CPS standardises procurement process with Zanzibar (CPS & ProcServe)

Published on: 21/10/2009

Prosecution Service (CPS) spends around £160 million  (approximately €176 million) each year on a diverse range of goods and services. With over 8 000 employees across 43 areas in England and Wales, CPS recognised that in order to achieve significant savings in spend, they required a common shared procurement service across all business functions.

Zanzibar was selected following a market review to drive common procurement practice across the organisation. Zanzibar was chosen for its ability to provide better management information, improve process efficiency, compliance and demand better supplier relationships in the long-term. Through its unique offering of both rich marketplace functionality coupled with the ability for easy access to existing public sector suppliers and content, Zanzibar enables organisations like CPS to achieve significant cost efficiencies.

Policy Context

The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. The CPS works in partnership with the police, courts, Home Office, Ministry of Justice and other agencies throughout the Criminal Justice System (CJS) to reduce crime, the fear of crime and its social and economic cost to dispense justice fairly and efficiently and to promote confidence in the rule of law.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Lack of contract compliance and visibility of spend, coupled with ad hoc procurement practices throughout the organisation led to the procurement team within CPS looking externally for a best of breed eProcurement solution.

The initiative to implement Zanzibar was taken based on the following business case:

  • The need to reduce annual expenditure
  • Negotiate better supplier agreements and take advantage of early payment discounts
  • Increase process standardisation
  • Reduce the effort required to manage the purchase-to-pay process

The challenge for the project was to ensure that Zanzibar was delivered with minimal disruption, whilst ensuring that it met the business case for change within the organisation.

The project began with a scope and readiness assessment (SRA). The subsequent scope of the change project included the implementation of the Zanzibar eMarketplace including the purchaseto-pay (P2P) functionality, integrating with the existing internal systems and delivering the associated change management requirements. With an agreed scope and project plan in place ,the key workstreams of the project began, including technical set-up, training and communication. The project went live in 2008.

As part of the roll-out, CPS invested in an aggressive 'on boarding' of their suppliers. They are now able to trade with over 900 basic suppliers and 1 PunchOut supplier

Technology solution

Zanzibar is the UK Government's strategic collaborative electronic procurement system, developed by government organisations and OGC to optimise the process of purchasing goods and services and bring total transparency and real time visibility of public expenditure. Zanzibar is operated as a secure hosted managed service by ProcServe. It is available to all public sector organisations through a pan government framework agreement.

Zanzibar is a web-based purchase-to-pay (P2P) and electronic marketplace solution, providing a common hosted platform for ePurchasing and eInvoicing. By bringing together government contracts in a single platform, Zanzibar enables collaboration across all public sector buying organisations and provides access to the best pricing and transaction ready suppliers. Through Zanzibar, buying organisations can trade with any of their suppliers, local or global, large or small. It is provided as a managed service and the technology is hosted and maintained in a secure data centre with ongoing project and helpdesk support available to all buyers and suppliers.

Technology choice: Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

Results: Cost Efficiencies & Better Procurement Practices

Zanzibar is delivering both a solution that is meeting the requirements and needs of management as well as creating a hunger amongst the end users to experience the convenience of using Zanzibar now that it is live. The following benefits are hoped to be achieved through the use of Zanzibar:

  • Reducing costs by streamlining and standardising the process for procurement. eProcurement will be the organisation's standard. The purchasing department already follow the maxim "if there is no PO in the system, there is a no-pay policy".
  • Zanzibar will enable CPS to meet Government's savings targets outlined in CSR 07 and the Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP) review. To date, CPS has processed more than 7.500 orders with a spend of over £13million.
  • Zanzibar will allow CPS to build more strategic relationships with their key suppliers.
  • Administrative effort will be reduced as catalogue changes will be managed directly by their suppliers.
  • Improvement in Management Information. Zanzibar provides increased visibility into areas of spend. Every penny will be accounted for and any savings can then be pushed back to delivering world class prosecution services.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

Ensure you follow a complete change management plan when rolling out and involve your suppliers.

Scope: National