As with many technological advances, governments frequently lag behind their private sector citizens. However following a 3 month consultation period, the European Commission has reported “considerable support” for the institution of a mandatory standardised EU-wide e-procurement solution.
In a statement outlining the main findings of the consultation, the EC said: “There is broad support for EU-level action, including the use of legislation, to facilitate the use of standardised e-procurement solutions. A small majority of respondents support the imposition of EU-level requirements to use e-procurement.”
Echoing the concerns of private sector implementers of procure-to-pay solutions, 60% of respondents commented that “overcoming inertia and fear” would be the largest barriers to the success of e-procurement deployments, particularly in cross-border situations. Concerns were also raised about the potential for a lack of standards or onerous technical requirements.
The EC is now calling on e-procurement and B2B supply chain management specialists to join an expert group with a view to creating a blueprint for common solutions. The EC is also set to monitor the use of e-purchasing within its member states to observe and promote best practices.
One of the lessons the public sector has learned in the arena of supply chain automation and e-procurement is that implementations of such systems need be neither complex nor onerous. Outsourcing of procurement processes to specialist providers has proven to be both cost effective and extremely efficient, removing much of the administrative burden associated with e-procurement. Using cloud-based Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems such as Celtrino’s Smart Admin platform, businesses can take advantage of sophisticated data format conversions to deliver Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) information directly into a supplier’s accounting system.
The use of outsourced EDI Managed Services have proven to be of great benefit to private sector businesses by transferring the day to day responsibilities for managing complex data sets and transformations to the service providers, generating cost savings as a direct result. It is therefore feasible for governments to reap similar benefits through use of the same platforms and processes.
September 21, 2011 in
EDI, EIPP, Electronic Invoice Presentment & Payment, eProcurement, EU, European Commission, European Union