WIN WIN FOR PUBLIC SECTOR CATALIST

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Only a month after 'go-live' on the government's innovative catalist framework, technology services provider, Probrand, has chalked up multiple new accounts from police forces to Local Authorities and educational establishments.

The company is seeing public sector organisations turn on to the bottom line savings of procuring best value IT using The IT Index - a best practice approach accredited by Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).

"At last, we are able get to the best priced products through an easy to use on-line ordering process. The IT Index has been the private sector's best kept public sector procurement secret. The solution offers 'joined up' management of mainline UK suppliers in one secure on-line environment.

"Uniquely, we are seeing the added value of genuine customer service. If we want guidance on product specification we know it is only a call away," said Anthony Humphries of Neath Port Talbot College.

The news falls on the back of the OGCbuying.solutions' landmark move to appoint the company as the first SME reseller to provide ICT goods and services (Lot1) through catalist. This is said to be the largest contract of its type ever awarded.

The IT Index is giving public sector bodies (PSBs) access to over 100,000 daily updated products from 1200 suppliers listed by best price and availability.

The solution eliminates the need for buyers to conduct time consuming supplier ring rounds and manual price comparisons, empowering them with a joined up approach to managing multiple supplier relationships within a single Private Procurement Hub. This ultimately stretches the reach of organisational IT budgets.

Probrand's group head of new business development, Steve Bushell, said: "Importantly through catalist, The IT Index negates the need for PSBs to undertake time consuming, costly EU tenders. It's a win-win for the public sector. Best practice, best value IT in the shortest possible time.

"The solution's user friendly purchasing capability, price transparency and huge product selection are saving organisations on average over a day a week in man hours and up to 10 -15 per cent on IT budgets.

"The solution's powerful management facilities include budget control, spend authorisation, price tracking and product lifecycle information, which is why around 1000 public sector organisations are already using this highly acclaimed business tool.

Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) report savings of nearly a working week in man hours and 20 per cent on the cost of their IT consumables as a result of using The IT Index. The Council has also made outstanding moves to hitting total e-sourcing savings of 25 per cent below OGC thresholds - part of ODPM's April 2007 savings demand. This saw the team shortlisted for the Dti's e-commerce awards 2005.

In the private sector, organisations like Geest, Coffee Republic, British Bakeries and M&S have adopted The IT Index as part of their best practice procurement approach.

This latest news builds on Probrand's impressive year-on-year growth of 30 per cent against a flat IT sector.

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