Procurement Supplier Forum and Recognition Awards 2017

Professor Edward Peck, Vice Chancellor opened NTU's 2017 Supplier Forum & Recognition Awards on 13 September. The event saw eleven awards given in recognising best practice in its diverse supply chains.

Professor Eunice Simmons, Deputy Vice Chancellor delivered a presentation covering 'Success for All', 'Curriculum Refresh', 'New Modes of Delivery', and 'Risks and Challenges'.

Paul Andrew, Head of Procurement talked about outcomes, changes and priorities, (value for money, improved communications, up and coming spend and our SCoRE framework which is aimed at delivering increased value to the University through Sustainability, Commercial effectiveness, Research and Employability). Sustainability and Employability sessions were also held before the winners were announced as …


Contribution to Corporate, Social & Environmental Responsibility – Wastecycle

Wastecyle worked with NTU to develop an initiative to identify the source of contamination in the waste in one of our buildings.

The initial trial resulted in a 10% increase in on-site segregation and a £5,000 saving over 12 months and the annual recycling rate for this building is now the highest it has ever been.

Whilst the direct environmental and financial benefits are clear, there are also several spin-off projects that have also increased the University's sustainability. These include the segregation of art project waste for better material recovery, development and production of wall mounts for food caddies to allow food to be collected for recycling in more areas and the Recycling Roadshow which travels the campus inviting students and staff to join in the recycling game.

The 'keep it clear' initiative began as a trial in April 2016 and has now grown into a University-wide project that has already demonstrated significant improvements in recycling rates, staff / student engagement and cost efficiency.


Best Use of Technology – Solutionpath

Solutionpath has revolutionised the way in which we harness our student data and subsequently improve academic outcomes.

The StREAM Student Dashboard is a sophisticated learner engagement analytics tool which was / is co-designed with NTU. It supports front line decision making, personalises engagement and improves student attainment, and NTU has been able to continually demonstrate marked improvements in students' academic performance.

There's a very clear association between students using the StREAM software (student dashboard), and their academic success, particularly when compared to their peers who were not using it. We saw some impressive results: in 2015-16 over 65 per cent of students who used the Solutionpath software achieved a 2:1 or First class degree compared to just under 50 per cent of students who did not use StREAM. Students who used it more often were even more successful, with 72 per cent of those who logged in ten or more times scoring a 2:1 or First.

"Solutionpath is a great example of collaborative working with a partner to co-create a solution that enriches the student experience and helps us better understand student engagement. Solutionpath has responded to iterative feedback on how to present the students records which is a hallmark of good design and collaboration" Melanie Currie, Deputy Dean - Nottingham Business School.


Contribution to Student Experience - Blackwell’s University Bookshop

Blackwell's listen to student feedback and develop ways to enhance the experience of our students especially in terms of alleviating costs associated with textbooks.

Blackwell's buyback service is a favourite amongst students, offering the option to recycle their used books receiving cash back for them. Over the past 12 months 1293 textbooks have been sold back to Blackwell's by NTU students, paying out over £30,000 to students on their used books this year alone. The books are re-sold on to the following years students at a heavily discounted price. Their buyback service is not only great for student finances but also offers a sustainable system which encourages students to recycle whilst greatly elongating the life cycle of the book.

Recognizing that all students learn in different ways, Blackwell's has developed an eBook platform - a fully interactive learning environment giving students more options of how they want to study. They wanted to give all students at NTU the opportunity to experience the e-learning platform. During Term Two they launched their free eBook giveaway offering students across the University the chance to trial the platform for free.


Best Cost Saving Initiative – Kukri

As part of the tender evaluation process for student sports clothing we asked potential providers to explore ways to provide better value to the University and its students. Kukri GB showed the greatest willingness to consider different ways of doing this and were able to offer sponsorship over the four year life of the contract to offset a significant element of the cost of sports kit used by NTU teams when competing in various national BUCS competitions, providing benefits in excess of any of the other offerings. Kukri also scored highest in evaluation of sample garments and with their ongoing support for BUCS as their clothing partner, reinforced their long-term commitment to providing good quality clothing for University sporting activities of all kinds.


Award for Innovation - nanoString Technologies

The focus of the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre's Cancer Immunotherapy Group is on visualising interactions between cancer and the immune system in individual patients and identifying features ('biomarkers') that can guide treatment choices and improve clinical outcome. To achieve this, we are using state of the art equipment and big data analytics to identify specific gene signatures that reflect immune system activation, and help predict treatment response and the risk of relapse in patients with blood cancers.

The nCounter™ FLEX gene expression profiling instrument from nanoString Technologies (one of only 7 in the UK) is allowing the centre to achieve these aims.

NanoString Technologies have fully engaged with our research programme and have provided consumables for pilot studies to analyse samples from 36 patients. Their generous support has allowed the prompt collection of preliminary data for two grant applications to National Cancer Charities (Key Kendall Leukaemia Fund, £247,000; Bloodwise, £250,000) and one grant application to a Pharmaceutical Company (Incyte Corporation, Wilmington, USA; £145,000). Moreover, the timely delivery of sound scientific results in the field of immune profiling of acute leukaemia has allowed us to obtain additional research funds from the Roger Counter Foundation, Dorset UK (£26,000). The availability of this equipment has allowed us to offer collaborative research projects through the School of Science and Technology that would not have been otherwise possible. The availability of this instrument and collaborative engagement with Nanostring Technologies was also instrumental in our ability to participate in a multi-centre clinical trial and the acquisition of £479,000 of research funding into the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre.

Excellence in Customer Service - GeTech Ltd

GeTech are the NTU supplier for laptops and desktops and consistently go above and beyond normal levels of customer service to meet initial enquiries and are always happy to help with even the most complex build requests. Requests for quotations are turned around in 24 hours, sometimes the same day. One strong point is their ability to provide a swap out warranty on NTU's core products. This means that we can have a faulty product replaced within 24 – 48 hours. This is at no cost to NTU and has become an absolute invaluable service, as it keeps our staff and student resources up and running, with minimal downtime. GeTech also hold stock of our most popular products, which vastly reduces the lead-time for delivery at no cost to NTU and part of their service commitment. GeTech provide direct lines to sales and support staff and even if our direct contacts are unavailable, GeTech provide a "buddy" system, so we always have someone to talk to that is familiar with our account.


Excellence in Customer Service - Studylink Tours

Studylink provide good quality educational group experiences for our students as part of their studies. They make suggestions on itineraries to staff to help them meet their educational objectives whilst also providing best value flexible payment options. Safety is paramount to NTU, and Studylink put the interests and safety of our students at their heart.

Studylink are proactive in seeking feedback and continually make improvements based on it. NTU rated Studylink's customer service as number one, and 91% said that they would recommend them. Their submission contained many positive experiences from our staff and students.


Best Small Medium Enterprise - Millside Barrowcliffe

During the recent re-tender process Millside Barrowcliffe spent a number of hours completing their tender submission to an extremely high standard, achieving an overall scoring of 88%.

Prior to the award they had provided an excellent level of service as an incumbent supplier. Their company ethos fully supports our aims and ambitions in relation to sustainability, in particular with their use of local suppliers which not only supports the local economy but helps to reduce carbon footprint. They have worked with NTU to achieve and maintain the Soil Association Food for Life Silver Award and will continue to partner us in aiming to achieve Gold. They offer support in forming nutritious and healthy recipes for our catering team to provide to staff, students and visitors.

In May, Millside Barrowcliffe's Managing Director Anthony Milward supported us at an event aimed at helping Small Medium Enterprises understand the tender process. He answered questions around his experiences of participating in the tender process and how he found being a supplier to NTU. Millside Barrowcliffe has also been used as an example of Sustainable Excellence in the Supply Chain, all of which is in addition to them providing excellent value for money for the produce they supply.


Employability - Small Enterprise – Macildowie

Macildowie consistently engage with NTU in our employability agenda by attending each and every employability event in addition to providing a range of opportunities from placements to interview advice. Although a smaller company, they have continued to do so over a number of years and are always open to looking at ways to work more closely with NTU.


Employability - Large Enterprise - Enterprise Rent A Car

For many years Enterprise have been consistent in offering a large amount of quality placements and graduate programmes to our students, in addition to supporting and engaging in all other employability activities and events. For example, over the last three years they have employed more than 25 NTU graduates and hosted more than 30 student placements, showing great support for our Employability initiatives.


Supplier of The Year - nanoString Technologies

Despite strong competition, nanoString's application touched on many of our awards categories, and are felt to be worthy winners of this category.


Supplier of the year 2017 nanostring group shot
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