With only days to go before a threatened closure, the New Zealand School Trustees Association has found a way to keep its troubled STAbuy electronic buying portal alive.
NZSTA has signed a heads of agreement with supply company GSB Supplycorp to take over management and operation of the STAbuy e-procurement portal for the next two years.
GSB Supplycorp uses fellow-PSB Group company SupplyNet as its e-procurement provider. STAbuy Ltd, set up by the NZSTA to run the portal, will be wound up.
STAbuy, launched 18 months ago, was made available to 2400 schools with the aim of providing bulk buying discounts. Joint venture partner Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, which had underwritten the set-up costs of $775,000, pulled out late last year following the dot-com crash. NZSTA president Chris France says his organisation repaid the money to CGEY and NZSTA wrote the liability off.
STAbuy had by this time signed up 750 schools but not all were using the portal for transactions and there were fewer than 10 suppliers. France would not say how much business was going through the portal but says, “we agreed we weren’t getting the turnover we needed”.
STAbuy charged suppliers a 1% commission per transaction and had planned to get $1.2 billion of the $3.5 billion spent by schools each year.
NZSTA will not pay GSB Supplycorp a management fee. However, if GSB Supplycorp can get the portal generating revenue it may pay money back to NZSTA.
France says GSB Supplycorp is able to offer access to a greater number of suppliers. While STAbuy has only had less than 10 suppliers, under GSB Supplycorp it will start with about 30 and expand.
SupplyNet will take about a month to transfer the 750 schools from the Oracle-based STAbuy platform to SupplyNet’s CommerceOne-based system.