Strategix, a European software house dedicated to the development and rapid deployment of supply chain software, has announced that Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, has begun implementing an e-procurement system using Strategix OneOffice software. Aimed at improving the efficiency of Nexus' supply chain and ultimately the transport services offered to the citizens of Tyne and Wear, the new system replaces an inefficient and labour-intensive paper-based system.

Nexus provides, procures and promotes public transport and works closely with the Passenger Transport Authority and district councils on transport policy. Strategix has already completed the first phase of the project, having replaced Nexus' legacy financial software systems with OneOffice financial management systems in a period of just 6 weeks. Full implementation is scheduled for September 2004, with a roll out to some 200 additional users.

A key objective of the new solution is to automate the process of putting contracts out to tender, allowing the Nexus purchasing department to spend more time obtaining the best value from external suppliers. The system will handle requisitioning of all Nexus externally sourced supplies, including spare parts, construction materials, office supplies and consumables, needed to support  a public transport infrastructure that includes train, bus and ferry services.

Staff throughout Nexus will be able to requisition required items directly through OneOffice, supported by a simple dashboard-based view of other requisitions and budget availability. Workflow will ensure that managers and budget holders can approve or query all requests, before the central purchasing department sources goods, either from internal stock or through an automated competitive tendering process that will involve various levels of electronic collaboration with external suppliers.

"As an organisation that is largely funded by public money it is our responsibility to be able to deliver services in a cost-effective manner, minimising the amount of resource consumed by administration, and delivering best value to our stakeholders," comments Keith Nisbet, Group Accountant, Nexus. "Improving the efficiency of our procurement process by partnering with  Strategix is a fundamental element of our strategy, both in conducting the maintenance of infrastructure needed to sustain the higher standards we are aiming for and in supporting the introduction of new light rail and tram services in the future. The cost savings and efficiencies we aim to achieve through this e-procurement initiative will allow us to focus on improving the quality of public transport, so that it can continue to offer a more viable alternative to the use of cars."

Commenting on the contract, Peter Lusty, chief executive of Strategix said: "Nexus needs to be able to meet government objectives to increase the usage of public transport and consequently has a 15 year plan to improve and extend the services on offer to the citizens of Tyne and Wear. It recognises that IT efficiency is a key part of this and that an improved procurement process will make best use of the resources available. Strategix understands Nexus' requirements and the stringent criteria such public sector solutions demand, and is delighted that OneOffice has been selected as the cornerstone for Nexus e-procurement systems.

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