Durham University aims to cut costs with automated web-based buying service

Durham University is planning to save millions of pounds over the next five years through a web-based purchasing system.

Durham University is planning to save millions of pounds over the next five years through a web-based purchasing system.

The system from Wax Digital, known as web3, automates procurement processes - from sourcing to payment - and integrates with the university's ERP software.

Durham University is facing spending cuts as universities face a 40% reduction in teaching budgets.

Procurement staff at Durham University can search and select goods and services and collaborate with suppliers for the exchange of orders and invoices. The automated procurement process allows them to create tenders and electronic auctions.

The university already uses an e-sourcing platform from Wax Digital and has outsourced auctions. The savings on these has convinced the university to move to the all-in-one web3 system.

Durham University spends £90m every year on products and services every year to support its 3,000 staff and under 15,000 students.

"These procurement changes are essential to the University since, like the rest of the public sector, we face reduced budgets and research grants in line with the government's deficit repair plans," said Alison Holmes, director of procurement, Durham University.

IT is key to universities as they attempt to improve student services as higher fees bring pressure to bear at the same time as budgets are reduced.

Durham University recently upgraded its communications infrastructure through a deal with Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEC) which will see the university adopt IP telephony.

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