On-line trading: what it means to you: as part of the ongoing focus by UK government in trying to ensure that every pound of tax payers' money is spent efficiently, a massive initiative has been put into place to encourage every central and local government department to be in a position within the next two years to be able to 'trade' electronically with suppliers.(Procurement)

The rationale behind this initiative is the National E-Procurement Project, which has identified that on a government spend of some 80 billion [pounds sterling], it costs in the region of 5 billion [pounds sterling] to administer the expenditure using traditional paper-based invoicing, payment and settlement processes. Accordingly, this figure can be doubled, as all suppliers will incur their own costs as part of their administration process. If these statistics are vaguely accurate, it represents a massive waste of time and money being spent in placing orders and paying the bills.

Management consultants have spent decades trying to 'cost' the process of a paper-based ordering and payment system. The conclusion of which is that no matter which side of the equation you are on, an average cost to either the supplier or the buyer is at least 50 [pounds sterling], when all elements are taken into account. …

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