Description Petrotrin, Trinmar Operations Contracts office adopted as its 2010 to 2012 theme; Go Green! As the team leader I challenged the staff to embrace this initiatisoftwareve by coming up with innovative ideas to improve the way things are done utilising the Microsoft Office Suite of on our PCs. This challenged resulted in the development of a number of in-house applications to enhance the accuracy, cost effectiveness and timeliness of the office's various business processes.
Organization(s) Petrotrin - a National Oil Company
Organization Type(s) Industry / professional association
Country(ies) Trinidad and Tobago
Primary thematic focus - entry window Use of ICT to improve performance of procurement systems
Sub-thematic focus Managing procurement systems for enhanced performance
Sector(s) Extractive industries
The use of standard desktop software in a creative manner to improve or automate long standing, deep rooted and accepted business processes with a view to enhance the accuracy, cost effectiveness and timeliness of the office's various business processes whilst minimising the environmental impact of the office's operations.
The overall goal of the initiative of utilising office software to automate processes was to Go Green; to introduce sustainable practices that would optimise technology and at the same time reduce the negative environmental impact of the Procurement business process.
This approach has resulted in a significant decrease in the amount of paper generated by the office. It has also reduced the carbon emissions generated by contractors having to physically visit the office by use of a vehicle to collect tender packages and related correspondence.
All contractors were involved in developing this initiative. Many of our contractors have generally come from the community where the business is located. They have grown over the years in terms of technical and financial capability but are limited in terms of technological advancements. In order for this innovation to work it was necessary for the contractors to obtain email addresses. A symposium was held with the contractor's at the Town Hall. Contractors were encouraged to bring their next generation relatives who were involved in the business. These individuals picked up on the revised business process and acted as change agents within the business. They have even begun to source solutions, research information and purchase materials online as a result of the exposure.
Paperless tender committee meetings are conducted by scanning and emailing the agenda and recommendations to core members for review in advance of the meeting.
Previously for each Tenders Meeting, packages had to be compiled and delivered to each member and representatives of the executing department. These packages were used during the meeting with piles of paper being left back after the meeting.
At the meeting a multi-media projector is used for displaying the scanned recommendations for discussion purposes. The original document is held at the meeting for final sign off. Using the single document has allowed for a more focused and participative meeting. Additionally the committee members no longer have the challenge of receiving their tender packages late and have ample time to review the submissions.
This approach has been effectively used for over a year with over fifty (50) such meetings held.
HEARTbeat document tracking system
The Contracts Office developed an in-house Microsoft Access database system to track the receipt and issuance of all incoming and outgoing inter and intra contract office documentation. Reports can be generated by Sender, Recipient, Location and length of time outstanding. The system is integrated with Outlook to identify the sender or recipient and is known as HEARTbeat.
HEARTbeat has been implemented in a number of offices throughout the organization replacing an archaic notebook system that administrative personnel typically used. It is useful for easily tracing long outstanding or urgently required documents.
Electronic issuance of tenders
All tender documents are converted to PDF form using Adobe Acrobat and are issued to all contractors on CD. This has resulted in a significant reduction of paper.
For urgent services, tenders are issued via email using authorized emails provided by contractors. Due to limitations with the local legal system in that electronic signatures are not recognized, emailed bids are not submitted. Bids are still received manually. This system standardizes the procurement process since all contractors receive the same document at the same time. Through the use of a dedicated email, Contractors email any form of queries for clarifications. Responses are communicated to contractors via email.
E-procurement practices and procedures have achieved significant gains for Procurement operations.
These include the following:
-Reduction in time - This include cycle time, transactions time and administrative time
-Promotes and enhances overall operational efficiency
-The deviation from a paper-based culture encourages a green/eco friendly environment
-Reduces cost in terms of effort and material for developing and preparing tender documentation. .
-Enhances communication among contractors
-Improves procurement efficiency, effectiveness and transparency
The exploitation of ICT in the procurement process highlights the fact that the business environment is dynamic. This is evident in the quantum gains made by moivng from a paper-based culture to automated processes. This approach allows the entire procurement process to be smoother and faster therefore promoting operational excellence.
-Periodic Security checks must be developed and implemented to meet integrity requirements for contract documents
-Systems must be incorporated to ensure that all electronic documents including emails are back- up and retrievable in a design that is readable. This must be established within a defined time period in the future
-Petrotrin personnel/ workers must be supportive of the general transition from archaic /tradition procurement processes to a technology-based paradigm.
Author: Steven R samlalsingh
Author's Organization Petrotrin-Trinmar Operations
Attachments: Heartbeat Electronic Access Retrieval.doc
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