Improving HR, finance and procurement systems and services

July 23rd, 2021

Calling on the expertise, advice and support of a wide variety of university stakeholders, the Digital Core project team are undertaking a detailed procurement process to select a new HR, Finance and Procurement system(s) and a suitable partner to support the implementation.

As part of this procurement, the team are carefully considering how the solution will enable service improvements to benefit all our staff.

The previous Digital Core project update highlighted how 237 colleagues from across the university played a key role in building a statement of requirements for the new system(s) and capabilities that will underpin our HR, Finance and Procurement services and ways of working in the future.

As the project team move into the later stages of this procurement over the summer, they wanted to provide you with an insight into the detailed procurement process they have been working through this year, in order to help select the best solution for the university:

  • January – The procurement process commenced when a public Contract Notice was issued that encouraged bidders to register their interest in supplying the university with new HR, Finance and Procurement solutions. A very strong response was received from 24* organisations.
  • March – The project team and stakeholders assessed the credentials of each of the interested bidders. A selection questionnaire helped to evaluate their eligibility to proceed to the next stage in the procurement, covering areas such as their economic and financial standing, technical and professional ability to meet the university’s needs, insurance, compliance with equality and Modern Slavery Act legislation, environmental and quality management, health and safety, business continuity and staff capability.
  • April – Eight shortlisted bidders were invited to participate in an initial dialogue stage through a formal Invitation to Participate in Dialogue. Bidders that accepted the invitation met with university stakeholders and the Digital Core project team to discuss their high-level approach and outline solutions in response to the statement of requirements.
  • June – The initial dialogue stage was completed and interested bidders formally submitted outline proposals for evaluation. A team of 68 colleagues from various areas of the university played a key role in evaluating these proposals against set criteria to determine a shortlist of four potential partners that were eligible to go through to the final procurement stage. The scoring method assessed a number of areas including the extent to which the solutions met necessary HR, Finance and Procurement functionality, the ease with which functionality could be implemented, usability and accessibility, and how compliant bidders could be with the university’s preferred commercial and contractual approach.

Laura Henshaw, HR Management Information and Systems Manager, was part of the team evaluating the proposals and shares her experience: “I was really excited to be part of a team responsible for evaluating and engaging in dialogue with potential partners. The evaluation process itself was quite intensive, with lots of documents and spreadsheets to read and evaluate.

“The process has given me a good insight into the improvements we will be able to achieve once the new system is implemented, together with a greater understanding of the adjustments we will need to make to our processes and existing ways of working to maximise those benefits.”

A process of detailed dialogue with the four shortlisted potential partners has now begun. This will be followed with a final evaluation which the project team hope to complete in October 2021.

The project team continue to be committed to engaging with colleagues from the wider university in this procurement. The shortlisted partners will be demonstrating their solutions in September and if you would like to be part of the team reviewing the solutions, please see the Digital Core SharePoint site for details on how to submit an expression of interest.

If you have any questions or feedback, please email

*This number was updated on 8 October 2021. Please accept our apologies for the previous error. 

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July 27th, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Nick Thom

Whatever system you choose, please listen to those in teaching / research / technical / admin roles who have to use it. I’m pretty sure they will all say:
1. Make it simple
2. Make it flexible
Do not sacrifice these on the altar of convenience to accountants.

October 8th, 2021 at 10:41 am


Hi Nick,

Please accept our apologies for the delay in coming back to you.

Thank you for your comment. We are actively engaging with and listening to colleagues across the university, in all the job roles you have mentioned. A key requirement for the new system(s) is for it to be easy to use and flexible.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at so we can help.

Riz Ahmed

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