05 October 2000 | David Arminas
News and financial information provider Reuters has launched an Internet procurement initiative to get 60 per cent of global procurement spend online by the end of next year.
The target is "ambitious", said Barry Donovan, global sourcing systems manager for Reuters. The company will review the progress of the system every three months.
Reuters' iBuy e-catalogue, which uses the Oracle system, went live at the end of September for all international offices. Orders will be for low-value, high-volume items.
Donovan told the e-Procurement Week conference in London that the system was a major step for Reuters' strategic procurement plans.
"This is the end of the beginning - a new world," he said. "I would be surprised if anyone thought all they are trying to do is automate the existing process."
Reuters has been looking at strategic procurement for just over a year and maverick buying was becoming a major concern, Donovan said. While approved suppliers had been appointed, buyers often did not know who they were and so they would use local, unauthorised suppliers.
A study of buying habits was completed last summer. It found that 50 per cent of spend was with 100 suppliers.
iBuy allows users to find suppliers within three clicks of the mouse. Donovan said that this was essential to cut down on maverick buying by purchasers who can't find what they need.
Reuters' target will be "stretching", said Mike Fogg, a consultant with PMMS Group and chairman of the CIPS Technology committee. "The three-click system is very important to ensure that people keep using the system," he said. "Its added value is that it allows the company to put contracts in place with suppliers and buyers to use them."