E-procurement to become the rule for public bodies by 2016 according to the European Commission
Earlier this year, the European Commission announced that that it intends to make e-invoicing for public purchases the rule rather than the exception across Europe by mid-2016.
While automation is on the up, still only 5-10% of all procurement processes are being conducted electronically in the continent so far, according to the Commission. The adoption of such technologies may therefore be an uphill struggle if the public sector and the vendors in the market cannot address some key challenges, including the cost and effort of implementation.
Version One, the provider of e-invoicing solutions to the Commission has recently added its voice to the discussion. They suggest that the first step towards achieving full e-procurement by first implementing e-invoicing: one of the most significant time, cost and paper saving technologies. As European Commission aims to save €100bn every year, a wider adoption of e-invoicing may help meet this target over the next 4 years.
Greg Ford, Managing Director of Version One, says, "Public bodies can spend an exorbitant amount of time and money manually processing and storing thousands of paper invoices every month. By adopting electronic invoicing for the automated processing, storage and management of purchase invoices, this can deliver deep spending cuts while enabling finance staff to replace time-consuming administration with value-adding activities."
Ford adds, "It is imperative that public sector bodies move from manual paper-based invoicing to e-invoicing within the next few years to comply with the European Commission’s e-procurement mandate. With thousands of pounds cost savings easily achievable by moving to e-invoicing, this should be one of the first stages of any e-procurement project."