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In a landmark move, OGCbuying.solutions has appointed Birmingham based technology services provider, Probrand, to its CATALIST framework for the supply of ICT goods and associated services in the Reseller Lot.
The deal, which could be up to £2.5 billion in value, is believed to be the largest of its kind ever awarded.
Probrand is one of only six suppliers in the whole of Europe to win reseller framework status and it underwent rigorous inspection and technical auditing before being fully approved and accepted onto the list.
It’s a real David and Goliath story, with Probrand’s inclusion in CATALIST demonstrating that an SME – rather than just large corporates - can provide the quality and standards demanded by the Government in public sector contracts.
Probrand has for some time been showing the way with its ‘home built’, leading edge IT procurement technology. It will assist government to comply with the Gershon report on ‘joined up’ government. Probrand’s unique private procurement hub solution, The IT Index, powered by Mercato, forms the basis of Probrand’s entry into the CATALIST framework, which is the only e-procurement solution to have been accredited by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW). The IT Index has one of the largest IT product ranges in Europe with currently around 100,000 product lines from over 1,200 vendors.
The IT Index’s ‘best practice’ approach provides total cost transparency through its ‘best value’ cost plus sales model. Combined with its budget control, spend authorisation, price tracking and product lifecycle functionality; it is the reason why around 1,000 public sector organisations are already using this highly acclaimed solution.
Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) report they have saved a day a week in working hours and 20% on the cost of their IT consumables as a result of using The IT Index.
"The IT Index has made considerable and outstanding inroads towards CBCh itting total e-sourcing savings of 25% below OGU thresholds. This saving target forms part of ODPM's April 2007 savings challenge," said David Gatford, CBC Central Services Officer.
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 approach.
Probrand Managing Director, Peter Robbins, said: "OGCbuying.solutions’ decision to approve us for the provision of IT is a reflection of the credibility, authority and powerful architecture inherent in our solution. Furthermore, we are proud to gain official Government recognition after demonstrating our ability to deliver best value and best practice time and again in both the public and private sectors.
"Now, using our solution through the Catalist framework, the public sector has seamless access to thousands of IT supplier relationships all aggregated within one private procurement hub as part of an overall managed service."
"This is the largest UK tender of its type and it is going to open the door for considerable growth. This will build on our impressive year-on-year growth of 30% against a flat IT sector."
Prior to the Government’s recognition of Probrand’s efficient IT procurement process, the solution has received considerable praise.
Craig McLellan of the ICAEW, said: "We believe the solution has the potential to increase the efficiency of the procurement process in many organisations."
Andrew Coller, Assistant Director West Midlands Centre of Excellence described Probrand as, "talking the 'e-talk' with its best practice approach to IT procurement that focuses on delivering value for money. As a tried and tested proposition, Probrand's Mercato solution offers the public sector a powerful alternative solution for the procurement of IT. We should explore this opportunity if we are serious in meeting our efficiency targets."
A Technology Audit by research firm, The Butler Group, concluded: ‘The IT Index automates the procurement process leading to significant savings both in time and the amount paid for products. Any organisation with a significant IT budget would benefit from utilising this innovative procurement service.’