I-Tel Group Finalist in CIPS Awards for Excellence in Procurement During COVID-19

I-Tel Group, a leader in procurement and supply chain solutions, has been honoured as a finalist in the prestigious CIPS Awards for the “Best initiative to deliver social value through procurement.” This nomination recognises I-Tel Group’s critical response to the unprecedented challenges faced by the social care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in partnership with Real Life Options and United Response.

Prior to the pandemic, I-Tel Group had conducted a comprehensive procurement audit with Real Life Options, establishing a robust baseline to forecast future needs accurately. As the pandemic escalated and the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) soared against dwindling supplies, immediate and strategic action was crucial.

I-Tel Group responded by implementing a dynamic forecasting model that successfully adapted to a ten-fold increase in demand, managing the associated financial risks effectively. Key strategies included:

  • Prioritising the procurement of essential PPE to ensure availability where most needed.
  • Collaborating with service managers to forecast a three-month supply of critical items, optimising resource allocation.
  • Expanding sourcing channels, notably through innovative cross-industry procurement, including sourcing medical gloves from the automotive sector, and ramping up national efforts to secure the necessary PPE stock.

The successful strategy not only demonstrated I-Tel Group’s commitment but also earned them high praise from industry leaders. Ian Hardcastle, COO of Real Life Options, remarked, “From the outset, I-Tel’s professional approach and attention to detail built tremendous trust within our leadership team. When COVID-19 impacted globally, it had serious implications for our core operations. The sourcing and provision of PPE was critical, and I-Tel rose to the challenge. Quite simply, we would not have coped without them.”

Further affirming their pivotal role during the crisis, I-Tel Group also received a letter of recognition from the Health Secretary, underscoring the significant impact of their work.

Real Life Options

I-Tel Group named finalist in CIPS Awards for Outstanding Social Value Initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Gareth Shaw, I-Tel Group

Gareth Shaw

Senior Procurement Consultant

Gareth has over 19 years’ experience in commercial procurement contract management across both public and private sector. Holding senior positions at the Ministry of Justice and Turner and Townsend Gareth has overseen several multi million-pound contracts.
Guiding I-Tel in best practice and sustainability while offering practical solutions to steer our procurement team towards red tape reduction and compliant, efficient services.

Gareth Thompson

Legal & Compliance

Gareth is a qualified, senior commercial solicitor with 30 years’ experience. As counsel to the directors Gareth brings a wealth of experience to enhance I-Tel’s legal compliance and ensure supply chain legitimacy.
Overseeing all our commercial agreements and supporting the individual requirements of our clients, Gareth brings tremendous credibility to the whole organisation.
Dee Sarikaya, Head of Marketing, I-Tel Group

Dee Sarikaya

Head of Marketing

An impressive background with blue chip companies Dee is a former global B2B Commercial manager for Dyson. A proven track record in marketing and communications Dee is responsible for I-Tel’s client onboarding and messaging.
With huge experience in strategic international campaigns and working effectively in cross-functional teams Dee brings strong commercial acumen alongside an excellent ability to interact and influence at all levels.
Paul Keenan, Head of Client Services, I-Tel Group

Paul Keenan

Head of Client Services

Paul has over 30 years’ experience in B2B sales in both the public and private sector and heads up our client services division. Overseeing high value public and private sector contracts Paul has in depth knowledge of the industry.
Key contact to senior management and C suite clients with a problem solving, customer service excellence ideology.
Andrew Plummer, Operations Director, I-Tel Group

Andrew Plummer

Operation Director

A co-founder from the outset Andy has headed the operations team for I-Tel group. An engineer by trade Andy has a vast experience in manufacturing, logistics and warehousing.
Overseeing the day to day complexities of our hybrid model and ensuring all the individual parts function to produce the seamless highly efficient business model we see today.
Melvin Gauci, MD, I-Tel Group

Melvin Gauci

Managing Director

Managing Director and founding partner at I-Tel Group. Mel has been instrumental in transforming the business from a start-up cartridge manufacturing facility to an innovative forward thinking procurement company.
With 15 years at the helm and in depth knowledge of I.T. infrastructure and data analysis I-Tel Group is today one of the latest key players in the indirect procurement space.

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