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During Social Enterprise Reset Week, held in May, the opportunity for social enterprises to purchase collectively was a topic that was frequently discussed and organisations felt this could be useful as Scotland continues to ease its lockdown measures.

Scotland Excel, the Centre of Procurement Expertise set up to purchase on behalf of local authorities, has recently opened up its frameworks to social enterprises to utilise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senscot is currently exploring taking advantage of this offer during the pandemic to collectively purchase on behalf of groups of social enterprises to test how much value for money can be achieved and support organisations to reopen. Available contracts include PPE, Educational and Office Furniture, Cleaning Equipment and Catering Equipment.

We are currently looking to pilot this initiative in one geographical area initially, with the option of expanding it in further locations depending on the level of demand. The purpose of this survey is primarily to understand what demand there is within the social enterprise sector to purchase collectively, and to allow organisations to express an interest.

‘Collective purchasing’ is when groups of organisations come together to purchase goods or services which each of them commonly require. It is thought that by doing this, organisations can negotiate discounts from suppliers due to buying in bulk rather than individually.

This type of purchasing is routinely practised in the public sector through using organisations such as Scotland Excel, Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges, and Scottish Procurement, who purchase on behalf of groups of public bodies.
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