Statement Of The Problem Rationale For The Research Management Essay

The overall UK authorities policy on procurance is centred on buying the needed merchandises or services under “ a just and unfastened competitory tendering procedure, guarding against corruptness and accomplishing value for money ” ( HM Treasury 2007, p.5 ) .

Presently, procurance has developed as the focal point of the authorities ‘s transmutation scheme. The UK authorities has pursued the usage of procurance as a policy docket on how efficient public services can be delivered across the populace sector ( Unison public service brotherhood 2012 ) . A recent publication by PWC ( 2011 ) noted that procurance of goods and services is of great importance to the UK economic system sing that the populace sector spends over ?220 billion on goods and services each twelvemonth, accounting for approximately 15 % of the GDP. Scotland, which is portion of the UK and the focal point of this research, spends about ?9billion each twelvemonth on goods, plants and services ( The Scots Government 2011, Cuthbert and Cuthbert 2012 ) . With a thrust towards accomplishing value for money through these immense disbursement, the acceptance of e-procurement was introduced in the UK public sector as a tactical move in accomplishing authorities ‘s value for money policy ( Loader 2007 ) . In line with this, eProcurement Scotland service ( ePS ) was set up in 2002 to drive efficiency and accomplish value for money for the people of Scotland. It is now regarded as one of the most comprehensive and successful Public Sector e-Procurement enterprises in the universe ( The Scots Government 2012 )

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From the populace sector position, e-procurement is seen an of import agencies of accomplishing increased efficiency and cut downing costs during each phase of the buying procedure ( OGC 2005 ) . Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender ( 2006 ) considered the designation of critical success factors to be really of import during the execution phase of the e-procurement system in the administrations. They farther noted that Key public presentation indexs allows for monitoring of the e-procurement procedure after the execution. Therefore, if public sector organisations are to profit from e-procurement patterns, there should be a model to determine the critical success factors every bit good as cardinal public presentation indexs to extinguish non-value adding procedures and place countries that needs betterment ( Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender 2006 ) . In line with this, the research will be sing both the operational phase of e-procurement.

1.1 Context of research survey

Public procurance patterns in the Scotland and the UK in general have been sing stable but noteworthy alterations in the past decennary. There has nevertheless been a widespread force per unit area from the authorities to present public presentation betterments and to gain fiscal nest eggs with more efficient and synchronized service bringing ( Scots Government 2008 ) . In the visible radiation of this, e-procurement has been identified as a cardinal instrument to accomplish this important decrease by eliminating hapless purchasing procedure to accomplish cost decrease and manage disbursement ( Wilson 2012 ) .

Public sector administrations are hence non exempted from the latest directive from the European Commission that all member provinces should guarantee that for all public sector purchasers, they carry out procurement electronically by 2016. The EC ‘s statement is that a sum sum of a‚¬100 billion ( ?82 billion ) can be saved yearly from the a‚¬2 trillion ( ?1.6 trillion ) spent on procurance of goods and services across the EU ( Snell 2012 )

In Scotland, an effectual usage of e-procurement is at the very bosom of procurance reform in Scotland. The Scots Government through the e-procurement service hosted in 2002 have made attempt to enable assorted bureaus to add value to their procurance procedures and recognize benefits locally. This has brought alterations to the manner the populace sector operates at all phases of the procurance procedure. Through this service, take parting bureaus have been able to cut down dealing cost, join forces expeditiously and systematically with providers and added value to their procurance procedure in general ( Ngobe 2004 ) .

1.2 Statement of the problem/Rationale for the Research

There has been a batch of research work carried out on e-procurement but most of them are frequently based on benefits and challenges to both the populace and private sector. ( Caniato, Golini and Ronchi 2010 ; Marcos 2009 ; Taner et Al 2008 ; Martins 2008 ; Croom and Brandon-Jones 2007 ; Gunasekaran and Ngai 2008 ; Ken 2006 ; Carayannis and Popescu 2005 ; Panayiotu, Gayialis and Tatsiopoulos 2004 ; Davila, Gupta and Palmer 2003 )

However, non much academic research has been carried out on the cardinal public presentation indexs and factors necessary for the successful measuring of the efficiency and effectivity of the enforced e-procurement procedure. ( Vaidya et al 2004, Vaidiya, Sajeev and Callender 2006 ) . Therefore, it is of import that asides sing the benefits and challenges of utilizing e-procurement, there should be equal measuring construction put in topographic point to be able to place the cardinal public presentation indexs and critical success factors. This will enable public administrations to extinguish non-value adding procedures and place loopholes for betterment.

Iwouha ( 2011 ) nevertheless carried out a research work on the “ exploratory Study into execution of e-procurement in the UK Public Sector – Critical Success Factors and Key Performance Indicators. A instance of Scots Universities ” ; and in her recommendation for farther research suggested that similar research should be carried out across cross sector administrations to derive a better penetration as how the sectors relates to another.

The above therefore raises the inquiries

What are the critical success factors and what is their relevancy to the e-procurement procedures?

What are the Cardinal public presentation indexs to supervise public presentation?

Furthermore, sing that Public sector organisations are passing public money, they have a legal duty to revenue enhancement remunerators by guaranting that they spend sagely in the public involvement. Performance steps are hence of import to modulate how effectual the e-procurement patterns are in enabling the UK and the Scots authorities in peculiar in accomplishing their potency of adding value to budgets. Without mensurating public presentation, it will be disputing to show answerability and do good advancement because measuring is the cardinal to doing the alteration a success ( Vaidya et al 2004 ) . Consequently effectual bringing of the e-Procurement is determined by the uninterrupted measuring of the cardinal benefits ( OGC 2001 ) . Scotland and the UK authorities as a whole are therefore focused on cut downing public disbursement and doing significant part by supplying sustainable economic growing and it is believed that by accomplishing greater efficiency in the procurance procedure, this end will be realized ( Procurement Scotland 2008 ) .

1.3 Research Aim and Aims

Sing the importance of e-procurement in the populace sector, the research worker sets out to look into more on the how the procedures can be monitored for effectivity and how public presentation can be measured.

Figure 1.0 shows the construction of the research.









1.3.1 Aim

The overall purpose of this research is to understand what monitoring and rating is undertaken during e-procurement procedures.

The research is focused on the operational phase of the e-procurement in the UK populace sector with peculiar focal point on Scotland and a set of research aims have been established to accomplish the above purpose. These specific aims are ;

1.3.2 Aims

1. To place how the e-procurement procedure is being operated in the populace sector

2. To compare the expected benefits and existent benefits of e-procurement.

3. To find the usage of the critical success factors.

4. To find the usage of cardinal public presentation indexs for mensurating public presentation.

1.4 Relevance of the research

Through this research, there would be an added value to the wealth of information in the country of e-procurement every bit good as turn toing the spread that exists in the country of Critical success factors and cardinal public presentation indexs for e-procurement procedures. This survey will besides function as a great beginning of information for administrations both within the public and private sector that are doing usage of e-procurement system.

Some Public Sector administrations in Scotland have been selected as a focal point of survey sing that that e-procurement Scotland ( ePS ) is regarded as one of the most comprehensive and effectual Public Sector e-procurement enterprises in the universe ( The Scots Government 2012 )

1.5 Structure of the Research

This subdivision shows a chronological lineation of how the research survey will be undertaken divided into five chapters in the undermentioned order as seen in Figure 1.2:


Chapter FOUR


This Chapter gives a comprehensive presentation of the informations findings and reading through in-depth analysis.

This Chapter presents inside informations of the design and attack to the research methodological analysis and besides considers the method of informations trying, aggregation and analysis. It farther discusses the restrictions of the chosen methods.

Chapter THREE


Chapter FIVE


This chapter draws decision from old treatment as presented in the other chapters. It offers practical recommendations based on grounds stated in old chapters and considers mention for future research to be undertaken in the country of survey.

Chapter TWO


This Chapter presents an rating of bing research surveies available on e-procurement both in the public and private sector which supports the survey. It will discourse surveies available on Cardinal public presentation indexs and critical success factors that are of import for a successful e-procurement procedure.

Chapter ONE


This Chapter gives provides a background into the survey, foregrounding the context of the research survey and statement of the research job. It besides outlines the purpose and aims of the survey.


2.0 Introduction

Harmonizing to Sekharan ( 1992 ) , literature reappraisal is the procedure of documenting a reappraisal of both published and unpublished work in countries of specific research involvement from secondary beginnings of informations. This chapter hence aims at seting together what other research workers have written about this country of survey and to come up with relevant inter-relationships between the specific topics of involvement. The chief overall aims of the research is to derive an apprehension of e-Procurement in the public sector ; to develop a model that aids the designation of critical success factors for following and implementing e-Procurement in the public sector ; and to discourse the cardinal public presentation indexs associated with mensurating the success of the procedure.


The buying and merchandising of goods and services over the Internet has become an effectual manner by which several administrations maintain their provider lists. The Internet has been widely used as research tool, which gives room for buying professional to shop around and compare provider ‘s competencies while perusing on-line catalogues. Besides, the cyberspace has been used to bring forth great nest eggs by cut downing high dealing costs for low-value points which includes but are non limited to mend, care, and runing points. Furthermore, the cyberspace based procurance tools have besides been used to cut down monetary values paid for goods and services purchased ( Pearcy, Parker and Giunipero 2008 cited Giunipero and Sawchuck 2002 ) . Electronic Procurement is hence a platform by which administrations are able to compare provider monetary values, service degrees, and merchandise quality ( Jaegar 2011 )

Despite the consciousness on E-procurement and its maps, there has nevertheless been deficiency of consistence in the definitions of E-procurement which has left several administrations confused. ( McConnell 2009 ) . This incompatibility has been identified by several writers ( Henry 2000, Heywood et al 2002, Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender 2006, and Yu et al 2008 ) as one of the major restraints in its acceptance. Dooley and Purchase ( 2006 ) conversely noted that it is really of import to set up a consistent definition to avoid holding a different conceptualization of e-procurement.

Teo et Al ( 2009 ) defined e-procurement as the riddance of traditional paper based paperss such as purchase orders in apologizing buying procedures. Knudsen ( 2002 ) reinforced this definition by specifying e-procurement as portion of the procurance map that is supported by assorted signifiers of electronic communicating. Several other writers have focused on this same attack observing that the devices used during e-procurement provide a comprehensive definition of e-procurement ( Telgen 2001, Caldwell et al 2002, De Boer, Harink and Hedjboer 2002 ; and Davila, Gupta and Palmer 2003, Ndou 2004, Croom 2005, Gunasekaran and Ngai 2008 ) . These definitions have noted the usage of electronic devices for procurance procedures but have failed to place some of these devices.

In line with this, e-procurement is farther defined as doing usage of electronic platforms such as electronic mail, web and cyberspace to buy goods and services ( Roche 2001 ; Davila, Gupta and Palmer 2003 ; Subramaniam and Shaw, 2004 ; Carayannis and Popescu 2005 ) . This implies that e-procurement procedure involves market topographic points, extranets, private platforms, electronic ordination, command and rendering via portals ( Dooley and Purchase, 2006 ) . Furthermore, it besides entails the usage of contrary auctions and buying cards ( Moon 2005 ) . Although these writers have defined e-procurement on a broader position by sing the illustration of devices used during the procurance procedure, the definitions have non made reference of the parties involved in the procedure.

Resulting from this spread, e-procurement is defined as the procedure that AIDSs and improves the corporate buying process between purchasers and Sellerss on several degrees within an administration which includes assorted signifiers of substructures in the procurance procedure ( Meier and Stormer 2009 ; Dooley and Purchase, 2006 ; Min and Galle, 2003 ; Presutti 2003 ; De Boer, Harink and Hedjboer 2002 ; and Ong 2002 ) . Despite that these definitions have made attempt to place the new attacks to buying goods and services as contrary to the manual method of securing goods and services, they have non been able to show the fact that the e-procurement system performs more maps than merely purchasing of goods and services utilizing an cyberspace system.

This survey will nevertheless follow the definition put frontward by Oliveira and Amorim 2001 ) which is comprehensive and considers more on public sector procurance. Oliveira and Amorim ( 2001 ) defined E-procurement as the procedure through which goods and services required for a purchasing administration are electronically purchased from a provider thereby leting for efficiency, transparence and the gap up of public procurance which ensures that public contracts are awarded to the bidder offering best value. Figure 2.1 depicts the assorted stages of the e-procurement procedure.


Beginning: Grilo and Jardim-Goncalves 2011, P.109.


As the application of information engineering in legion procedures in the private sector have been seen as the redemption of the private sector, electronic authorities is frequently publicized as the rescue of the public sector. Harmonizing to Hart-Teeter ( 2000 ) , both the private and public and directors have an optimistic attack towards e-government, even though there are frequently some security and privateness concerns. In a command to further electronic authorities, several public directors have

pursued e-procurement, with an purpose of going more adept purchasers and with a focal point on heightening the general quality of procurance direction which leads to a more accountable system ( Moon 2005 ) .

Procurement is an of import governmental action and since the early 1990s, authoritiess have made attempt to implement assorted e-procurement tools such as cyberspace command, e-reverse auctions, e-ordering, buying cards, web-based proposal petitions and machine-controlled procurance systems ( Moon 2005 ) . The protagonists of e-procurement have argued that it is an avenue for authorities to salvage money ; present a faster, more accountable, and more effectual e-procurement procedure. Harmonizing to Neef ( 2001 ) , the possible benefits of e-procurement are: more effectual and consistent procurance processes ; better control over procurement disbursement ; reduced paper work and less insistent administrative processs ; better employee conformity ; lower dealing costs ; more accessible cyberspace options for purchasers ; and more effectual procurance work flows.

Regardless of the benefits, some research workers have argued that the diffusion of public e-procurement is slow because of the alone nature of the public sector with its legal and political complexnesss ( MacManus 2002 ) . To efficaciously implement e-procurement, authoritiess must cover with several managerial, legal, and proficient complexnesss. There are besides several fiscal committedness and security issues involved in the initial investing and relationships with sellers ( Moon 2005 ) .


The E-procurement systems allows buying to do usage of mechanization in its dealing processing by cut downing lead times and restricting decreases in off-catalogue purchasing to concentrate more on activities that are strategic ( Gunasekaran and Ngai 2008 ) . Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender ( 2006 ) broke them down into three which are purchaser e-procurement, supplier e-procurement and on-line intermediary systems. However, the focal point of this research is on the purchaser e-procurement. Some of the commonly used ( Susan and Catherine 2006 ) e-procurement tools in the populace sector ( Majumdar 2008 ) which are available and will be discussed are:


E-auction or Reverse auction


E-catalogue and E-market topographic point

E-invoicing and Purchase cards

E-request for citation ( e-RFQ )

Figure 1 below shows a sample of combined e-procurement tools


Beginning: ( NePP 2004, p.1 )


E-sourcing is the tactical and strategic portion of the e-procurement procedure, through the usage of cyberspace applications and associated service, which deals with sorting obtaining, measuring and negociating footings of contract between providers and purchasers for the purchase of goods and services ( Gadodia and Giunipero 2003 ; Dai, Narasimhan and Wu 2002 ; and Reyesmoro et al 2000 ) . It is an electronic tendering and contract award direction system that has replaced the mostly paper based activities which are involved in the award of contracts for goods and services. It is frequently used for categorising advanced beginnings of supply through the usage of cyberspace engineerings. It makes proviso for a thin procedure and a individual IT platform for the tendering activities ( United Utilities 2012 ; and De Boer, Harink and Hedjboer 2002 ) . E-sourcing aids the sourcing maps of the procurance procedure ( Deloitte 2001 ) . Figure 2.2 below shows the e-sourcing procedure in relation to e-procurement. Harmonizing to Amelinckx et Al ( 2008 ) , e-sourcing makes proviso for six online procedures which are concern intelligence, constellation, supplier hunt, supplier hallmark, merchandise hallmark and rating. These procedures assist administrations in transporting out efficient and verifiable contract direction, increase the visibleness of their sourcing activities and better chances for good and collaborative interaction between purchasers and providers to guarantee unfastened and just competition.

FIGURE 2.3: E-SOURCING Procedure

Beginning: Deloitte 2001


Aloini, Dulmin, and Mininno ( 2012, p.219 ) cited Beall et Al ( 2003 ) and defined E-reverse auction “ an online, existent clip dynamic auction between a purchasing administration and a group of pre-qualified providers who compete against each other to win the concern to provide goods or services that have clearly defined specifications for design, measure, quality, bringing, and related footings and conditions ” . By offering against each other online utilizing specialised package and subjecting lower priced commands within a scheduled clip, the providers in an e-auction or e-reverse auction compete against each other. E-auction or E-reverse auction besides allows administrations to reexamine their buying procedures and relationships with their providers. However, it is frequently seen as a “ destructive power-based bargaining tool ” which threatens relationships between the purchaser and the marketer. This has limited its acceptance by most administrations ( SIGMA 2011 ; Tassabehji 2010 ) .

Additionally, non all goods and services purchased by an administration is acquiescent through e-reverse auction. First among these classs of goods that are non acquiescent through e-reverse auction are goods and services that do non hold clearly defined characteristics that providers can interpret into distinct specifications. Second classs of goods are those that are strategically differentiated. Third classs are state of affairss where replacing providers would amount to an unacceptable big alteration in cost. The 4th class are goods where the volume or value is really low to the extent that the nest eggs can non cover the cost of holding an e-reverse auction ( Beall et al 2003 ) .

Harmonizing Beall et Al ( 2003 ) , the major features of goods and services that are acquiescent through e-reverse auction are listed below:

Goods and services that can be clearly specified through design, footings and conditions and translated into monetary values which the provider will be required to bear down the purchaser.

The likeliness that the current monetary value is sufficiently greater than the market monetary value is high, doing the e-reverse auction event cost effectual.

The cost of exchanging between providers are sensible

A good figure of experient and competitory providers are available in the market topographic point

Qualified providers are willing to take portion in the e-reverse auction.


E-tendering is the procedure that describes how information is disseminated and stamp is received via the cyberspace. The procedure entails involves providers bespeaking involvement in tendering, entry of stamp paperss, rating of stamp papers and eventually the award of contract and publication ( Dawson et al 2006, NePP 2004 ) . Seah ( 2004 ) is of the sentiment that e-tendering is aimed at increasing efficiency during the tendering procedure by cut downing paper use and rushing up interaction and communicating between providers and the purchasing administration. One of the chief benefit of e-tendering is the user-friendly nature of the system, doing it possible for parties involved to derive entree to the installations from any portion of the universe without being restrained by geographical location ( Oyediran and Akintola 2011 ; and Seah 2004, ) . Figure 2.4 shows the phases involved in e-tendering.


Beginning: Modified from Tendertailor 2012.


Electronic market place or e-marketplace is web-based application that is used to hasten electronic trade amongst purchasing administrations and providers ( LGID 2012 ; Li 2007 ; and Murtaza, Gupta and Carrol 2004 ) . It provides capablenesss for administrations to put their procurance procedure online including payments and logistics, and besides gives room for monetary value and merchandise comparing across a scope of available options offered through e-catalogues ( NePP 2006 )

Electronic Catalogues ( E-catalogues ) are tools used to hasten public procurance, under a model understanding or within a dynamic buying system. They are the electronic versions of the traditional paper based catalogues that allows the users inside the administration to shop among assorted merchandises and services in conformity with earlier negotiated contract understandings. It allows for decrease in dealing cost and decrease of unauthorized buying outside the permitted systems ( SIGMA 2011 ; and Ronchi et Al 2010, ) .


The Electronic invoicing system straight makes proviso for bills to be approved by the client and the provider harmonizing to the orders managed. The Enterprise Resource Planning or back-office applications are used to fit the purchase order with goods and services received ; with the bill and with contract understandings before let go ofing the payment. ( Ronchi et al 2010 )

Purchase Cards ( P-cards ) are options payment tools that enhance procurement answerability and are used to cut down administrative costs. They besides increase productiveness, enhance seller flexibleness, better coverage, empower employees and allows for greater convenience. Several e-procurement systems make usage of the P-Cards largely for smaller but frequent big volume purchases ( IIMM 2012 ; and Moon 2005, ) . The UK initiated the Visa Government Procurement Card ( VGPC ) into the public sector in 2003. The VGPC has been viewed as the most developed P-Card enterprise in Europe. ( Visa 2012 )


E-procurement has existed as corporate subject within assorted organisations to heighten transparence and good administration in procurance for many developed and developing states. The system has proven really effectual for set uping procurance reforms and establishing a wholly crystalline and built-up procurance environment within several authorities administrations ( DESA 2011 ) . E-procurement has been a solution to managing inefficiencies in the populace sector by modifying policies to be more focussed on competition while using the manner direction patterns in the private sector manner to the public sphere ( Caldwell et al 2005 ; and Hood 2000 ) . The turning attending on procurance within the UK populace sector is determined by both the demands to cut down on cost and to heighten productiveness through the development and execution of new concern procedure which is largely supported by modern information engineering. ( McConnell 2009 )

E-procurement has been identified as a “ remedy ” to the present ineffectualness associated with the assorted phases of public procurance. This is based on the accomplishments to day of the month within the private sector with the usage of E-procurement ( Teo et al 2009 ; Bof and Previtali 2007 ; Tatsis et Al 2006 ; Muffato and Payaro 2004 ; Bartezzaghi and Ronchi 2003 ; De Boer et al 2002 ; Cadwell et Al 2002 ; and Reason and Evans 2000 ) . The accomplishments of e-procurement in the private sector have been good researched and documented and it implies that there are great potencies for similar accomplishments to be realized in the populace sector. ( Panayiotu et al 2004 ; Croom and Brandon-Jones 2003 ; and MacManus 2002 ) .

The E-procurement systems have provided the authorities the chance to use standard procurance processes across establishments, by doing usage of applicable controls to increase answerability from assorted securing entities. However, authorities organisations have learned that without equal procedure monitoring and public presentation measurings, an e-procurement system on its ain is non a warrant for success notwithstanding of how advanced or technically sound the e-procurement system may be ( DESA 2011 )

For the intent of this research the focal point will be directed towards Scotland because the e-procurement Scotland ( ePS ) enterprise is considered to be one of the most comprehensive and effectual Public Sector e-Procurement enterprises in the universe. The ePS is managed by the Scots Government for the full populace sector administrations in Scotland which includes local authorities, cardinal authorities, NHS and higher instructions. The ePS provides a broad scope of services such as electronic tendering, electronic sourcing, electronic auctions and purchase to pay solutions. There is besides a national e-Procurement programme squad that manages the axial rotation out of the service all over Scotland and they work with administrations to develop the procurance processes by guaranting that systems are compatible. The e-procurement Scotland is focused on heightening public sector procurance to enable it delivers rapid, sustainable and significant benefits to take parting administrations. It motivates public sector administrations to be more committed towards efficiency in their procedures by concentrating on accomplishing the best value for the people of Scotland ( The Scots Government 2012 ) . Figure 2.5 shows a sample of authorities procurance procedure.


Beginning: ( ADB, IADB and World Bank 2004, p.4 )

The e-procurement solution that is used by e-procurement Scotland is known as PECOS. This service is provided by Capgemini UK doing usage of Elcom ‘s engineering platform. It is used by over 100 Scots public sector administrations runing from local authorities, cardinal authorities, Universities, Colleges and NHS boards ( The Scots Government 2012 )

2.4.1 Pecos

PECOS is an acronym for Professional Electronic Commerce Online System. It is an online based procurance system which is designed to give support to public sector procurance. It allows for decrease in operating expenses and delivers a more efficient pattern while making better control for provider direction ( NHS Scotland 2012 ) . In 2011, PECOS was used provide visibleness of about ?3 billion of spend by the Scots authorities which is an about one tierce of the full public procurance spend in Scotland. It was besides used to command the blessing of about 1.5million orders and do proviso for about 54,000 users within Scotland country to derive entree to about 109, 000 providers ( The Scots Government 2012 ) .

The Scots Government is nevertheless be aftering on altering the system and making a new engineering platform. The alterations are focused on supplying cost nest eggs for public sector administrations, a more efficient service for users and make better strategic precedences for economic growing. Initially, the PECOS system was being hosted in USA but the Scots Government plans to put in the new platform in its Data Centre at Saughton House, Edinburgh. This new enterprise the authorities said will do proviso for an extra capacity to present up to a 30 % addition in usage at no extra cost to the Scots Public sector. This means there will be an extra ?1 billion worth of dealing on an one-year footing. The effect of this is an addition in cost nest eggs and other benefits such as environmental benefits which includes decrease in C footmark and information direction betterments which besides includes more efficient security of informations.

2.4.2 APUC

APUC is an acronym for “ Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges ” and it oversees e-procurement for about 60 universities and colleges in Scotland. It was established in response to the McClelland study on the reappraisal of Public Procurement in Scotland that recommended public procurance reform ( APUC 2012 ) . APUC was formed in January 2007 to move as representative in affairs which are related to procurance and to supply support and operationally lead collaborative catching for establishments. APUC is besides responsible for implementing e-procurement service ( PECOS ) in the establishments ( The Scots Government 2012 ) .


The name “ Cedar ” was formed with the coming together of Cedar package Ltd and Arelon Ltd, ( once known as QSP financials ) and has become the largest supplier of advanced concern solution in the country of finance ( RGU 2012 ) . Cedar is an electronic fiscal package bundle that supports the e-Procurement procedure.

The manner it works is that the minute a provider has been created ; it must be submitted to the finance section through the online work flow system. This enables back end information completion for the provider, one time the provider has been authorised and goods have been delivered as required, a purchase order will be raised against the provider. The purchase order is created from the information provided ( ABS 2012 ) . Figure 2.6 shows a sample of the manner the e-procurement maps are linked to the cedar e-financial system.


Beginning: ( Crawley Borough Council 2008, p.8 )


As portion of the Scots Government public procurance reform programme, the Public Contract Scotland ( PCS ) Service was created and is managed by the Scots Procurement with an purpose to increase the criterions in the manner and mode in which the populace sector procures goods, plants and services. The PCS web site makes available a national advertizement chance for Scots Public organic structures to post notices for all assortment of contracts. The PCS was launched in 2008 after the publication of the McClelland ‘s Review of Public Procurement Scotland in 2006. Besides on the PCS web site, there is free entree to providers on all of import information on public sector concern chances which creates a more competitory environment. All public sector administrations in Scotland are meant to utilize PCS ( The Scots Government 2011 )


For a piece, the critical success factor ( CSF ) approaches to direction of procedures have existed with survey from assorted writers. Historically, CSF ‘s have been applied more comprehensively to the information systems ( IS ) field when assorted surveies were carried out to look into the design of information systems and assorted attacks. ( Daniel 1961 ; Ghymn and King 1976 ; Davis 1979 ; Rockart 1979 ; Tozer 1988 ; Ward, Griffiths, and Whitmore 1990 ; Edwards, Ward, and Bytheway, 1991 ; Brotherton and Leslie 1991 ; and Hickey 1993, Cheng & A ; Ngai, 1994 ) . CSF ‘s has been associated with concern procedure ( Ward 1992 ; and Watson 1993 ) , competences ( Hooley and Saunders 1993 ; and Lowes et al 1994 ) , creative activity of larning administrations ( Rosemblum and Keller 1994 ) and value concatenation ( Johnson and Scholes 1993 ) positions.

Ahmad and Cuenca ( 2012, p.2 ) mentioning Rockart ( 1979 ) defined critical Success Factors as the “ limited figure of countries in which consequences, if they are satisfactory, will guarantee successful competitory public presentation for the administration. They are the few countries where things must travel right for the concern to boom. If consequences in these countries are non equal, the administrations attempt for the period will be less coveted ” . They are distinguished countries that administrations consider to guarantee they get things right for a successful concern ( Finney and Corbett 2007 )

Furthermore, CSFs are defined as factors that an administration must see for its day-to-day procedures to guarantee its overall ends are achieved. The CSFs might ensue from procedures, people and constructions from the internal environments or from the administrations competences which are of import for competitory advantage. The CSFs can besides be determined from the administrations external environment.

( Berry, Seiders, and Gresham 1997 ; Van der Meer and Calori 1989 ) .

Associating the definition of critical success factors to e-procurement, they are countries that must be considered to guarantee the smooth running of the procedure. CSFs are countries where activities must take topographic point in order to guarantee competitory public presentation for an administration ( Butler and Fitzgerald 1999 ) . Sing that e-procurement is an of import subject in the e-government sphere, several administrations need way on how to continue with the new engineering. The absence of CSFs makes it seems hard to show the province of advancement of the procedure and to measure the success of the enterprise in the populace sector.


Harmonizing to Woxenius ( 2012 ) , Cardinal Performance Indicators are steps used for bettering procedures. They are steps designed to back up the ends of an administration or directed towards a procedure. In finding KPIs, every administration must see ; what the steps of the overall administrations are, how these steps translates into the procedure and how will the steps be collected and analysed. Overall, the focal point of planing KPIs is to measure and better procedures. The KPI ‘s should give penetration into quality, efficiency, conformity and value. The quality facet considers how good the procedure is working, the efficiency facet is focused on the sufficiency of the end product of the procedure, the conformity facet considers if the procedure is being followed while the value facet focuses on the expected and the existent benefits of the procedure to the administration ( Bloodworth and Herron 2007 ) . There are assorted activities involved in the measuring as seen in Figure 2.7.

Forslund ( 2007, p. 906 ) noted that stairss involved in public presentation direction are ; “ put aims and schemes ; specify prosodies ; “ set marks ; step ; analyse ; evaluate ; and so move to better the procedure ” . The ability to continuously mensurate the critical benefits of the procedure is seen as being really of import to the bringing of efficiency and set uping baselines is really of import ( Birks et al. , 2001 ) . When an administration lacks measurement capablenesss, it means the direction is limited in the manner it can measure the advancement of the administration or the procedure ( CGEC 2002 ) . It is critical that the cardinal public presentation indexs for a procedure be defined early to guarantee an effectual trailing of the benefits. The KPIs should besides be monitored throughout the procedure or undertaking ( Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender 2006 )


Beginning: Bloodworth and Herron 2007, p. 4

Furthermore, Tsai and Cheng ( 2012 ) noted that the choice of KPIs should be established on the position of the procedure and the administration at big sing that KPIs represents a quantifiable index that reveals the cardinal success factors of an organisation. They further emphasised that each KPI should suit into the ends and aim of the administration and should be quantifiable. KPI ‘s service as baseline for assorted sections in the administration and enables them place their public presentation measuring indexs. The ability to set up realisable KPIs is critical for effectual public presentation direction.


This subdivision will see the critical success factors and cardinal public presentation indexs

for monitoring of the e-procurement procedure as presented in literature. This will

service as a baseline for which the research will be built upon.

Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender ( 2006 ) maintained that without a set of CSF ‘s, it will non be possible to observe the province of advancement, evaluate or step the success of e-procurement enterprise in the populace sector. Some efforts have been made by the authorities to specify the CSF ‘s for procurance patterns in the populace sector though outside the confines of e-procurement, nevertheless it can non be established whether public sections have incorporated these public presentation enterprises. ( McClelland 2006 )

CSF ‘s can enable experts to cover successfully with the force per unit areas between scheme executing and design, by doing proviso for linguistic communications which creates blessing at senior managerial degree as it identifies important countries for strategic attending ( Veen-Dirks and Wijn 2002 ) . Harmonizing to Gunasekaran and Ngai ( 2008 ) , CSF ‘s are defined as patterns which are paramount to heighten the effectivity of the e-procurement system. Table 2.0 show the assorted CSFs drawn from five different literatures.


Beginning: ( Researcher ‘s digest 2012 ) .

As listed in Table 2.0, Angeles and Nath ( 2005 ) identified 12 variables that are of import in e-procurement but reduced them subsequently to four critical success factors. The first CSF considered the rationalisation of how an administration manages its providers. The survey suggested that with e-procurement, administrations should be focused on cutting down on the figure of providers with whom they relate with. They farther noted that it is of import for houses to consolidate their contracts and providers to enable them accomplish better contract footings and important nest eggs. The 2nd factor was discovered to hold the highest impact on the success of the e-procurement enterprise. This factor addressed positively act uponing the terminal user or employees ‘ behavior to conform to the new system by reforming the concern procedure. The survey noted that this factor enables the administration to delegate ownership to the disbursement concern procedure by transporting out a spend pattern analysis before the concern procedure re-engineering commences. This gives them a wide apprehension of how much the administration is passing, who is making the disbursement, on what and with whom are they making the disbursement.

The 3rd factor from the survey as identified by ( Angeles and Nath 2005 ) is more focussed on transporting out a well-orchestrated e-procurement planning procedure with the administrations providers by doing usage of intelligence in planing and mining the information that will be produced. This besides involves deriving an apprehension of the buying form of the terminal users by aggregating and analyzing the information in order to place passing countries with the highest cost thereby bring forthing cost economy potencies. Finally, the 4th factor considers the ability of the house to choose a good e-procurement solution sing the functionalities of the bundle, cost for service and support and other cost including concealed cost associated with post-acquisition.

Furthermore in the survey of critical success factors for e-procurement, Gunasekaran and Ngai ( 2008 ) in their research interviewed several companies and asked what they considered as critical success factors for e-procurement. From the response obtained, over 60 % of the respondent identified these factors as of import: Centralised control, equal communicating among participants, answerability, streamlined blessing and workflow systems and top direction support. The survey which was similar to that carried out by Angeles and Nath ( 2005 ) did non nevertheless see steps to heighten the success of the e-procurement enterprises.

Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender ( 2006 ) carried out a more advanced survey on critical success factors as compared to the earlier treatments. The focal point of their research was on the UK, US and Australian populace sector, it showed some alone critical factors as identified in Table 2.0 that are instrumental to the success of e-procurement in the populace sector. However, it was noted that the engagement of stakeholders such as purchasers, providers and terminal users is of high significance sing their part to the full procedure. However it was concluded from the survey that employee preparation was the most of import factor followed by supplier acceptance of the procedure. The survey did non halt at placing the CSFs but went farther to discourse that one time the CSFs are identified, it is critical to hold some steps in topographic point to heighten the success of the e-procurement enterprise. Some of these steps are transparence, answerability and interoperability ; and they are determined by mensurating user and supplier satisfaction. Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender ( 2006 ) went farther to suggest a research theoretical account for the critical success factors as seen in Figure 2.8. The theoretical account considers public presentation steps for the assorted classs of CSFs identified signifies the CSF that best support the e-Procurement enterprises in the populace sector.


Beginning: ( Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender 2006, p. 90 )

Furthermore, Vaidya et Al ( 2004 ) emphasised more on measuring of the e-procurement public presentation by suggesting a balanced scorecard theoretical account for mensurating the public presentation. The focal point of their research was on the fact that to efficaciously accomplish possible value adds through the e-procurement system, it is of import to hold critical success factors in topographic point and be able to mensurate them in footings of public presentation. Vaidya et Al ( 2004 ) further used the balanced scorecard as a cardinal public presentation measuring tool. The theoretical account is seen in Figure 2.9 below.



Beginning: ( Vaidya et al 2004, p.21 )

Panayiotou et Al ( 2004 ) besides carried out a survey on CSF ‘s and KPI ‘s which revealed that it is of import to pull out a wide aim when sing the critical success factors and cardinal public presentation indexs. As seen in Figure 2.10, their research identified three major CSF ‘s and five KPI ‘s for mensurating public presentation. They noted that one of the most of import CSFs is the designation of bing legislative model sing that public sector procurance must work within established policies in order to accomplish a coveted societal and economic end.


Buying System

Beginning: ( Panayiotu, Gayaialis, and Tatsiopoulos 2004, p. 86 )

Having considered the above literature on CSF and KPIs, this research will see some of the CSFs identified from theory and its pertinence to the public sector e-procurement procedures in some Scots administrations. It is nevertheless noted that most of the critical success factors identified in Table 2.0 are largely used during execution phase ( Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender 2006 ) but sing that critical success factors are besides really of import to enable administrations overcome challenges during operation ; the research will follow some CSFs which are applicable during the operation phase of the e-procurement:



2.8.1 Benefits

Harmonizing to Hawking and Stein ( 2004 ) , e-procurement procedure has undergone several transmutations in the last 10 old ages and has become a more strategic resource. It has gone beyond being a strategic participant but a major driver in the supply concatenation. Puschmann and Alt ( 2005 ) further emphasised that in earlier times, procurance was more focussed on administrative everyday work and most frequently the purchaser did non hold much influence on the pick of providers. Besides, purchasers concentrated more on non-value added activities such as rectifying mistakes in paper work or work outing quality jobs.

However, with the debut of electronic commercialism into the procurance procedure, it has improved the procurance map by easing a more efficient procedure and opening up an chance to carry on concern on a planetary degree ( Breen and Crawford 2005 ) . The e-procurement system helps increase informations preciseness and reduces paperwork. It besides enhances transparence and coaction of the full procedure while cut downing lead times and stock list degrees ( Trkman and McCormack 2010 ) . There are several other benefits of associated with utilizing e-procurement as gathered from several literatures identified in Table 2.1. To efficaciously gain the benefits of utilizing e-procurement system, it is of import to better the procedure by specifying cardinal public presentation indexs ( Trkman and McCormack 2010 ) . Some of these benefits will hence function as baseline for set uping cardinal public presentation indexs when supervising e-procurement procedures.


Beginning: Research workers digest 2012


Despite the many benefits associated with the usage of e-procurement, it has non has non brought the awaited nest eggs for some administrations as expected nor as the procedure being every bit easy as some of the solution suppliers have suggested. These challenges implies that it is of import to hold much better apprehension of CSF ‘s in respects to the e-Procurement usage in the populace sector ( Vaidya, Sajeev and Callender 2006 ) . The challenges are cardinal countries that the CSF ‘s purpose to turn to because for the e-procurement procedure to be successful, the CSF ‘s service as baselines.

Several challenges have been identified as seen in Table 2.2 below. Caridi et Al ( 2004 ) warned that although the application of the e-procurement system can lend vastly to the value attention deficit disorder of administrations, it can besides be a medium to destruct the value that exist within the administration if there is no in-depth reappraisal of the tactical function of the organizational maps involved in the transactional procedure. Furthermore, Rajkumar ( 2001 ) , Jones and Macklin 2002 and Quayle ( 2005 ) pointed out that administrations must place the impact that e-procurement has on the house in order for it to be successful.

Table 2.2: Challenge OF USING E-PRCOUREMENT

Beginning: ( Researcher ‘s Compilation 2012 )

Having reviewed literatures from assorted writers, Table 2.3 shows a sum-up of how the research aims were addressed by the literature reappraisal. This is of import to guarantee that the research nonsubjective relates with every facet of the literature reappraisal.




To place how the e-procurement procedure is being operated in the populace sector

Chapter 2.1: Electronic Procurement

Chapter 2.2: The development of E-procurement

Chapter 2.3: E-procurement system

Chapter 2.4: E-procurement in the UK populace sector

To compare the expected benefits and existent benefits of e-procurement.

Chapter 2.8: Benefits and challenges of utilizing e-Procurement system

3. To find the usage of the critical success factors.

Chapter 2.5: Definition of Critical Success Factors

Chapter 2.7: Critical success factors ( CSF ‘s ) and cardinal public presentation indexs ( KPI ‘s ) for e-procurement procedure.

To find the usage of cardinal public presentation indexs for mensurating public presentation.

Chapter 2.6: Definition of Key Performance indexs

Chapter 2.7: Critical success factors ( CSF ‘s ) and cardinal public presentation indexs ( KPI ‘s ) for e-procurement procedure.


3.0 Introduction

Research involves detecting and making cognition. It is more than garnering information as it is frequently suggested. It involves happening replies to inquiries that are unreciprocated, proffering solutions to unsolved issues or making things that presently do non be. Research can be viewed as escalating attempt to do clearer the boundaries of ignorance ( Goddard and Melville 2001 ) . Leedy ( 1989, p.89 ) therefore defines research as “ a systematic pursuit for undiscovered cognition ” . Kothari ( 2004 ) besides defined research as an act of seeking for relevant information on a peculiar subject in a scientific and systematic manner.

It is of import to place the most applicable methodological analysis for every research. Choosing the methodological analysis that best fits the purposes and aims of the research is really indispensable to enable the research worker find the result of the research ( Marchington and Wilkinson 2003, Johnson and Clarke 2006 ) . Research methodological analysis has hence been defined by assorted writers. Marshall & A ; Rossman ( 1999 ) defined research methodological analysis as the design and methods of transporting out research. Nachimias and Nachimias ( 2007 ) besides defined research methodological analysis as a construction of clear processs and techniques through which a research is based and upon which averments are evaluated for cognition. Kothari ( 2004 ) emphasised that research methodological analysis is a systematic manner of work outing the research job.

It is nevertheless appropriate to observe that there has been an interchangeable usage of the word “ research methods ” and “ research methodological analysis ” by assorted writers. To therefore create a better apprehension of this, there is demand to distinguish between the two nomenclatures. Kothari ( 2004 ) noted that research methods are techniques used for carry oning research while Greener ( 2008 ) specified that research methods are the activities exactly undertaken to make informations for research such as questionnaires, interviews amongst many others. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2009 ) nevertheless described methodological analysis as the theory environing the manner and mode in which research should be piloted.

Therefore, this Chapter will concentrate on warranting selected methodological analysis which will enable the accomplishment of the research objectives with accent on supplying solutions to the research inquiries. The different methods and schemes to be used for the research will be addressed and the assorted attacks to the choice of such schemes will be justified.


There are assorted intents for which a research is undertaken and this normally falls within three classs which are descriptive, explanatory and explorative. Descriptive research has to make with acquiring a clearer image on a capable affair for which information is to be collected prior to roll uping the information to enable effectual reading of an events or state of affairss. Drum sanders, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2009 ) nevertheless noted that a descriptive research should be an ancestor for the other two classs which are explanatory and exploratory.

Explanatory research is focused on the making a relationship between variables. It is a continuance of a descriptive research. The research worker moves beyond depicting the features of the capable affair to explicating and analyzing the ground for happening of the phenomenon ( Collis and Hussey 2009 ) .

Exploratory research nevertheless has to make more with research work in which the research worker has entree to small information with regard to the topic of survey. The focal point of this type of research is hence to look out for forms or thoughts instead than trial or confirm hypothesis. A hypothesis is this instance will be a proposition which can be tested for relationship with empirical grounds ( Collis and Hussey 2009 ) . Drum sanders, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2009 ) hence put frontward three chief ways of transporting out an exploratory research which are: Inquisitory literature, Transporting out Interviews of professionals in the field and Transporting out focal point group interviews

For the intent of this research nevertheless, the research worker aims to research the critical success factors and cardinal public presentation indexs that are required for effectual operation and measuring of public presentation of e-procurement in the UK populace sector with a focal point on Scotland.


Harmonizing to Greener ( 2008 ) , there are two types of research attacks which are: the deductive and the inductive attack. Drum sanders, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2009 ) nevertheless noted that all research will include of the usage theory but extent of elucidation of the theory frequently determines the right attack to follow.


This attack gives a description of a survey in which a conceptual and theoretical construction is developed and further tested by empirical observation. With this, peculiar cases are deducted from general illations. ( Bryman and Bell 2007, Collis and Hussey 2009 ) . This attack is frequently characterised with the usage of quantitative informations. To efficaciously prosecute thoroughness in the research, the deductive attack dictates that a research worker must be independent of the observation. One of the unfavorable judgments against this attack is that it has a sensitivity for building a stiff methodological analysis which does non give room for alternate account of the issues at manus ( Sanders, Lewis and Thornhill 2009 ) .


The inductive attack on the other manus involves the appraisal of collected informations and the development of theories from such informations in relation to literature. ( Sanders, Lewis and Thornhill 2009 ; Collis and Hussey 2009 ) . Any research that makes usage of the inductive attack is most likely to be more concerned with the fortunes environing the events in the research which hence makes it more appropriate to the survey of a smaller sample of topics instead than a larger figure. This attack gives the research worker the ability to infer the effects which the findings have on the theory environing the capable affair. Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson ( 2012 ) noted that research workers tend to do usage of qualitative informations and other assortment of methods to garner information in a command to make different positions of the phenomenon. Inductive attack is nevertheless centred on a more extended period of informations aggregation which is clip devouring and is associated with a hazard of cognizing that utile informations forms and theory might non emerge in the long tally ( Sanders, Lewis and Thornhill 2009 ) .

Table 3.0 below gives a sum-up of the differences between deductive and inductive research attacks.



Beginning: ( Sanders, Lewis and Thornhill 2009, p. 127 )

Drum sanders, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2009 ) noted that in order to accomplish the purpose and aims of a research, it is of import to take an appropriate attack to enable the research worker make an informed determination on the research country. Creswell ( 2009 ) nevertheless emphasised that the ability to take the best research attack is highly dependent on some factors such as the right information required to turn to the research inquiries and the beginning of the primary research.

To reply the research inquiry, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2009 ) noted that the research doctrine and the research attack have a great influence. However, the research inquiries determine the pick of informations aggregation methods and the right process for analyzing them. Harmonizing to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill ( 2009 ) , it is non merely possible to unite the deductive and inductive attacks in the same research ; it is besides of great advantage to make that. This research will therefore unite the two attacks sing the deficiency of in-depth survey in the country of critical success factors for effectual e-procurement operation and cardinal public presentation indexs for mensurating public presentation of the procedure in the populace sector. This will enable the research worker to efficaciously research and clear up cardinal facts about the research aims.

The research worker has undertaken a reappraisal of literature for a better apprehension of the operations of e-procurement in the populace sector. Furthermore, after exhaustively reexamining literature on e-procurement, the research worker has identified 12 factors that often noted in most literature every bit critical to successful operation of e-procurement in the populace sector. The research worker is nevertheless determined to happen out if these identified factors are relevant to the e-procurement procedure in some public sector administrations in Scotland. Besides, the research worker has identified some benefits and challenges of utilizing e-procurement in the public sector from literature and will desire to find if these benefits and challenges have been realised in the Scots Organisations under survey.



A quantitative research is an scrutiny of known jobs which is centred on doing usage of statistical techniques to prove theories and analyze them. The purpose of a quantitative research is determine if the analytical inside informations of a theory is true ( Collis and Hussey 2009 ) . Horn ( 1994 ) explained that the design of a quantitative research is frequently characterised by the theory that the behavior of worlds can be described by societal facts which can farther be examined by assorted methodological analysiss that makes usage of the deductive logical thinking of natural scientific disciplines. Creswell and Miller ( 2000 ) besides noted that the quantitative method takes the signifier of a deductive attack sing that it is concerned with proving theories, analyzing assorted results and doing a sensible decision based on the findings from the full procedure.

Yates ( 2004 ) described the quantitative method to be more relevant when a research worker is seeking to detect the grounds behind some peculiar occurrences or the causes of a state of affairs under survey because by doing usage of Numberss, it produces a more accurate consequence and ease the designation of the relationship that exist between the set of informations. To efficaciously roll up numerical and statistical informations under this method, assorted attacks are used such as studies and experiment. Eldabi et Al ( 2002 ) and Amaratunga et Al ( 2002 ) noted that to deduce a quantifiable decision, the accent of this method is largely on statistical steps and processs which depends on the measurings ensuing from analyzing the statistical informations in order to find the relationships between variables.

Dawson ( 2007 ) identified some benefits which are derived from utilizing this method such as the truth in its consequence and the easiness of placing the relationship between assorted set of orders. However Gable ( 1994 ) explained that whenever the quantitative research method is used together with the aim of the findings during informations aggregation, it produces a weak consequence. This is because the whenever a research worker has commenced the probe, there is small accommodations that can be made such as when it is discovered that the inquiries are equivocal, the inquiries are being misinterpreted by respondents or some of import points are non present in the questionnaire. Besides, there are immense demands involved in transporting out the study and taking sample size most particularly when it is hard to reach respondents.


McReynolds et Al ( 2000 ) described qualitative research as a method used for the intent of explicating, researching and depicting certain happenings. It emphasises the techniques and processs which are non examined by experiments or measured in footings of measure or frequence ( Denzin and Lincoln

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