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Pro-active buyers and budget controllers are regularly challenged by price and stock changes. Research by KnowledgeBus, the IT buyers benchmarking tool, has found that as a result *81% of organisations could achieve better deals.

KnowledgeBus surveyed and analysed purchases made by 1,000 IT buyers working in private and public sector organisations.

Mercato Head of Benchmarking, Al Nagar, said: "The results of the survey are quite startling, particularly when you consider the budget wastage applied nationally. It confirms that IT buyers are challenged by the volatility of the global IT supply chain, which is driving lots of price and stock movements. Without appropriate tools, buyers will continue to struggle with managing supplier data to undertake valid benchmarking activity."

"The global economy has elevated IT prices considerably and KnowledgeBus is giving users the knowledge to stay one step ahead of suppliers to ensure they minimise the impact of price rises on budgets."

"Its functionality gives the ability to track market trends and understand how external or economic factors are effecting price. This knowledge means users can predict the direction pricing is expected to go and this helps plan for bulk buying on big projects at the optimum time for best value."

KnowledgeBus helps buyers combat the challenges of a dynamic IT supply chain by providing trade guide prices and critical market information. This empowers better buying decisions and negotiation from a position of strength, quickly. It also enables the policing of cost plus agreements and is saving 3% – 24% on IT budgets.

Users simply enter individual products or lists and the secure web-based system automatically conducts an impartial price and stock comparison with over 150,000 daily refreshed products in the UK's IT supply chain. It ultimately tells users the margin their preferred supplier is proposing and introduces true transparency into managing an efficient supplier relationship. The supplier benefits from a faster deal process and longer term relationships.

Buyers benefit further through manipulating and interrogating lists by preferred supplier, project budget or even financial quarter and can automatically generate RFQ’s. For financial controllers, management functionality improves spend visibility and forecasting power. Major users include National Express, Co-op, Transport for London, McLaren, John Lewis, Sage and University of Nottingham.

Nagar continues: " KnowledgeBus is saving organisations over an hour per product price request on average and up to 24% on IT budgets as deals are consistently sharper. In the current testing economy this procurement and budget control tool is more relevant than ever before, delivering both cashable and non-cashable benefits."

"Knowing total stock availability within the channel tells users exactly when to buy. If it is in-stock then great but on a deeper level, if they know there is an overstock scenario, then it’s a great time to negotiate an even better deal". "KnowledgeBus is facilitating cost reduction through its efficient RFQ and price discovery process. This is switching on procurement, commercial and financial departments to this knowledge-is-power solution."

Mercato is accredited as offering a Best Practice Best Value approach by the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW) and recently achieved a global procurement accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Purchase & Supply (CIPS).

Head of the CIPS Procurement Excellence Programme, Mike Mari, said: "As a former procurement practitioner I can see the value add that Mercato can offer in taking forward the role of procurement professionals operating in a transparent environment. Automated technology is playing an enhanced role in enabling the delivery of more collaborative and streamlined procurement approaches."

"This accreditation recognises Mercato as offering good practice in procurement policies, procedures, and ways of working."

KnowledgeBus will be showcased at eWorld Purchase & Supply, 6th March 2012.

*In a survey of 1,000 organisations.