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"Positive, knowledgeable and made the process easy.”

Housing Group (North East)
"Mike and Cirrus were very open to any changes we hadn't anticipated and always acted with us as client at the fore.”

Local authority (South East)
"The feedback was specific to our company and included information that was important to us. The experience was very enlightening. Overall we are very satisfied.”

SME Contractor (North West)
"The project was delivered on time and to cost, transfer occurred on the target date and all project milestones were achieved on time."

Housing Association (North West)
"I would like to thank both Claire and Mike for their work on the tenders, they made the process very easy."

National Energy Consultancy
"The best thing about the project was the added value provided, and also the sense that Cirrus wanted the very best for us."

Housing Association (North West)
Cirrus Services

Cirrus can act as your internal procurement team, integrated into your organisation as an outsourced procurement department. This holistic approach to procurement is an effective alternative to project by project consultancy, or directly employing permanent purchasing staff.
Our approach to effective delivery is practical and team-based. Having a team-based approach allows us to apply the flexible capacity necessary to ensure delivery of objectives, as well as ensuring continuity of support throughout the year. This approach represents good value for money as clients have access to a team of highly skilled and experienced procurement specialists able to deliver targets and outputs over and above the day to day advice and internal support expected of a purchasing manager role.

An important feature of the outsourced procurement service is that it is tailored to meet individual client needs. However, typical activities include:
  • Hands on management of EU compliant tenders
  • Assessment and improvement of procurement processes
  • Benchmarking prices
  • Achieving cost savings
  • Supplier rationalisation
  • Review and/or introduction of policies and procedures
  • Procurement training for internal staff
We deliver the service through a combination of scheduled onsite time to co-ordinate specific activities, telephone support, staff training and regular drop in surgery days.


Procurement Reviews of either whole organisations or specific departments/group subsidiaries, covering all aspects of organisational procurement including:
  • Benchmarking of current value for money against our extensive database of market rates and deals across the sector
  • Identifying opportunities for cost savings and other efficiencies
  • Options appraisals to inform strategic direction and choice of supply model e.g. stores and materials supply options appraisals
  • Structure and resource allocation for purchasing within the organisation
  • Regulatory compliance audits
  • Efficiency of purchasing processes and mechanisms



The Cirrus team bring technical procurement expertise to project management, enabling more informed and effective project delivery.

Lack of time or resources to deliver a project have the same impact as lack of skills, the result can be delays in delivery or sub-optimal outcomes. Engaging additional external support when needed to give your existing team a lift and to deliver projects over and above existing workloads can be a valuable decision.

The Cirrus team do not just represent an additional pair of hands, they are specialists with extensive experience in the delivery of procurement projects from complex tenders through to implementation of managed stores solutions, purchase order processing systems and eProcurement systems.


Procurement advice and training at all levels from introductory workshops for non-technical staff through to sector orientation workshops for procurement professionals.
Recognised experts in EU Public Procurement legislation, we provide practical and realistic guidance on the regulations and legislation affecting procurement in the housing and public sector.

Bespoke training to address specific procurement learning requirements can be provided on request.
For more details contact either Mike Barnett mbarnett@cirruspurchasing.co.uk Tel: 07572 108320, or Claire Paton cpaton@cirruspurchasing.co.uk Tel: 07828 143935


A different approach to business improvement consultancy: A Cascade Review is a procurement, efficiency and viability review of one or more contractors and suppliers to a public sector organisation.

The Cirrus team review the 1st and 2nd tier supply chain to generate shared benefits and savings that cascade through to the public sector organisation itself.
The award winning Cascade Review methodology (previously known as 2nd Generation Partnering) has been relaunched to meet the current challenges faced by the sector, and is characterised by:
  • Identified savings opportunities in the 1st and 2nd tier supply chain are used to drive contractor efficiency with benefits shared between the client organisation and the contractor
  • Drives extra value from existing contracts and partnering agreements while preserving contractor margins
  • Contributes directly to client efficiency targets with minimal disruption
  • Recognised by the Centre for Construction Innovation, Constructing Excellence, a winner of the North West Regional Construction Awards 2007 and a finalist in the 2007 CIH UK Housing Awards, the Cascade methodology has been tried and tested with contracting organisations across the UK of all sizes and disciplines
To watch the Audit Commission best practice film about our Cascade Review projects in action in the Social Housing sector, please follow the link below:

With core expertise in the EU Public Procurement Directive and associated Public Contracts Regulations, we have delivered over £5 billion of EU compliant tenders across a range of categories including:
  • Major Works & Decent Homes programmes
  • Responsive Repairs and Voids
  • Repairs Materials
  • Developers/Constructors Frameworks
  • Vehicle Fleet
  • Audit and other Consultancy Services
  • Mechanical & Electrical Services
  • Environmental Services & Grounds Maintenance
  • Agency Staff Services
  • Cleaning & Window Cleaning
  • Training
Support can be tailored to suit client requirements, ranging from light touch 'critical friend' guidance during the process to lead consultant role with full responsibility for design and delivery of tender packages, contract and tender documentation, project management, publication of EU contract notices, evaluation, award and bidder liaison.

We have managed all our tender projects fully electronically through online tools since 2008.


Benchmark exercises which target areas of significant expenditure are powerful tools to identify and drive cost savings. These can be individual targeted projects, or part of a larger strategic review such as a stores options appraisal.

Cirrus Purchasing maintain an extensive database of current market costs, which we use to test the value for money achieved by our clients.

We can undertake benchmarking analysis on your behalf to test the value for money you currently achieve with your purchasing terms, or to validate critical tender results to ensure future expenditure is optimised.

"Knowledge is power"


Cirrus Consortium frameworks provide quick, easy and EU compliant access to a range of products and services.
Cirrus frameworks are each undertaken as EU compliant tender procedures, meeting the requirements of UK Public Contracts Regulations.

The resulting frameworks are available for use by all contracting authorities (as defined by Regulation 3 of the UK statutory instrument Public Contracts Regulations 2006/5), but particularly Registered Providers of Social Housing, local authorities, ALMOs (Arms Length Management Organisations) and NHS Trusts.

Every contracting authority that uses a Cirrus Consortium framework agreement qualifies for free membership to the consortium. This allows the member organisations to have an active input to the frameworks under the consortium, while retaining the ability to use framework suppliers, contractors and service providers autonomously.

Current consortium frameworks include:
  • Building materials, including general build, plumbing & heating, electrical components, kitchens and managed stores services
  • Agency labour and recruitment services, including technical role specialist agencies, master vendors and neutral vendors
  • Kitchen materials supply, including the provision of whole kitchens, component parts and associated supply services
For more information about each framework please visit our Frameworks page.


Strategy. Policy. Action plan. The three crucial documents to structure and control procurement within your organisation.

In addition to strategic procurement advice to senior leadership, the Cirrus team can develop effective strategy and policy documentation to underpin your procurement direction. This can either be the alignment of your existing documentation with best practice, or, following consultation with the relevant personnel within your organisation, production of bespoke documentation that meets your corporate and VFM objectives.

We have detailed experience of producing procurement strategies and advised the previous Audit Commission Housing Inspectorate on how to assess strategies and procurement in general as part of the now-superceded KLOE inspection regime.


The Cirrus team draw on their diverse experience to provide a range of services to commercial clients, including
  • Business process and purchasing efficiency reviews
  • Cost reduction and efficiency projects
  • Hands-on project management and implementation support to deliver strategic level purchasing initiatives
  • Advice and support to locate, bid for, and win work. This includes training in how to effectively bid on public sector tenders

Whether you are public, private or third sector, large or small, new, merging or established, an individual organisation, a group structure or part of a consortium, to discuss your specific needs with one of our consultants, contact the team.
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