Skip nav

Gloucester City Council Cuts Time Taken to Procure Goods by 75% Using COA Solutions’ eProcurement

COA Solutions’ eProcurement system integrated with @UK’s eMarketplace has transformed the efficiency of Gloucester City Council’s procurement department, cutting the time it takes to procure an item from 20 minutes to just five minutes.

Gloucester City Council wanted to improve the services it delivered to its 100,000 citizens by streamlining its procurement processes. The Council identified the need for a flexible and reliable electronic procurement (eProcurement) system to replace the inefficient processes undertaken by Council staff. Gloucester City Council also required the eProcurement system to tightly integrate into its existing COA Solutions ( financial management system and have the ability to “punch-out” to a central database of suppliers via an electronic marketplace.

Sarah Tilling, Systems Administrator at Gloucester City Council, comments, “We used to maintain an in-house catalogue to monitor the costs of goods and services from suppliers. As you can imagine, this was extremely labour intensive and prone to error. We also had to manually key-in information when placing an order which was another inefficient use of our time.”

Gloucester City Council selected COA Solutions’ eProcurement system integrated into @UK’s eMarketplace solution. The eProcurement system, which is tightly integrated into the Council’s existing COA Solutions financial management system, enables the automation of a range of procure-to-pay processes. @UK’s eMarketplace, which is a web-based application, facilitates electronic trade between one or more Local Authorities and many supplier organisations.

Tilling comments, “Implementing COA Solutions’ software has cut the time it takes to procure an item by 75%. It previously used to take us around 20 minutes to manually order a dozen stationery items whereas now we can do this in just five minutes with a few mouse clicks.”

Authorised Council users now ‘punch out’ into the @UK eMarketplace where they can automatically select their goods and services from a wide range of suppliers without manually keying-in information, significantly saving time and improving efficiency. Once a basket of goods has been selected for purchase, the specific contact details of the person who raised the order are added to the system, providing instant traceability and accountability. Instead of having to pay at the supplier’s checkout, the order is brought back into COA Solutions’ eProcurement system and the goods are matched with the general ledger codes before being sent to a Council officer for approval. Once approved, the order is then raised and sent electronically via the @UK eMarketplace to the chosen supplier where it is seamlessly converted into an electronic invoice and instantly committed to the Council’s COA Solutions financial management system.

Using the document management functionality that is integrated into the financial management system (which uses Version One technology), Gloucester City Council ensures all of its financial documents, such as remittance advices and statements, are electronically created and delivered.

Tilling adds, “Moving to eProcurement has saved us a lot of time as the whole process can be completed in just a few minutes. COA Solutions’ integrated systems have also allowed us to improve relationships with our suppliers and save costs by negotiating competitive contracts.”


About Gloucester City Council

Gloucester City Council services the historic city’s population of approximately 45,000 households comprising 100,000 citizens.

About COA Solutions

COA Solutions is the UK's leading supplier of integrated business management and information systems to public, private and not-for-profit organisations in the service sector. COA Solutions prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their business needs.

COA Solutions' award-winning Smart Business Suite combines core financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions. COA Solutions also provides managed service, hosted service and bureau service options. Its systems and services extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, HR and payroll departments across the organisation and enable managers in the business to monitor, analyse and continually improve corporate performance.

COA Solutions has more than 500 experienced and professional staff supporting and servicing over 4,000 clients across the UK service sector including Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WHSmith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.

Liz Ebbrell, COA Solutions
+44(0)1625 856505 or 07917 634 705

Ben Carey, COA Solutions
+44 (0)1625 856505