09 May 2002 | David Arminas
The University of Nottingham has saved 17 per cent on bulk photocopying paper in a pioneering e-auction link-up with the private sector.
The auction was carried out by Northern Foods on its site using software it developed itself last August.
Peter Simmonds, director of procurement at the university, said the contract was initially for around £100,000 and savings were gained on this amount.
"We're very much in research mode with e-auctions at this time but feel it is not worth doing for contracts less than £100,000," he said. "Below this suppliers won't consider it worthwhile."
The university plans to use the Northern Foods site for another auction, for 20 or more vehicles for the university.
David Stanley, procurement controller for The Recipe Dish Company, a Northern Foods division, said the e-auction was an opportunity for the company to learn more about its own site and software capabilities.
The firm developed its site after presentations from software suppliers and third parties.
"We don't have a huge IT resource, but they are very clever," he said.