Combining engineering nous and a passion for sustainability
Anna Solano joined our National Procurement team as Facilities Category Manager in January 2021. While she has a background in engineering, Anna has always worked in procurement and supply chain roles. Now she is applying both her technical skills and passion for sustainability to improve facilities at DHBs.
What does your role entail? My role allows me to create a strategy for categories like HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning), security and facilities services for DHBs. I analyse the needs, research the market and develop practical, achievable goals to ensure the best value for money for the DHBs.
What motivates you most about your role? I’ve never worked in the public sector before and what I’ve learned has been exciting. The opportunity to connect with the different DHBs, the Ministry of Health and MBIE, and learn about their strategic objectives allows me to create a category strategy that resonates with them. That is very rewarding. It’s also very exciting being part of the new transformational process that health sector is starting as it’s an excellent opportunity for positive change.
How do you see your role contributing to NZHP’s mission to help NZ health get the best value from the products and services it purchases? Providing the DHBs with the category strategy and suppliers to enable them to realise their benefits. Creating the right partnerships with suitable suppliers is critical in a market and a sector that is evolving so rapidly as ours.
What value do you aim to provide to customers? My goal is to provide a long-lasting strategy that supplies constant benefits to our customers and by always focusing on innovation and sustainability as these are my main interests.
What benefit can NZHP provide in relation to facilities? We can add value by improving the level of comfort provided by facilities, reduce energy consumption, provide innovation through partnerships, increase standardisation across maintenance procedures and services, etc. We can also analyse opportunities within government actions, like All of Government and other initiatives, and enable the sector to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
How do you incorporate sustainability into your role? Having sustainability constantly on my radar, I spot every opportunity to improve in this area. For example, I’m working on a business case to provide a sealing service to the DHB facilities to reduce their HVAC system’s energy consumption. This will also improve the air quality and the comfort of patients and staff members because it will ensure the air that reaches the rooms is fully filtered and at the right temperature.
What changes have you seen in the procurement landscape during your time in this space? When I started in procurement almost 20 years ago, the main objective was to maximise savings in the short term. Then organisations identified that constant supplier changes were costly, so they transitioned towards guaranteeing sustainable savings and providing a good product and service over the years. Effective ways to achieve this are supplier relationship management and risk management. These have become a vital piece of procurement roles and ensure the continuous improvement that organisations need. Another fundamental change has been the shift by organisations in forging partnerships with suppliers, which are specifically selected and trained to improve in areas like sustainability and social responsibility.