Police Force Plan to Achieve £350,000 Annual Savings on 25,000 Purchases and Provide a Secure Procure-to-Pay Solution Across the Entire Organisation
EGS Ltd, the UK’s largest and fastest growing e-Commerce Exchange for the public sector and its suppliers, today announced that Dorset Police has deployed the EGS e-Procurement and electronic trading environment for Emergency Services, known as the Bluelight Marketplace, to streamline efficiencies in its procurement processes. Dorset Police has also become the first EGS customer to deploy Real Time Commitment Accounting. Over the coming year, Dorset Police also plans to add EGS’ eInvoicing solution, creating a completely electronic, automated purchase-to-pay lifecycle.
Dorset Police spends £30 million on purchases every year, processing 25,000 orders annually. Dorset Police wanted to implement an automated purchase-to-pay system that would reduce maverick spending, enable better supplier controls, create greater efficiencies for the procurement process, and facilitate Shared Services and collaborative working initiatives with other police forces. In particular, Dorset Police wanted the ability to check that funds were available for allocated purchases before orders were completed, which meant implementing a Real Time Commitment Accounting system that would seamlessly integrate with its existing Oracle-based financial system.
Dorset Police’s involvement in this is part of a South West & Wales Regional Force project, lead by Dorset Police Assistant Chief Officer, John Jones, and working closely with Devon & Cornwall Police.
“We have large regional contracts with a number of suppliers, and we also work closely with Dorset County Council,” said Shona Campbell, Contracts Officer and Project Manager for Dorset Police. “We wanted to automate our whole purchase to pay process through eProcurement and eInvoicing, and in particular wanted to build Real Time Commitment Accounting into this process. We needed a system that would automatically verify that the person ordering goods has the authority for those budget codes, that there are funds allocated to those specific budget codes, and that the companies we are ordering from are in fact active suppliers with us. EGS already had a proven track record of delivering eProcurement and eInvoicing solutions, and were able to build an interface into our financial system so that we can seamlessly automate real time budget checks. We also consulted other EGS reference sites who were taking a similar approach to Commitment Accounting. Overall, we expect the system to deliver a return on investment within six to twelve months, depending on how quickly it becomes fully deployed.”
Dorset Police initially implemented the EGS Bluelight Marketplace without the Commitment Accounting feature while the interface was being built, in order to get staff familiar with using the system. Now fully live and operational, Campbell and her team will be deploying the EGS system to the entire force over the coming months, and will be implementing EGS’ eInvoicing system later this year to create a paperless system.
“The manual procurement process was costing us about £28 per transaction to process, and we process around 25,000 purchase orders per year,” added Campbell. “With the EGS Bluelight Marketplace, we expect to reduce this cost by at least fifty percent, if not more, resulting in non-cashable annual savings of around £350,000 per year. These savings will increase even further once we deploy EGS’ eInvoicing system. Moving forward, we plan to set up an internal stores for internal customers within the force. The internal stores will be listed as a local supplier within the EGS system and will include an internal catalog of items, such as uniforms, to make it easier for personnel to order goods. At the moment we spend a considerable amount of time on paper and processes. The internal stores will make it easy to see what’s available and will simplify the internal ordering process. We believe we will be one of the first police forces in the country to do this, and it will enable officers to process orders at any time, regardless of whether they’re working on a day or night shift.”
EGS’ Bluelight Marketplace specializes in supporting the electronic trading requirements of the Police and Emergency Services. The Bluelight Marketplace provides Police Forces across the country with online access to national and regionally negotiated contracts and to specialised suppliers of goods and services. Through full and seamless interconnectivity with the IDeA:marketplace and other exchanges, Police Forces also have wide access to general national and regional framework contracts. This means Forces can collaborate nationally, regionally, and with, for example, neighbouring local authorities.
“Implementing eProcurement and technology requires a cultural change that has to be carefully managed,” said Campbell. “With EGS, we’ve found a market leading system that’s both easy to use, easy to manage and provides us with a more controlled, efficient and automated purchase to pay system which removes cumbersome processes, verifies authorization, and reduces off contract spending. It also means we can consolidate the number of suppliers and work with other forces to collaborate on best practice.”
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.
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