Welland Partnership launches innovative supplier project via @UK

Jan 03, 2007

Welland is a region that runs across three predominantly rural counties- Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. The Welland partnership consists of five councils within that region: Rutland County, Melton Borough, East Northants, South Kesteven and Harborough.

The Welland Partnership has undertaken a unique project to set up the Welland Procurement Unit. This is a shared service to provide procurement support and expertise across all five councils.

An essential part of the Welland initiative was to put in place an eMarketplace accessible to staff throughout all five authorities. The purchase to pay component of that marketplace is being provided by E-Government Solutions, and the central partnership contracts will be held within this system. Because the Welland area is so rural with many relatively isolated market towns, all five authorities were concerned however at the impact the partnership might have on local economies if it switched to a small number of large central contracts. They have therefore engaged @UK PLC to provide a supplier adoption service that will allow even the smallest members of their 6000 strong local business community to become e-enabled and hence potentially participate in the initiative.

Christine Marshall, Corporate Director of Melton Borough Council said “The role of @UK in offering every one of our local businesses an easy and low cost means to trade online is really important to us as responsible authorities. As well as helping each supplier offer goods and services to the partnership, local firms can now compete in all sectors of an increasingly “online” world. They can sell to any other local authority or public bodies nationwide on the @UK network, plus other businesses and consumers. We will be encouraging all our local businesses to take advantage of all these opportunities in our own publications and using material available from @UK. As well as the Local Economic Development benefits, there are real cost savings to be had to Partnership members from e-enabling our local suppliers. Not only can those businesses can receive electronic purchase orders from the marketplace, they can also send us back electronic invoices- which allows us to achieve a substantial reduction in administration costs”.

For more details of the Welland initiative contact:

Simon Lipscomb , Sales Manager @UK 0870 486 6000 simon.lipscomb@ukplc.net

Diane Clayton-Smith or Tony Hall Welland Procurement Unit 01664502342 dclayton-smith@melton.gov.uk thall@melton.gov.uk