• Reliance Precision streamlines procurement with Probrand’s Marketplace

The Client
Reliance Precision is a specialist engineering company providing custom-built, high reliability, precision instrumentation to customers from a range of global markets. The procurement team is responsible for purchasing IT equipment which supports approximately 250 users located across two main sites.

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The Challenge
The team at Reliance Precision had become aware that the task of procuring IT equipment was taking up a significant amount of time.

To achieve best price, staff would conduct a series of price comparisons via web-based research, as well as conversations with multiple suppliers. In some cases, suppliers would take significant time to answer queries, by which time stock and price may have fluctuated. Other scenarios saw suppliers come back with equipment that was not in line with user needs.

‘‘Typical purchases for us include toner cartridges, network cables and label printers,’’ said Ben Sheard, IT Administrator at Reliance Precision. ‘‘Even though these are routine, everyday items, we found we were spending a large amount of time going back and forth to different suppliers to navigate the best price. This was an extremely frustrating and labour-intensive experience and not a good use of the team’s time. ’’

Ben and his colleagues needed a more efficient method that would save them time while still achieving best value.

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The Solution
A decision was made for Reliance Precision to utilise Probrand’s Marketplace.  This digital marketplace helps users save time and money procuring IT by delivering price comparisons from multiple suppliers.

Using a unique log in, staff at Reliance Precision can see pre-approved discounts personalised to their sector, including deals on everyday items including laptops, desktops and servers or printers, for example.  

In a fast-moving market, the Marketplace enables Reliance Precision to browse and buy direct from a catalogue of over 250,000 products from 2,500 brands, all updated with price and stock by the minute. Probrand’s Marketplace conducts over 10 million automated price checks a day and saves time spent calling and manually comparing prices from three or more suppliers.  

Advanced product search facilities enable users to share buying lists with others, including finance. Digital advisers can also guide users through complex purchasing decisions to further streamline the procurement process. The Marketplace has been accredited for delivering financial benefits by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, procurement excellence by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) and innovation with a Queen’s Award.

The Benefits
By using Probrand’s Marketplace Reliance Precision has eliminated the need for the procurement team to ring around numerous suppliers for price and stock information – thereby streamlining the whole purchasing process and improving efficiency.

Time savings
Within a short time of using the Marketplace, Reliance Precision has calculated that it is now saving nearly three team days per month. As a result, staff can be more effective with their time, focusing on other priority tasks.

“The process we had in place previously was inefficient and laborious. We would typically spend a couple of hours each week reaching out to suppliers before collating all the information and manually benchmarking prices, said Ben Sheard, IT Administrator at Reliance Precision. ‘‘With the Marketplace, we’re able to remove all of that; purchasing IT equipment now takes us about 30 minutes per week. I now can’t imagine going back to how we were operating before. For us, the Marketplace is a no-brainer!’’

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