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Cable & Wireless Launches E-Procurement Pilot

[London, ENGLAND] Global telecoms group Cable & Wireless said Wednesday it plans to put online much of its own purchasing in a company-wide scheme to e-enable its business.

Initially, Cable & Wireless is conducting a pilot project in conjunction with e-commerce solutions provider Commerce One and collaborative marketplace software vendor SAPMarkets. It says the project will go beyond simple catalog ordering to include dynamic procurement of goods and the management of all facets of the supply chain.

Mike McTighe, chief executive of global operations, Cable & Wireless, said that e-procurement was working in a way that the company believed its own customers would be working -- by saving money through using the Internet.

"This project clearly demonstrates Cable & Wireless' own commitment to the power of IP technology that forms the core of our whole business strategy going forward," said McTighe.

During the pilot scheme, Cable & Wireless will use four commodities and eight suppliers from the U.S. and U.K., rolling out the entire operation globally next year.

However, e-procurement is not entirely new to the Cable & Wireless group, as in Australia Cable & Wireless Optus implemented the Commerce One solution for its own internal procurement in March this year.

David Stokes-McKeon, director of e-solutions at Cable & Wireless Optus reported that the time taken to process a purchase order was reduced by 75 to 90 percent.

"This brings us the true cost savings of e-procurement and frees up staff for other activities," said Stokes-McKeon.

Operating in 70 countries, Cable & Wireless is developing advanced IP networks globally, and had revenues of US $14 billion in the year to March 31, 2000.