4 August 2010 | Angeline Albert
Devon County Council has saved £140,000 since setting up its online procurement portal, which contains all the local authority’s tender opportunities.
The council told SM its Devon Procurement Portal had led to a reduction in staff time, paper usage and postal costs because tender packs could be distributed electronically to interested suppliers.
The web-hosted electronic tendering system went live in 2005 and since then 613 tenders have been put through it. Instead of sending out hard copies of 14,000 tender packs, they have been issued electronically and attracted more than 6,657 responses.
Benefits to suppliers include automatic notification of opportunities advertised through the portal, ease of obtaining tender packs and submitting their bids and the ability to ask questions and receive clarifications through the system.
There are currently 30 contracts available on the portal and 8,751 suppliers registered on it.
The authority’s head of procurement, Annette-Marie Ball, said: “Devon County Council is working hard to reduce its back-office costs in order to focus its resources on the delivery of front-line services including education and social care.
“It is providing a cost-efficient way of ensuring value for money, making savings in terms of officer time and production and distribution of tender packs. Significant savings are also being made on the cost of advertising because all the council's procurement contracts are advertised centrally through the portal.”