Procurement battling the deficit

(Originally published on Wax Digital’s blog)

Alongside Durham University, Wax Digital recently undertook a research programme to investigate the opinions and outlooks of public sector procurement and finance professionals towards deficit repair. Somewhat surprisingly the findings revealed a positive and pragmatic viewpoint from those leading the charge into battle with the deficit.

Although it was acknowledged that times ahead are going to be difficult with 78% of respondents anticipating budget cuts of more than 5% this year and 69% expecting these cuts to increase the following year; the individuals at the frontline are still keen to forge ahead with cost-saving initiatives and processes. It was evident that public sector procurement and finance teams want to simply get on with the challenge and recognise that they need the freedom and the tools to do so although this is not always possible. Bureaucracy and lack of automation were highlighted as obstacles that they face.

Process automation and technology was highlighted as key enablers to drive efficiencies, cost savings and help achieve the targets set by the new coalition government; findings also revealed that where eProcurement solutions have been introduced savings have been realised. 53% of the sample saved between 10% and 50% from new IT solutions.

From working with both public and private organisations we have seen the difference that these types of solutions can bring and how those forward thinking organisations that drive change and purchasing initiatives reap the benefits. This is in stark contrast to only 6% of the public sector survey respondents who felt that their spend management processes were “highly efficient”.

With the challenge clearly set by the new government it is time for public sector procurement and finance professionals to lead the charge into the battle with the deficit, but do they have the armouries to fight a good fight?

Download your copy of the research report and post your comments, sharing your thoughts about the emergency budget and the challenge of deficit repair for the public sector.

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