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Council Expects to Process 9,000 Transactions This Year Worth £10 million. FurtherIntegration Planned with Council’s Housing Association, and Tyne and Wear Pension Fund

EGS Ltd, the UK’s largest and fastest growing e-Commerce Exchange for the public sector and its suppliers, today announced that South Tyneside Council has deployed EGS’ e-Procurement and electronic trading environment, known as the IDeA:marketplace, to 475 staff across all Directorates. The Council has already processed 28,000 transactions to date through the EGS Exchange, and expects to process a further 9,000 transactions this year worth around £10 million. With an influenceable annual spend of around £100 million, the Council will gain even further efficiencies once the EGS IDeA:marketplace is fully integrated with its financial system in the coming weeks.

The Council was previously using a combination of paper, fax, phone and web-based ordering for its procurement. In line with the National Procurement Strategy and the Gershon Report The Council wanted to have a standardised system with better control and visibility and to streamline its processes to gain efficiencies. The Council first started using EGS IDeA:marketplace back in June 2005, starting with a small group of procurement staff and then encompassing its Asset Management staff, which process some large and unusual orders for reactive repairs and building maintenance. This was followed by a gradual roll out across the Council and has reached all Directorates.

“We’ve pretty much removed all of our paper order pads where Marketplace has been implemented and now have 475 people using the system. We have signed up 2,300 suppliers so far, and are adding new suppliers all the time” said Tim Jennett, Strategic Procurement
Officer for South Tyneside Council. “The EGS system has enabled us to gain greater management insight into our purchasing, considerably reduce maverick spend, and enabled us to identify gaps in our contracts. We’ve rolled out gradually, getting each group up and
running on the system and improving our procurement processes across the organisation. We’re also able to take advantage of linking into NEPO (North East Purchasing Organisation) and othercollaborative contracts.. So far, we have conducted 28,000 transactions through EGS and expect to process a further 9,000 transactions worth around £10 million this year. We have an influenceable annual spend of around £100 million, and in time we hope the majority of this spend will be going through the EGS IDeA:marketplace.”

South Tyneside Council is currently in the process of integrating the EGS Exchange with its financial system, TASK Financials from Consilium. This is the first time this link has been made and it is currently being tested. Over the coming year, the Council will embark on a major project rolling out the integrated system to all areas of the Council and also incorporating the Council’s Housing Association, South Tyneside Homes Ltd, and the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund.

“We’ve not yet analysed our purchased-to-pay costs, but one of the problems we always had from the procurement side was visibility,” added Jennett. “EGS’ iDeA:marketplace has directly addressed this issue and we now have a standard way of doing things. We have been able to strengthen authorisation, improve internal controls, collaborate on contracts, and have been able
to extend the skills of our staff. We’ve also been able to ensure we are engaging with local suppliers, as part of our Local Enterprise Growth Initiative and through the Regional Stepchange programme, so we can ensure our smaller, local suppliers are not disenfranchised and are able to transact with local government electronically.”

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
Email: vanessa@devonshiremarketing.com

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