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Ability to Identify Areas of Common Spend Through Joint Contracts for Greater Cost Savings and Streamlined Efficiencies on Behalf of the Cumbrian Partners

EGS Ltd, the UK’s largest and fastest growing e-Commerce Exchange for the public sector and its suppliers, today announced that the Cumbria County Council and five of the district councils in Cumbria have adopted the EGS e-Procurement and electronic trading environment, known as the IDeA:marketplace, to enable eProcurement as a Shared Service within the county.

As part of the Effective Procurement in Cumbria (EPiC) initiative, Cumbria County Council has been reviewing the cost of procurement, analysing its supplier base and identified a commonality of goods and suppliers amongst the County Council and district councils. The participating district councils include Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Copeland Borough Council, Allerdale Borough Council and South Lakeland District Council.

“In 2006 we did a lot of work reviewing how we can streamline our procurement strategy for greater shared efficiency,” said Alan Rutcliffe, Head of Strategic and Commercial Procurement at Cumbria County Council, and Chair of the EPiC Project Board. “As a first step, we are using a Quick Start version of EGS’ Exchange, which enables us load all of our supplier catalogues and provide access to all participating councils with full contract prices. This allows us to identify areas of common spend where joint contracts will deliver cost savings on the purchase of commodities, help us work to identify better, existing agreements or negotiate new agreements on behalf of the Cumbrian partners. As a County Council, we have 85 percent of the local authority expenditure in Cumbria and want to make the best possible use of that purchasing power. The EGS Exchange will not only help us to reduce duplication, harness greater aggregated purchasing power, but it also enables us to implement best practice procurement with regards to selecting, and working with, our suppliers.”

All six Councils went live in April 2007 and are currently integrating with their back end systems to various degrees. The next step is for put transactions through the EGS IDeA:marketplace, which is expected early next year.

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 more information, interviews and images, please contact:

Monique Chambers
Devonshire Marketing
Tel: 0207 871 2781
Email: monique@devonshiremarketing.com

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