01 June 2000 | Elizabeth Bellamy
Barclays Bank will roll out its e-procurement system later this year to what it claims will be the largest user community in the financial-services sector.
The bank, which has been trialling the system in its business technical services division since last year's third financial quarter, plans to integrate it across the whole company from October, said Toby Broome, Barclays' group procurement director.
Around 350 staff currently have access to the system, but the roll-out will increase the number of users to more than 30,000 by the middle of 2002, added Broome. This would make the e-procurement system the largest of its type in the financial-services industry, he claimed.
The pilot scheme has seen £30 million of the bank's purchasing spend channelled through the system and there are plans to increase this to "hundreds of millions", said Ian Russell, programme director for e-procurement.
In April Barclays launched an electronic trading exchange, B2B.com, for businesses with a turnover of between £5 million and £250 million, and it will use this as part of its internal e-procurement programme. "If we're not prepared to do it ourselves, how can we expect our customers to use it?" Gary Hoffman, managing director of customer service and delivery, told the bank's e-commerce briefing in London last month.
Barclays was the first of the UK's high-street banks to enter the trading-exchange market. Royal Bank of Scotland has since launched its own online marketplace, and NatWest and Lloyds TSB will follow suit later this year.
David Roberts, Barclays' chief executive of business banking, said the bank planned to offer several new services through B2B.com, which it has been trialling with two NHS trusts since September. The system has reduced their order-processing costs from £80 a transaction to less than £30 a transaction, added Roberts.
The bank plans to increase its business-to-business e-commerce spend by 600 per cent to £70 million this year, according to David Weymouth, chief information officer.