Laura Sharman 29 January 2014

Councils paying over the odds for IT equipment, survey finds

Councils are paying more than three times the industry standard for IT equipment, according to a new benchmarking survey.

The survey, from Mercato Solutions, found that the average margin on purchases by councils was 12%, compared to the recommended margin of 3%. The largest margin for a single IT purchase was 327%.

However, there has been some improvement since last year, when local authorities were paying 29% higher.

Mercato’s head of benchmarking, Al Nagar, said: ‘The latest results show that councils have clearly taken significant steps to halve the margins they pay to secure better value on IT product purchases. However, in a sector of public scrutiny where every penny counts, margins of 12% are still well adrift of 3% best practice.

‘Without validated comparative data, buyers are struggling to achieve a 3% margin. Data is the key and with access to up-to-date information, procurers can gather the knowledge they need to negotiate better deals with IT suppliers and get more from their IT budgets in 2014.’

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