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Council Plans to Abolish All Paper-Based Invoices by March 2008. Predicted Savings of 10% of £9 Million Influenceable Expenditure Once Fully Deployed

EGS Ltd, the UK’s largest and fastest growing e-Commerce Exchange for the public sector and its suppliers, today announced that the Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk has gone live with its EGS’ e-Procurement and electronic trading environment, known as the IDeA:marketplace. With an implementation time of just four weeks, the Council reaped initial savings of approximately £600k by revising its procurement strategy and automating its procurement processes, as well as gaining valuable management insight and putting spending controls in place through the EGS Exchange.

The Council is now in the process of adding suppliers to the system, which will be fully rolled out to users across all Council departments by March 2008. The Council will be abolishing all paper-based invoices at that time. Once fully deployed, the Council will be able to save up to ten percent on its influenceable expenditure of £9 million, which is part of its overall £98 million annual expenditure. Following in the footsteps of Norfolk County Council, which also uses the EGS IDeA:marketplace, the Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk replaced a previously installed eProcurement system from another vendor with EGS, as part of an upgrade of the Council’s financial systems. The EGS Exchange is currently deployed to about 100 Council employees and its most frequently used suppliers at present. Additional users and suppliers will be added over the coming months.

“We moved to eProcurement as part of the e-government initiative, and also decided to upgrade to a new financial system internally,” said Sarah Arthurton, Senior Accountancy Technician at the Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. “EGS’ IDeA:marketplace enables us to know exactly what’s being spent and who the Council is buying from. It enables us to have greater controls in place to ensure that only authorised people are buying, which significantly reduces off contract spend and maverick buying. It also provides us with valuable analysis. We knew who we were buying from, but previously we didn’t have insight into what was being bought and in what quantities. The EGS system assigns codes against items, which gives us much greater management insight into what we’re buying. This in turn means we are able to negotiate much more meaningful contracts, streamline the number of suppliers and make our processes sharper.”

Dale Gagen, Technical Accountant for the Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk added, “Since moving from manual processes to eProcurement, we have made in excess of £600k in savings by approaching procurement in a different way and having better systems in place. Our gross annual expenditure is approximately £98 million of which approximately £9 million can be influenced. Through automating our procurement process and revising our procurement strategy, we’ll be able to reap about ten percent savings on this sum.”

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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