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Approximately 500 Purchases a Month Worth in Excess of £1.3 Million Passing Through EGS’ eProcurement Exchange -Second Highest in the County

EGS Ltd, the UK’s largest and fastest growing e-Commerce Exchange for the public sector and its suppliers, today announced that Epping Forest District Council has deployed EGS’ e-Procurement and electronic trading environment, known as the IDeA:marketplace, to 200 staff
working in almost every department, and is now processing more than 500 transactions a month. With an annual gross spend of nearly £100 million, the Council raises approximately 6,000 purchase orders a year.

Epping Forest District Council began looking into eProcurement options last year in line with the e-Government agenda requirements. The Council initially reviewed a solution from one of its financial application providers, which was ruled out for being too complex and not user friendly enough. Essex County Council was already a customer of the EGS IDeA:marketplace, and was having a high degree of success with the system, which Epping Forest District Council adopted and formally began using in October 2006. Epping Forest District Council is now processing around 500 purchases a month, worth in excess of £1.3 million through the EGS IDeA:marketplace. With Essex County Council and some other district councils within the county also using the EGS system, Epping Forest District Council is the district council with the second highest number of transactions passing through the EGS Exchange in the County. At a County level, more than 100,000 orders are being transacted through the EGS Exchange worth in excess of £273 million.

“We were initially using a manual, paper-based procurement system and were facing all of the common issues around maverick spending, security, authorisation and off contract spend,” said Bob Palmer, Head of Finance for Epping Forest District Council. “With EGS’ help, we set up training programs for nominated people from each department, who found the system extremely easy to use. We have now transferred our complete existing supplier database into the system. The next stage will be to rationalise suppliers. For example, at the moment each department has its own stationery supplier and we will eventually move over to one main supplier for all departments. Over time we will leverage the framework contract agreements that have already been negotiated and set up with suppliers at the county level to take advantage of aggregated spending power.”

Epping Forest District Council has not yet analysed its efficiency savings in depth, but expects to reap significant cost and efficiency benefits, as well as productivity gains as a direct result of moving away from a paper-based procurement system and onto an eProcurement marketplace.

“EGS gives us a much better element of control,” added Bob Palmer. “We have no centralised procurement unit in the Council. Each department is responsible for its own purchasing. The EGS IDeA:marketplace gives us much better management insight into who is spending what and with whom. It also gives us reduced costs, reduced time and a built in system that automatically prompts users to get management approval for purchases over a certain value. Once we’ve done the full analysis on the shopping baskets in the system, we’ll have a full breakdown into what we are spending, and how much our purchase to pay process is costing us. We wanted a system that was as easy for our staff to use as something like Amazon or Tesco and gave us a controlled environment. The EGS IDeA:marketplace gives us the perfect combination of ease of use with management insight and control.”

Designed and managed by EGS specifically for local government, the IDeA:marketplace gives instant access to a wide range of contracts for products and services that have been negotiated locally, regionally, or nationally. The IDeA:marketplace is a joint venture between EGS and the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) to deliver local government's own electronic world-class procurement system and electronic trading environment. The IDeA:marketplace provides local government customers with a range of e-procurement solutions and services that meet their own needs as Councils, whilst enabling them to work more closely and effectively with other bodies at local, regional and national levels. Over 100 Local Authorities are currently part of IDeA:marketplace, and 150 public sector buying organisations use this and EGS’ other exchanges.

Buyers in the UK public sector raise over 50 million purchase orders per year and suppliers post over 100 million invoices per year. Shared Service e-Commerce environments help dramatically reduce the costs of these processes and underpin collaboration between groups of public sector bodies to get the best from national, regional and local collaboration. There is £100 billion of e-procureable spend in the public sector every year. The combined efficiencies of business process cost savings and e-Procurement cost savings delivered by EGS have the potential to save the public purse well over £1 billion per annum. The solutions also offer major cost savings for suppliers. With almost one million online catalog items (the largest available), EGS Exchanges also have the potential to reduce the unit price of goods and services by as much as 30 per cent.

About EGS Ltd
Founded in 2000, EGS Ltd is the UK’s leading supplier of e-Commerce Exchanges for the public sector. The company’s Shared Service e-Commerce solutions are used by over 150 public sector buying organisations. EGS operates a series of inter-locking regional and sector focused e-Commerce exchanges, providing services designed to automate and reduce the costs and timescales associated with the procurement to pay lifecycle. The services save considerable time and cost for both buying organisations and suppliers alike. EGS is the biggest and fastest growing e-Commerce Exchange for the UK public sector with more than 50% market share, making it the market leader in its field, and the most successful Exchange of its kind in Europe. With the largest Shared Services customer base, EGS has 150 public buying organisations linking with 30,000 of their chosen supplies and the main contracts from Public Purchasing Consortia. Electronic purchasing is taking off. EGS has seen a 500% growth in the use of its services in past two years alone, and expects the trend to continue.

For further information, please contact:

Vanessa Land
Devonshire Marketing
Tel: +44 (0)870 242 7469

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