University of Malta

Project Description

Absorbing the benefits of e-Procurement from a local (Malta) perspective

Project Abstract

In these highly competitive, cost-conscious days, anything that can save a company large sums of money is bound to make executives sit up and take notice. Electronic procurement holds out such a promise and is in fact attracting more businesses to move their purchasing online. The advent of electronic marketplaces or business-to-business (B2B) exchanges, promises to take this process even further. E-marketplaces have been emerging in all sectors, whether to link the purchasing activities of big players in industries such as cars, retail and electronics, or to provide forums for smaller companies to do business with each other. The scope, complexity and speed of the B2B phenomenon, including e-marketplaces, have on the other hand confused many executives. But, alternatively e-procurement seems to be fairly easier to implement. Companies can start with non-core items � such office supplies and gradually move on to other parts of the business.

This step should target the purchasing of direct materials and other various services that a company buys, such as consulting or auditing. These are often negotiated over weeks and months, arranging for supplies for up to a year ahead for example. In such environments, e-procurement might add little value. But e-procurement can deliver more than just the lowering of prices. Indeed, by delivering better productivity, faster processing, greater visibility and the elimination of unplanned ad hoc buying�can have a much higher Return on Investment than what can be achieved by the simple reduction in price. Again, other benefits emerge through the improved efficiency of companies and the reengineering of how they operate. They can shrink dramatically the number of suppliers with whom they deal, slash administration costs and gain a much clearer picture of their overall buying strategy.
The dissertation will study the benefits of e-Procurement and ultimately, through case studies and survey, identify what benefits can a local set-up absorb keeping in mind Malta�s market limitations and size. In the initial phases of the dissertation, all the salient points and benefits of e-procurement will be evaluated in order to identify how procurement can be improved using e-business. Following the adoption of a new e-procurement system by the local government and also new legislation by the European Union, the dissertation will also describe the bases and connection of these activities. The centre of the dissertation will then focus on one or more case studies of local organisations, such as Malta Shipyards, to observe if such an organisation/s can absorb the benefits that e-procurement offers. To complement the case study, a survey will be conducted with more large organisations in order to understand better, if and how, the local market is using e-procurement.

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