04 July 2002 | Robin Parker
The Ministry of Defence aims to bring 90 per cent of its procurement online by the end of next year after striking a deal with defence e-marketplace Exostar.
The industry-led trading exchange has formed a strategic alliance with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (CGEY), the founding partner in the MoD's e-procurement system, Defence Electronic Commercial Service (Decs), to deliver an end-to-end e-enabled supply chain.
The deal gives the MoD a direct online communications and trading link between Decs and Exostar, enabling ministry officials to trade with an expanded supply base through a single platform.
The system is thought to be the first working model for web-based trading between government and the private sector to meet targets for e-procurement.
The MoD-CGEY partnership to deliver Decs was formed two years ago to help the ministry's Defence Logistics Organisation to cut its spending by 20 per cent by 2004.
It says it can now bring 90 per cent of purchasing online by the end of 2003, well ahead of the government's target of full public sector e-enablement by 2005.
Donald Bielinksi, president and chief executive of Exostar, said the alliance represented "a significant milestone" between the public and private sector.
"The MoD has set tough targets for improvement and the solution will help to knock down the formidable barriers to meeting these," he said.
Rolls-Royce began using the connection in May, in which it ordered 1.5 million submarine mechanical spares, and BAE Systems expects to connect its production and scheduling systems to Exostar in the autumn.
Exostar was set up two years ago by defence contractors including BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin. It now has more than 11,000 members, an estimated 2,000 of which have no current links with the MoD.
The alliance also gives the MoD's supply chain partners access to Exostar's e-sourcing and collaborative working solutions, to further drive down project delivery costs.