Andy Hitchman, Deputy Head of Purchasing, Finance Division

We have issued more than 4,000 packs across all campuses, and we have orders in process for sufficient stock to make up a further 6,000 packs ready for those returning to campus in future, including students in October.” 

I joined Imperial’s Purchasing Department in November 2000. Since 2012, I have been Deputy Head of Purchasing, which involves overall responsibility for the day to day purchasing operations at the College, as well as delivering the Purchasing Strategy, improving the systems used and ensuring we deliver best value and savings across the wide portfolio of spend at the College.  

The COVID-19 lockdown presented us with a number of challenges, and it was important that the procurement of goods and services continued unhindered to enable everyone to carry on working. This included enabling orders to be placed on ICIS to have a home delivery, as well as promoting a list of suitable home working items for staff to purchase as required to assist sourcing.   

Once a staggered return to campus for staff was planned, the Heads of Financial Services and Procurement, Safety and Occupational Health proposed providing a welcome pack of PPE products for each returning person, and I was asked to lead on this. My team in the Purchasing Department set about sourcing and ordering sufficient quantities of masks, hand sanitisers and surface wipes. Once everything had been delivered, I rolled up my sleeves and (with extra help!) set about packing the kits in the Senior Common Room and got them issued to each department on request.  

To date, we have issued more than 4,000 packs across all campuses, and we have orders in process for sufficient stock to make up a further 6,000 packs ready for those returning to campus in future, including students in October. My thanks to everyone who helped me achieve this. 

Outside of PPE, we’re continuing to see how we can improve the P2P experience for staff and recently used Microsoft Teams to hold roadshows to launch new initiatives including the guided buying webpages which provide advice across the P2P process, and iSupplier, which improves new supplier set up.  

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