07 September 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
Swindon Borough Council has saved more than £2.5 million after establishing its first procurement directorate.
Eight months after setting up the team, the department delivered the saving on the £115 million annual spend on goods and services that procurement influences. Its target was £750,000 in the first six months.
"It has been rapid. We've gone from a standing start to beating Linford Christie in just under a year," said e-procurement project manager Peter Giles.
Last June, director of procurement Brian Rees appointed a team of CIPS-qualified professionals from the public and private sectors. The team carried out a spend analysis and used the data to form a purchasing and e-procurement strategy.
From this it established a cost savings programme and identified the top 200 suppliers, representing £170 million of supply market expenditure. The council is also using its own gateway review process to carry out checks on the status of large projects.
Professional procurement and the use of e-purchasing tools is set to help the authority achieve at least £3.75 million cumulative cost and efficiency savings over the next three years.