Commitment to the responsibility requirements will be attached to the tender request material, incorporated into Xamk’s goals.
Speeding up the completion of investments
Responsible procurement means procurement to meet an actual need. At Xamk, larger-scale procurements are planned in the form of an investment budget. The objective is to carry out procurement according to plan and ensure reasonable scheduling. The units making procurements are responsible for this.
The budget for 2019 included 34 procurement proposals with an expected total value of EUR 1,571,400. In 2018, the budget included 31 proposals with a total value of EUR 1,883,200.
Of the investments made, 16 were completed by the end of 2019. The implementation or completion of 12 investments was postponed to the following year. A decision was made not to implement six of the proposed investments.
The value of the investments completed on schedule was approximately 46 per cent of the expected total budget, amounting to EUR 730,338.29. With respect to the schedule, the realisation rate of the investment plan was clearly lower compared with 2018. This was due to an increase in projects spanning over several years and an increase in equipment procurement.
In January 2020, there were already 12 investments continuing from previous years on the budget. These are mainly equipment procurements and investments in laboratory facilities.
In 2020, special attention must be paid to the completion of investments. This issue was emphasised to those in charge of budgets in the current financial affairs review in March 2020.