Michigan Tries Out Online Procurement

Michigan Tries Out Online Procurement<CR>

By William Welsh, Staff Writer


SEPT. 12 ? Michigan Gov. John Engler (R) has announced the state's Department of Management and Budget is conducting a six-month pilot for MiBuy, the state's online procurement program.


San Francisco-based Epylon Corp. is leading a team on the pilot that includes Ariba of Mountain View, Calif., and Andersen Consulting of Chicago.


"MiBuy will facilitate, integrate and streamline the state's purchasing processes," said Engler. "Businesses have made a commitment to Internet-based commerce. It only makes sense that the state operates in the preferred method of conducting business to business transactions."


Approximately 50 users from the state, state police and corrections departments will participate in the pilot. They will be able to select goods from 10 multiagency suppliers whose catalogs have been converted to an electronic format.


Initially, Epylon and Andersen Consulting will perform a statewide system analysis to assess technology infrastructure and re-engineering requirements. Epylon then will host and configure its e-procurement solution, which features the Ariba Buyer application, to meet the state's requirements, incorporating agency and buyer work-flow data.


MiBuy will create a visual and interactive online catalog that is expected to result in lower contract prices, better discounts with early payments and decreased operational expenses, according to the governor's office.


Once the pilot is complete, the state may consider expanding the program to those involved in the state's extended purchasing program, which involves local units of government, public schools, colleges, universities and nonprofit hospitals.

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