Case study: East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit and Mint Commercial Services LLP
Updated: Apr 15
Client: East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit / Mint Commercial Services LLP
Date: March 2019 – August 2020
Challenges faced by the client: East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit (EMSCU) was established via a collaboration agreement between the Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire Police and Fire Forces and the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, and existed to support the Forces and Commissioners in their procurement of goods and services.
Roughly one third of EMSCU’s total operating costs were covered by funding from the Forces, meaning that to be financially viable and sustainable EMSCU needed to generate the majority of its funding elsewhere. Originally EMSCU had been able to do that successfully through contracts with external clients, but it was noted that their ability to generate income was beginning to plateau as its activities were focused within one sector - policing.
The EMSCU team identified significant cross-sector opportunities which showed a huge potential demand for its services inside and outside of the policing sector, and which could generate more than enough income to cover operating costs, as well as significant excess.
Further to this, and following significant internal work, in early 2019 the Commissioners and Forces approved the appointment of external support to explore of the creation of a separate legal entity to deliver EMSCU’s commercial services. The aim of new legal entity being to provide best value for money to the Forces and other customers through an increased ability to grow and generate income from wider public sector clients.
Support offered: Mutual Ventures were delighted to be awarded the contract to support the EMSCU service to explore the establishment of a new commercial entity.
Our support was provided in 3 phases - (1) Full Business Case, (2) Business Planning, and (3) Implementation.
During phase 1, our support focused on the development of a Full Business Case (FBC), which was to be presented to the EMSCU Board. This included drawing together work that had already been undertaken and challenging any assumptions and decisions therein (where appropriate), engaging key stakeholders, and finally developing the FBC itself.
The final FBC was presented to the EMSCU Board in June 2019, and approval was given to progress to phase 2.
During phase 2, we led the production of a robust Business Plan. Working with finance leads from the OPCCs and Forces, and the EMSCU team, a financial model was also developed. We also provided advice, with our legal delivery partner, on the most suitable legal forms and governance structures, and technical aspects of the transition such as assets, HR matters, support services and taxation. Finally, we developed a detailed transition plan.
In addition to developing the document described above, to ensure that key stakeholders from all 4 of the client organisations were engaged and involved in the decision making process throughout, we established and led a weekly project group.
The final Business plan was presented to the EMSCU Board in January 2020. Approval was given to progress to phase 3 – Implementation.
Following approval of the business and transition plans, we successfully supported the implementation of the transition plan.
Outcome achieved: Mint Commercial Services LLP, jointly owned by the Nottinghamshire PCC and the Northamptonshire PFCC, went live in August 2020.
Although it is early days for the new independent legal entity, the service feel that they have all of the factors required to grow and thrive. These include having a Board that are able to act effectively and impartially, a governance structure that brings greater clarity, impartiality and timeliness to the governance and decision making processes, and priorities aligned and focused solely on Mint’s strategic objectives.
Mint Commercial Services LLP continues to provide their existing services to their existing customers/Forces, and are currently developing a range new services that will be available to Forces as well as the wider public sector.