A new direction for procurement of the police with Hansel’s development services

The Technology Unit of the National Police Board needed to make its procurement process better and more efficient. Hansel was enlisted to support this goal. Jointly prepared guidelines enable both savings and a lighter workload.

The Technology Unit of the National Police Board handles facility, technology and material administration of the entire police organisation, which consists of 10,000 people. Procurement is a key part of the work. The Material Centre is responsible for most of the police’s material administration procurement. Hansel was already a familiar partner for the police from joint procurement. A project on investigating the opportunities to centralise the police’s procurement brought a whole new dimension to the cooperation.

“We reassessed the administrative and support functions of the police on our own for some years, but the process proved very arduous and did not lead to any concrete changes. When the idea of an investigation of the opportunity to centralise procurement was raised during a discussion on the development of our operations, we decided to utilise Hansel’s expertise in this work, because we felt that it was a highly specific subject matter that required special expertise. Secondly, we wanted to involve a party from outside the police administration into the investigation. We were pleased with Hansel’s positive service attitude right from the very start,” says Jyrki Wasastjerna, Director of Technology.

The Technology Unit of the National Police Board focuses on proactive planning in the long term.

“Our goal is to invest in the promotion of digitisation and other forward-looking solutions that will optimally support the operations of the police.”

Research data instead of speculation

The starting point for the project was forming an overall idea of procurement as a whole in the police, or to see the forest instead of the trees.

“We wanted to achieve a comprehensive idea of what kind of a whole procurement forms in all the police units around the country, what kind of volumes we are looking at, how much resources were are using in procurement, how procurement expertise is distributed around the country and whether there are any overlapping tasks. We also wanted to get the views of the different units on procurement development needs,” Wasastjerna explains.

An agreement was signed with Hansel and the project was launched in December 2018. To achieve proper situational awareness, a development manager from Hansel performed a comprehensive round of interviews and arranged almost a dozen workshops. The investigation was supported by means of surveys and a spend analysis, for example.

“The spend analysis was an eye-opener for us. I admired the way in which the Hansel development manager was able to compile a clear summary of the discussion – which was quite meandering at times what with the interviews and the workshops – to form an overall idea of the situation. The participants found the workshops useful, and even requested more workshops during the investigation process in addition to the ones that were initially agreed. As the investigation proceeded, it became clear that the units’ views of the challenges and centralisation were fairly consistent. This offered an excellent foundation for further action,” Wasastjerna says.

Data was also collected from the purchase account system of Rondo, supplier reports, the electronic tendering service Hanki and procurement notices. The Hansel development manager was tasked with not only collecting the massive body of data but also with analysing it.

“We could not have possibly completed such an extensive project without Hansel’s assistance and expertise. Noteworthy aspects include Hansel’s positive service attitude and Hansel’s expertise that allowed us to complete the large project,” Wasastjerna says.

Final result: a clear direction

The final result of the investigation is not just on paper. In addition to the large volume of data, the project’s final report includes a large number of development proposals. In early 2020, the National Police Commissioner will make a decision on which of them will be implemented. Once the decision has been made, the desired changes will be implemented in a separate project in compliance with a strategy specified by the National Police Commissioner.

“The final report opened our eyes to a host of realities that should be changed. I believe that once the strategy is complete, we will be able to take a huge leap in the development of procurement,” Wasastjerna says.

“I can highly recommend a similar project, and above all a procurement analysis, to all government agencies involved in procurement operations – those, in particular, that need assistance in managing the whole and an idea of the actual status of their procurement processes. Assistance from an outside expert will allow you to see the ways in which the organisations can modernise their procurement to make it profitable and efficient, and to ensure that it corresponds to the requirements of the new decade.”