Birmingham City Council has more than halved it expenditure on office supplies using a pilot online auctions scheme to award supplier contracts.
Under the scheme, suppliers meeting predefined criteria are invited to take part in “reverse auctions” on-line.
The auctions usually last an hour and see rival suppliers bid down each others’ tenders for contracts.
Birmingham says it has used the reverse auctions to cut its expenditure on office supplies from £1.46m to £612,500 per year.
The council says it has maintained a level of service despite the big cost savings.
Birmingham has so far completed six pilot auctions and says it will expand the procurement system to other areas of the council.
Birmingham deputy leader Paul Tilsley said the auctions helped the council satisfy central government demands to cut costs, while improving services.
Vote for your IT greats
Who have been the most influential people in IT in the past 40 years? The greatest organisations? The best hardware and software technologies? As part of Computer Weekly’s 40th anniversary celebrations, we are asking our readers who and what has really made a difference?
Vote now at: www.computerweekly.com/ITgreats