OGCbuying.solutions, the procurement arm of the Office of Government Commerce, has begun to see the benefits of a customer relationship management system it phased in during 2005.
The system, from Onyx, replaced 14 databases to provide a single view of customer records. It has helped OGCbuying.solutions handle a 60% increase in procurement activity, to £2.1bn from £1.3bn two years ago, but a spokesman said there were other advantages from gaining a single, organisation-wide customer view.
"Now that we have that single customer view, we can see which areas of a framework contract [with a supplier for a product or service] are being used and which are not," said Stephen Heard, director of customer relations at OGCbuying.solutions.
"It also lets us give a much better service to the public sector, since we can be far more targeted in our approach."
The Onyx system has replaced disparate customer databases, primarily held in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and Goldmine. In all, more than 40,000 customer records were migrated to the new system, after passing through a lengthy data cleansing and de-duplication process.
OGCbuying.solutions operates a Microsoft server and desktop environment, with the Onyx CRM system sitting alongside Coda Financials and an internally developed datawarehouse.