Feasibility of changing from manual to an electronic procurement system at UTI Domestic.
Procurement is the acquisition of goods or services at the best possible total cost of ownership, in the correct quantity, at the correct time, in the correct place for the direct benefit or use of corporations, governments or individuals (Procurement 2005). Electronic procurement is the fulfillment of the procurement function by use of the Internet and new technologies to facilitate a seamless, end-to-end stream of strategic procurement activities enabling improved responsiveness and analysis within the procurement organisation (Wheatley 2003). The aim of the study was to identify the effectiveness and efficiency of the current procurement processes in place at UTi Domestic and to investigate the feasibility of using Electronic Procurement as a possible mechanism for Business Process Re-Engineering within UTi Domestic, to streamline and add value to the overall procurement function. This study was undertaken at UTi domestic in Johannesburg. Questionnaires were used to collect data. In total, twenty-eight procurement staff members and six management members completed separate questionnaires. One hundred percent response rate was achieved for both groups. The procurement staff completed a structured questionnaire while management were asked unstructured questions. Data obtained from the questionnaires were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings of the study indicated that the procurement process at UTi Domestic was inefficient and ineffective. The procurement process was in need of redesign. Controversy existed between management and procurement staff over whether e-procurement would be the solution to the procurement problem. The researcher recommended the implementation of an e-procurement solution as a resolution to the procurement problem, based on the value potential of the solution and the ability of the solution to positively satisfy all of the aims of the study. As supported by the literature, e-procurement can make a significant difference to UTi Domestic.