E-procurement could save Irish public sector €1.7bn per annum

6 Apr 2009

Transformation of the Irish public sector’s procurement policy has the potential to save it €1.7bn annually, and could deliver savings of a minimum of 10pc of total spend to private enterprises, it has emerged.

This is the view of the CEO of Supplierforce, Declan Kearney, whose company on Friday acquired procurement software services provider The Clearview Group.

As a result of the acquisition, Supplierforce becomes the first company in Ireland to offer a total, end-to-end supply management solution through a combination of hosted technology, professional and managed services.

The combined expertise strengthens Supplierforce’s ability to deliver savings and risk management to public and private-sector organisations in Ireland and internationally. Solutions range from sourcing to training, procurement outsourcing and complete procurement transformation.

“Based on current levels of expenditure by the Irish Government, we estimate that strategic supply management has the ability to save the government €1.7bn annually by driving procurement reform in the public sector,” Kearney explained.

“Not only can massive cost savings be achieved, but the quality of public services can be maintained and even improved. Through our experience with central and local government organisations in Ireland and the UK, we are confident that we can deliver a sustainable solution rapidly to the Irish public sector.

“Comparable savings can be achieved in the private sector. Our customer’s experience to date proves a minimum of 10pc in savings and corresponding efficiencies. At a time when organisations are seeking to cut cuts, the adoption of strategic supply management is imperative.”

Supplierforce also revealed that it has raised over €1m in private funding. The latest round of funding was raised from a combination of sources including Derek Quinlan, chairman of Quinlan Private, the leading international private equity group, who has supported the company in previous funding rounds, and Enterprise Ireland, where Supplierforce is recognised as a company with high potential to scale internationally.

The funding will support increased investment in staff, international market expansion and increased R&D.

“The enhanced offering created by the acquisition of Clearview opens up a far larger market for Supplierforce,” Kearney said. “This move provides Supplierforce with additional blue-chip customers, increased revenues and increased capabilities through an enhanced executive management team.

“The acquisition, coupled with the recent funding round positions us perfectly to develop and deliver world-class supply management solutions and services to public and private-sector customers at home and abroad.”

Supplierforce has a range of customers across both public and private sectors in the UK and Ireland, including Telefónica O2, Jurys Inns, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, Peterborough City Council, VHi, KBC Bank, An Post and Royal SunAlliance.

“There are perfect synergies between the Supplierforce and Clearview solutions,” said Martin Tully, co-founder of The Clearview Group, who takes up the position of chief operating officer of Supplierforce.

Tom Hayes, head of the High Potential Start-Up Unit, Enterprise Ireland, said: “Supplierforce is exactly the type of innovative export-oriented company that Enterprise Ireland is keen to support, and shows what can be achieved when the ambitions and energy of a young company are harnessed and supported.

“It is successfully winning new business both in Ireland and in export markets by continually anticipating and satisfying complex customer needs. It has already made significant progress, and Enterprise Ireland is working with it to further develop their international growth.

“The international trading environment for all companies is very challenging, but even in difficult times, companies such as Supplierforce are showing that there are significant opportunities for new export-oriented businesses,” Hayes added.

By John Kennedy