24 November 2008 | Paul Snell
Bus routes in Worcestershire have been secured, thanks to savings made from the council's use of e-auctions.
Work by the purchasing department at Worcestershire County Council has saved £900,000 on the cost of providing bus services for home-to-school, adult social care and public bus services. The project won the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government award for outstanding achievement in procurement this month.
According to the team's award entry, the savings obtained have made it possible to retain bus services that may have been reduced because of unsustainable costs.
As well as making savings the e-auction process has cut the length of the tendering process, attracted new suppliers and created greater competition, and is now the standard procedure for transport procurement at the council.
The project, funded by the West Midlands Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership, has also attracted the attention of other councils, regionally and nationally.
Joe Stock, the council's strategic procurement officer, said winning the award would raise the team's profile both internally and externally: "It highlights the benefits that can be realised by working with the Strategic Procurement team. Early buyer involvement is extremely important for better supplier relationships, effective development of specifications, and a greater innovation opportunity."