MoD’s electronic supply chain set to transform defence procurement

THE MINISTRY of Defence has pledged to put e-business at the heart of its multi-billion pound procurement operation after the launch of the Defence Electronic Commerce Service.

According to armed forces minister John Spellar, DECS – which will be delivered under a public private partnership by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young – will revolutionise the way the MoD does business.

The new service, which is expected to cost £45m over the next 10 years, will become the ministry’s principle electronic gateway linking the department to its trading partners. DECS will be used mainly by the Defence Logistics Organisation, the tri-service body responsible for logistic support for the forces.

Spellar said: `This is the next major step in the revolution in military logistics. Technology now exists which will enable us to make the process of supporting our armed forces faster, more responsive and cheaper.’

The DLO — which spends about £2.5bn each year with suppliers – wants to make 20% cost savings over the next five years. It sees DECS as being important to the achievement of this target.

David Galloway, an executive director of Gap Gemini Ernst & Young UK, said of the initiative: `The new electronic procurement system, which includes online catalogues and automatic transactions, will transform what is currently a predominantly paper-based system.

`DECS will provide the MoD with an overview of all the armed services’ procurement needs and transactions,’ Galloway said.

The DECS contract is an important boost for Gap Gemini Ernst & Young, which has just launched a dedicated e-business unit called DareStep in the UK aimed at `old’ and `new economy’ corporate clients.

DareStep -which is already established in the US, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands – aims to combine the entrepreneurial spirit of a dot.com start-up with the resources available to a major international consultancy.

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