BlueLight Commercial appoints new CEO to deliver ‘value for money’ for policing

A former steel director who has delivered ‘significant transformations’ is to take charge of a new company tasked with saving police forces across England and Wales time and money.

May 13, 2020
By Paul Jacques
Lianne Deeming

Lianne Deeming will begin her new position as chief executive officer (CEO) of BlueLight Commercial next week, leading a team advising police forces on how to make the most of their procurement needs.

Blue Light Commercial was established in response to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and National Police Chiefs’ Council Policing Vision 2025 report.

That report urged a new approach to delivering savings by undertaking shared procurement. It called for greater joint working between local authorities, emergency services and local police forces, including the formal integration of back-office functions.

Mrs Deeming said: “BlueLight Commercial provides an opportunity to develop the core success that procurement teams have already delivered on behalf of the 43 police forces. The ambition is for BlueLight Commercial to become the police forces’ trusted partner and the ‘go to’ organisation for commercial categories and services.”

She said the Home Office has made clear that policing must strive for greater efficiency in return for increased government investment. BlueLight Commercial aims to drive this by addressing issues of duplication across forces’ procurement departments, and by driving down prices with suppliers.

“We want to create an integrated vision which drives the commercial focus going forward, aligned to the 2025 Policing Vision, with strong category strategies,” added Mrs Deeming. “Achieving that is about providing best practice approaches for end-to-end commercial processes; giving clarity to local, regional and national procurement and contract management practices.”

Mrs Deeming, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the steel industry, including as chief procurement officer at Tata Steel Europe, said she applied for the CEO role because it brings together various skills and experiences from her career to date. She has delivered significant transformations, achieving more than £1 billion in savings, and set up her own company – but BlueLight Commercial says it is her operational experience that enables her to understand the requirements of end users.

From day one at BlueLight Commercial’s offices in Birmingham, Mrs Deeming says she wants to engage with policing in an open and transparent way to quickly understand their current needs.
“We want to be able to provide agile responses and develop solutions to current key issues, such as supply chain risk arising from Covid-19,” she said.

“We want to identify and share the best practices that already exist across forces, while continuing to deliver on the agreed savings commitments, and prioritising the development and implementation of strategies in key areas such as fleet and aviation, people and professional services, and operations.”

Kent’s police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott, who is chair of the BlueLight Commercial board, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to appoint Lianne to the position of CEO. She was an exemplary candidate who will help policing achieve even greater value for money.”

BlueLight Commercial’s aim is to provide a “single voice” to the market to deliver value to stakeholders through “expert and data-led commercial activities” – sustaining the ongoing delivery of savings and encouraging greater collaboration across forces in England and Wales, at both regional and national levels.

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