Bord na Mona recognised for ‘Best Use of Technology’

1 Dec 2010

Semi-state Bord na Mona has pipped Yahoo and Aer Lingus for the ‘Best Use of Technology’ at the National Procurement Awards. It has embraced technology to become a national procurement leader and now has 55 competitive processes online.

After switching to electronic procurement, the role of procurement within the organisation was expanded to include procurement responsibility for all non-wage spends throughout the group of companies.

All team activities were analysed and reconfigured to minimise the level of low value-adding activities carried out, in order to free up resources and dedicate this to new projects in areas of relatively high spend and it was decided to automate as much as possible of any transactional/administrative work and to seek a solution to facilitate this.

A spokesman for Bord na Mona said: “The challenge to our team was to supply an excellent procurement service to our various businesses, implementing clear value-adding initiatives across a wide range of new projects, without increasing the cost of service provision, while continuing to resource existing procurement activity.

“The implementation has allowed the group’s procurement specialists to automate competition administrative work and focus on value-adding projects. This has been hugely beneficial in terms of firstly achieving cost savings on an increased scope of work, secondly facilitating the procurement function in operating at a higher business level in the group, and finally allowing us to increase our scope of work significantly without increasing the cost of the service we deliver to our internal business customers”.

Bord na Mona found the solution in a software product from Irish company Supplierforce. The solution is fully hosted and required no Bord na Mona IT resource to implement.

This now fully supports the hosting of competitions in a secure auditable paperless environment, thereby minimising the relatively lower value tasks of the team’s of procurement specialists, and allowing them to take on a range of business-critical procurement/supply-chain projects where they could contribute to company performance at a much more significant level.

Implementation commenced in late 2009, with the first competitions hosted early 2010. To date, Bord na Mona have put 55 competitive processes online.

Procurement outcomes

Bord na Mona’s electronic competition advertisements now reference a web address for registration and progress to a flexible competition specific prequalification process. Responses are submitted electronically and scored by internal or external nominated reviewers.

Tender documentation is sent and received by soft copy only and scored on the system by nominated technical or functional reviewers in association with the procurement competition owner. Participant questions and answers are all facilitated online.

All supplier submissions are securely time locked and all available simultaneously once the predetermined date/time is reached. The system is fully auditable, secure, efficient and facilitates prompt retrieval of information regarding either process or content.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years