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SA Local Government Pushes E-Procurement

South Australian governments are aiming to streamline their purchasing and cut associated costs after selecting an e-procurement solution to power the statewide eCouncils.com initiative.

eCouncils.com will use Strategic Ecommerce's StraightBUY procurement solution to integrate with the various financial management packages used by the initiatives member councils.

The South Australian-developed e-procurement software, which was developed with help from South Australian IT&C industry growth initiative Playford Centre, will be used to export supplier details and orders, and to then import completed purchase orders. This information will be integrated with each council's financial management system.

"Most councils don't have the same spending power as big companies, but they have more suppliers," said eCouncil.com chief executive officer David Duncan. "When these smaller companies begin selling online, we'll really start to see the benefits of e-procurement filtering through the business community."

eCouncils.com, an initiative of the South Australian Local Government Association and the Local Government Finance Authority, will link South Australias 68 local councils with their 1000 to 2000 suppliers. The scheme is forecast to cut local government purchasing costs by up to 10 per cent. This will amount to $20 million in annual savings within the next few years, according to the team behind eCouncils.com

"It will also give the State's online economy a major boost by concurrently e-enabling many suppliers with a major buyer, local government," said Duncan. He is hoping the initiative will have a "spoke effect" of e-commerce outreach into the business community, and to help realise this Strategic Ecommerce is offering its online software StraightSELL for all council suppliers free of charge before the end of July.

For Strategic Ecommerce, the win also potentially means a leg-up to compete with other solutions providers in the local government e-procurement market nationwide, a market that is bursting as more councils embrace IT to streamline core functions such as purchasing.



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