Ecclesiastical Insurance saves millions with e-procurement

Insurance company Ecclesiastical Insurance has cut its procurement costs by £3m in a year following a £20,000...

Insurance company Ecclesiastical Insurance has cut its procurement costs by £3m in a year following a £20,000 software investment.

Using software from Capgemini-owned IBX, the insurer has already saved millions as a result of cutting procurement costs and getting better deals from using a wider supplier community. Ecclesiastical's licences cost £20,000 per year.

Head of procurement Peter Roberts said before the IBX eSourcing platform was implemented there was no centralised purchasing system at Ecclesiastical. "Everything was paper-based," he added. Each department would have its own purchasing processes.

Roberts said his first challenge was to raise the profile of the central procurement department to get other departments to start using the e-procurement system.

"There is no mandate for departments to use the central system because we wanted to do it softly, softly because if everything suddenly transferred to the system we would not be able to cope," added Roberts.

He said after 18 months between 50% and 60% of potential users are now using the system. It aims to have 100% going through the system eventually.

The global company, which has about 800 employees in the UK, has made savings through introducing electronic tenders. In the past it would send out paper tenders to each supplier but through the software it can automatically reach many suppliers.

Savings have also been made through the use of reverse auctions to get better deals using the software.

Furthermore, it improves due diligence by centralising and standardising procurement processes.

Roberts said the company is planning on using the software as a content management system to allow it to mine data.

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