SCC is a large regional local government and has over 1,000 employees, with an annual turnover of $160m.
SCC faces competing demands on its resources. Covering a very large area, a widely spread population, high population growth and a huge seasonal influx of visitors, SCC strives to efficiently meet all of these demands and must plan accordingly.
Over the last 10 years SCC has faced significant changes in legislation, structural reforms and work practices and also absorbed additional responsibilities from the State Government. A major challenge affecting all of our services is the population distribution over a large number of settlements covering a huge area. There are many community organisations with specific focus on areas such as sports, tourism and other community services. SCC appreciates and encourages the interaction and assistance of these groups.
SCC has grown as a provider of a diverse range of services with involvement from a large number of stakeholders. Setting priorities on demands is one of the most important challenges facing SCC.
The existing SCC purchasing procedures were very basic and cumbersome and inconsistently enforced across a decentralised community. Most controls were affected by policy with few controls 'built into the system'. The business was not getting value for money from purchasing and lacked adequate controls around appropriate delegated authority.
"We needed to gain more control, give more direction to people involved in the purchasing process and create better workflows to improve efficiency," said Wright.
The review process was undertaken by a combined Finance & IT committee. SCC looked at various purchasing options, however "we worked closely with Professional Advantage, our Infor SunSystems software supplier, and they had a packaged solution that fit our business model" said Matthew Wright, SCC Finance & Business Manager.
The key criteria driving the purchase decision included cost, interconnectivity, sound logic and processes within the iPOS system supported by a friendly user interface for non technical or Infor SunSystems users.
"We needed to gain more control, give more direction to people involved in the purchasing process and create better workflows to improve efficiency." Matthew Wright, Shoalhaven City Council, Finance & Business Manager
"iPOS requisitioning & purchasing is used at SCC to manage workflow, improve control of delegations, direct people to preferred suppliers and provides more information in what we are purchasing", said Matthew Wright, SCC Finance & Business Manager.
The requirement to closely review and manage the purchasing process as part of the implementation project has provided benefits in itself.
iPOS requisitioning & purchasing, solution & implementation
The Finance department had strong involvement and support for the iPOS project. SCC required a detailed analysis of what they presently did and they changed some processes to best achieve the corporate objectives. "The iPOS software was easy to install, is seamlessly integrated to Infor SunSystems and has operated reliably, but there was some work in setting up back-end information for proper information flow and control," said Wright.
"Learning to use the system has been relatively easy, the biggest challenge as always has been changing the culture and processes to reflect the new controls," he added.
"The implementation does not take a lot of resources in itself, however internal resourcing pressures affected our ability to focus at times. It was critical to the success of the project that the iPOS team had sufficient authority and delegation to get the job done," concluded Wright.
iPOS eProcurement, internet requisitioning & purchasing module with roles based workflow, integrating with Infor SunSystems v4.2.6: was implemented on a Microsoft SQL Server 2000/ Windows 2003 platform.
"The iPOS software was easy to install, is seamlessly integrated to Infor SunSystems and has operated reliably from the first day."