Sussex Police automates buying

New e-procurement software is planned to automate and streamline the force’s purchasing and integrate with existing SAP systems.

Sussex Police has selected new e-procurement software to automate the majority of the force's 60-million annual procurement activity.

The new software will integrate with the force's existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems from SAP to streamline the purchase-to-pay processes key to its buying the of majority of its goods and services, with the exception of free text' items, such as utility bill payments.

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Neil Watts, Sussex Police contracts officer, said: "We wanted to become more strategic with our e-procurement. And when we saw how well their solution linked with SAP for Hampshire County Council, we realised EGS was the right choice."

By delivering electronic invoices - approved or unapproved - into SAP in a uniform format, the use of e-procurement software from provider, EGS will enable Sussex Police to direct all its catalogue-based procurement through the EGS marketplace, which is branded "Bluelight" for emergency services users.

The force anticipates major savings, initially through streamlining their transaction processes. But significant additional savings are expected when it adds electronic invoicing capabilities in 2009/2010.

"Savings are important for us - especially through e-invoicing. But the primary drivers are contract compliance and control," Watts added.

"The consistency of descriptions and coding mean we can benefit from accurate business intelligence and see the real picture of where money is being spent across our devolved procurement teams. This will prove highly valuable as we develop our procurement strategy, negotiate new contracts and go out to tender."

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The software deal also gives the force access to EGS's supplier network, which it plans to add its own suppliers to in order to speed its return on investment. Suppliers will be supported in the transition by EGS's Supplier Adoption service, allowing Sussex to maximise contract compliance and unlock management information essential for effective strategic decision-making.

"The process will be faster because OGC [Office of Government Commerce] contracts and many supplier catalogues also used by our peer organisations are available already with EGS," Watts added.

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