28 February 2002 | Robin Parker
Industrial supplies distributor RS Components has launched a free e-procurement service to devolve purchasing across firms.
PurchasingManager allows an unlimited number of employees to place low-value orders on the RS website from their desktop computers.
Managers set individual spending levels and receive automatic e-mail notices if users exceed their limits.
The service provides full visibility through a monthly order summary designed to speed up invoice matching and a searchable database of order history and analysis.
Organisations are also able to customise the order reference terminology to mirror their own internal descriptions.
PurchasingManager has been piloted in four European countries, including six firms in the UK, since September 2001.
It is being introduced across Europe and in Japan, parent company Electrocomponents' newest market.
Paul Parker, general manager of e-commerce at Electrocomponents, said the service frees purchasers to engage in more strategic tasks.
"It offers devolved responsibility across the board, but purchasing managers remain in control.
"They can manage their own time effectively, knowing they can put the majority of orders straight through."
For RS, the package is a major step in providing a comprehensive purchasing analysis tool and forms part of a wider transaction management strategy.