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Paul Mander’s business is blooming


Bloom, meet the boss, as seen in the Northern Echo

For anyone who has ever been self-employed Paul Mander’s business premise sounds like manna from heaven.

Bloom, may be quirky name but it is a seriously ambitious business. Bloom works with over 200 public sector organisations including a number based in the North East including Newcastle City Council and Durham County Council. One of Bloom’s key missions is to ensure regional micro businesses and SMEs get a fair chance to pitch for professional services projects from very small to multi-million pound opportunities and, more importantly, offer a consistent procurement approach across their growing client base.

Paul Mander, who graduated from Kent University with a management degree, joined Bloom two years ago. Paul started his career in the Public Sector buying residential care for adults with learning disabilities for a large County Council moving quickly into procurement systems, financial services and collaborative procurement in higher education. Paul originally moved to the North East in 2009 working closely with Local Authorities at the time to identify savings opportunities and support collaboration across the region.

Having joined Bloom as the Head of Client Services, Paul’s new role as Local Government and NE service director involves working with the core Operations Team ensuring Bloom continue to support organisations to meet their own objectives around use of local micro and SME suppliers, retain control of professional services spend as well as securing value for money.

The business was originally headquartered in Sunderland Software City but recently moved to Newcastle’s Quayside to cope with the ever-expanding team .Despite being in relatively new offices even these are being extended currently as the staff numbers are set to grow again in the coming weeks.

He said: “Bloom was launched in 2012 on the back of the North East Procurement Organisation’s specialist professional services contract ‘NEPRO’. In 2015, Bloom was awarded the second iteration of this framework via a fully OJEU compliant tender process and it has blazed a trail ever since.We work across the UK helping ensure large scale public sector organisations get good value for money for their professional services spend as well as opening them up to innovative ways of working via a diverse range of suppliers.

“What I particular enjoy about my work is that we are able to be flexible to deliver exactly what a client wants.My team and I work hard to make sure projects are feasible, within the budget available. We also really nail down what will count as a success from it and the impact this will have for the buying organisation. All too often people don’t fully understand how to quantify success once projects are completed.

Since it was established Bloom has blossomed, as its name suggests and doubled its workforce up to 60. During this time, Bloom has procured services for over 230 different organisations around the country and has helped deliver savings of over £35m for the public sector.