Firm strategy steers Helsinki’s procurement

The city of Helsinki needed to renew its procurement strategy, as the organisation was realigned in 2017. However, they did not wish to rush in the matter. Instead, work was launched simultaneously to the preparation of the national procurement strategy. This way, the capital can be among the pioneers reaching for the common national targets set in the Procurement Finland action plan.

“It was natural to tie our procurement strategy not only to the city’s top-level strategies but also the national procurement strategy. In any case, the main themes would have been mostly similar, even when we added our own spices to the measures from the point of view of our four sectors”, says Jorma Lamminmäki, Procurement Director, who was involved in the preparation of both strategies.

Remote workshops worked efficiently

The main target of the city’s procurement strategy was to clarify procurement. It also outwardly describes what is emphasised. Helsinki summarised its targets under three main themes:

  • working markets and promotion of innovations
  • effectiveness and responsibility
  • procurement management and skills

Some ten people from around the city organisation participated in the strategy work. Hansel’s developers of procurement processes, Liisa Lehtomäki, Kalle Pinni, and Tuula Risikko were also involved to support the work.

“The main target of the city’s procurement strategy was to clarify procurement.”

“The plan was to organise workshops in the traditional way, but our project corresponded with the start of the coronavirus epidemic, so the plan had to be changed. I am very pleased with the way Hansel’s specialists facilitated cooperation remotely. They involved participants well”, Jorma Lamminmäki recalls.

He thanks Hansel also for the new ideas and good tips, which they introduced during the process, as well as for their generous help with content creation. The procurement strategy, published in December 2020, is an important backrest and tool for the team that steers all of Helsinki’s procurement from the City Executive Office.

Functional procurement to support successful service production

Next, the procurement strategy must be made public throughout the organisation, and its action plan must be completed. Jorma Lamminmäki says that this will mainly lean on the current operating model that has an extensive steering group for procurement at its core. The fact that Helsinki’s procurement strategy is compact and easy to approach help with the implementation. It has clear main themes, indicators, and actions.

“Responsibility, sustainability, and innovativeness have been discussed plenty in connection to public procurement. I am particularly happy that we managed to summarise the related targets as a package, which we can use to move swiftly towards implementation”, Jorma Lamminmäki sums up.

The strategy will take shape in the upcoming years through consistent steering and strong procurement competence.