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Ian Taylor, head of group procurement at HBos, said the company hoped to save "significant sums of money" by using the auctions. Taylor claimed the company would soon recoup its costs and be "well in excess of return on investment". "For every pound we are spending we will get more back," he said.
In the first auction for print requirements three months ago, HBos saved 21% on unit costs. Taylor said there would be several more auctions over the next few months.
However, Taylor believes that time savings are unlikely because of the large amount of work that has to be done to set up an auction.
Under the terms of its deal with e-sourcing firm Portum, HBos retains a large degree of control over the process, dictating the timing of the purchase contracts and choosing suppliers. Portum then briefs the suppliers, training them if necessary, and monitors the auction.