Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) has launched a new automated procurement portal which allows members to connect with a national network of suppliers and access a range of business management apps.
Automated procurement is a disruptive business model that is increasingly being adopted by organisations in Australia and around the world because of its ability to create an end-to-end electronic process for previously customer-facing processes.
ACSA says the portal, which went live this week, is designed to ease some of the financial pressures facing providers by helping them get the best deal for the goods and services they need as well as streamlining the procurement process.
The Sydney-based provider of the software 4Links says the technology allows members to benefit from “dynamic procurement” via live trading platforms and the ability to measure performance, control risks and manage costs in real time.
“The portal has some of the best strategic procurement technology available to support not for profit, church and charitable aged care providers get the best possible prices for products,” ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said.
Services available on the portal include a catalogue of products, and apps for tenders, RFQs, contract management, workplace health and safety, and site and asset management. Subscribing members are also able to share documents and communicate via forums and messaging.
The portal also offers tools that will help ensure providers are complying with regulations, including the Aged Care Quality Standards and the Modern Slavery Act, by auto-selecting required documents and requesting the supplier to upload them onto a central dashboard.
Collective purchasing power
Another feature of the platform is a “crowdbuy” function which leverages providers’ collective purchasing power by grouping members together for bulk orders.
Providers seeking a product or service can log an order and other members are invited to join. When there are enough orders for a bulk discount suppliers can compete and bid for the lowest price.
Members can join a live crowdbuy at any stage. After 48 hours the “auction” is closed and awarded to the lowest bid. Delivery and payment details are then sent to providers.
The technology used on the portal would give providers the confidence and freedom to focus on delivering quality care for older Australians, Ms Sparrow said.