Financial Diamond - clean procurement data creates a sparkle

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Financial Diamond - clean procurement data creates a sparkle

“Institutions in England will be managing the transition to a new funding environment, and across the UK we will all be facing increased pressure to demonstrate efficiency and effectiveness, and above all that we are providing value for money”.

This introductory statement by Professor Ian Diamond, chair of the 2011 report by the Universities UK Efficiency and Modernisation Task Group on “Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education”, clearly defines a strategic financial challenge for HEIs in the years ahead.

In addressing strategic goals, procurement has not always had a place at the top table and its importance has not always been fully recognised. That situation has now definitely changed. As the Diamond Report noted, “Recently procurement has moved to the fore both in business and in the public sector, as reducing costs and releasing resource to support core activities becomes increasingly important.”  

In the Higher Education sector, it is therefore highly significant that BUFDG and the Association of University Procurement Officers (AUPO) recently merged, with the latter now an executive group of BUFDG, highlighting the key importance of procurement to finance. Furthermore it is fitting that implementing the Diamond review is the topic of the first Workshop of the 2012 BUFDG Conference.

There are many topics being hotly debated in the world of procurement - benchmarking, shared services, and collaborative purchasing are just some of them. But there is another key issue that I would like to highlight here. It is one that was made as long ago as 1999 by Sir Peter Gershon, who concluded from his ‘Review of civil procurement in central government’, that “clear, consistent and complete data [is] fundamental to developing efficient practices”. 

The Science Warehouse experience strongly supports this view. If university staff have access to “clear, consistent and complete data” in the world of procurement, they make better purchasing decisions, efficiency and compliance improves, and their universities make substantial savings.

Furthermore, rich data drives accurate and detailed spend analysis which in turn yields additional efficiencies and savings in future. 

It is for these key reasons that Science Warehouse e-procurement solutions focus on delivering high quality, consistently-structured product data. Good content is essential not only for efficient procurement but also the financial savings it can deliver.

If you are looking to enable an e-procurement solution – or you just want to learn more about what is possible – visit the Science Warehouse stand at the 2012 BUFDG Conference where our expert staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

To contact David please email david [dot] hames [at] sci-ware [dot] com


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