Electronic procurement systems are improving control and efficiency at Durham-based Three Rivers Housing Association.
Three Rivers, which manages over 3000 properties in north-east England, realised that it could make significant improvements to procurement by upgrading its existing paper-based invoice and purchase order processes to an electronic, paper-free system.
Castle Computer Services implemented its ePurchasing solution, a social housing-specific version of Document Centric Solutions’ electronic procurement software. Integrated with Three Rivers’ existing SunSystems finance system, ePurchasing enables full end-to-end procurement, incorporating expenditure controls and a consistent procurement process, as well as making the requisition process easy for Three Rivers’ staff. It enables budget holders and other staff to search and buy goods and services from approved suppliers on the corporate internet system in a controlled environment.
Janette Longstaff, head of finance, Three Rivers Housing Association, said, “We use the e-procurement system for all purchase orders and invoice procurement – it has really improved the whole process. It offers much greater visibility and can be accessed remotely, giving real flexibility. There is no longer any delay in processing received invoices and while accounts are managed centrally, transactions can be dealt with locally.”
Three Rivers is a member of the Spirit Partnership, which comprises seven housing organisations in the North East and was formed to create improved efficiencies for the benefit of the region and its people. Janette Longstaff said, “The system has now also been rolled out to the other housing associations in the Spirit Partnership and is delivering consistent controls for everyone.”