This project represented a unique opportunity for participants to compare the prices that were paid for a basket of items commonly procured in the water industry. Utilities' procurement spend runs into millions of pounds per year and comparative information on prices gives utilities leverage to make significant reductions in expenditure. WRc's previous experience of benchmarking was that very substantial cost savings can be made from carefully executed benchmarking studies.
The work built on the successful outcome of a pilot project undertaken in 2002 by six Utilities, comparing prices within a basket of 47 items (including chemicals, cements and aggregates, pipes, valves, meters, tankering, office consumables, travel booking etc).
Participants had the opportunity to shape the focus by refining and enlarging the basket of items and extending the information collected for each item to include, for example, supplier information. It was anticipated that this work would form the basis of ongoing price comparison with updates funded via an annual subscriptions.
- Substantial procurement cost savings by routine comparison of prices paid for items with industry benchmarks.
- By using the database, ability to negotiate more favourable supplier contracts and prices.