Corrections chooses SAP procurement to match financials

Purchases can now be strategically coordinated

After an open tender and a long selection process, the Corrections department has made a not-unexpected choice of SAP as the supplier for its procurement system.

Unless there are any last-minute obstacles on the “administrative” side, Corrections will implement version 4.0 of SAP’s Supplier Relationship Management (SRM).

This will handle procurement of a vast range of goods, from stationery through food to uniforms for staff and clothing for inmates in a centralised way across the whole prison service. Catalogues will be hosted internally.

Corrections' current procurement systems are “extremely fragmented and disparate”, says national procurement manager Simon Tregear. That makes it difficult to acquire the information over the whole service to make a strategic purchasing decision and possible savings.

Bids were received from international suppliers, New Zealand companies and one Australian firm, but one of the conditions was satisfactory integration with Corrections’ SAP R3 financials, Tregear says. A non-SAP choice for procurement could have created problems for future upgrades; “we were cautious about getting into the situation where we had a hybrid [SAP/non-SAP] system with a special-purpose interface, and a subsequent SAP upgrade might require us to rewrite that interface.”

Some “administrative” questions remain to be settled before implementation work can start, he says, and if everything goes smoothly there will be a “first system realisation and technical pilot” early in the new year.

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