eSolutions


The APUC eSolutions team provide sector support for a range of tools provided by the Scottish Government's eCommerce shared service as well as developing and supporting specific tools in use across the sector.



PCS-Tender

Public Contracts Scotland-Tender (PCS-T), provided by JAGGAER, compliments Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) site by providing buying organisations with a set of web-based collaborative procurement tools which include eTendering, eEvaluation and eAuction functionality whilst also increasing collaborative working practices. This allows Buyers to communicate securely with both their suppliers and stakeholders throughout the procurement lifecycle. This has been closely aligned to best professional practice, encompassed within the Procurement Journey to ensure that best practice is embedded and that a consistent and standard process is followed in line with EU regulations.

PCS-Tender also includes a set of nationally agreed questions by using the ESPD which assists in reducing the inconsistency in the selection process. It is mandatory to use the ESPD (Scotland) for all Route 3 procurements which began on 18 April 2016. This helps to simplify processes especially for SMEs. It reduces duplication of effort, increases efficiency in business administration, reduces disproportionate qualification requirements and inconsistent qualification criteria. PCS-T requires Buyers to have completed a 2 day training course before using the system. If you are interested in completing the training course, please contact the APUC Helpdesk.
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Award

The AWARD e-Evaluation software provided by Commerce Decisions used by a number of APUC member organisations is a collaborative web-based software solution designed specifically to support strategic procurement projects. AWARD delivers a powerful document management capability supporting and enhancing the tender management process to deliver greater control and transparent audit trail, underpinning bidder debriefing process and managing challenges to the procurement outcome.

AWARD is proven to reduce time to contract, improve value for money and reduce risk and is in use across a range of sectors including central, local and regional government, utilities, transport, healthcare, aerospace and defence covering a broad range of activities including the provision of schools, hospitals, transport and defence systems.
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eCommerce

APUC supports two eProcurement platforms (PECOS and Proactis) in use across the sector
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PECOS

The PECOS purchase-to-pay (P2P) eProcurement system is a well-established, robust and user-friendly interface which can be integrated directly with finance systems. To date, the PECOS roll-out has integrated with eleven different finance systems in use across institutions.

Using PECOS P2P colleges and universities are able to reduce the paperwork and inefficiencies associated with paper processing of purchase requisitions, purchase orders, goods receipts, invoices and returns. They are also able to increase compliance and accountability for spend through the use of: contract catalogue content published and managed by APUC, flexible workflows and business rules which drive procurement controls, multi-level electronic routing, management of approvals and tracking of spend against budgets.

PECOS transmits supplier orders in multiple formats and can receive electronic invoices.
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Proactis

Proactis is a cloud based eMarketplace provided on commercial terms by Proactis that enables college and university users to buy quickly and easily from the suppliers you want them to use ensuring compliance to negotiated contracts. It is not part of the Scottish Government's eCommerce Shared Service. APUC contract catalogue content is published into the Proactis eMarketplace for use by colleges and universities. Proactis is an alternative to PECOS P2P when approvals are required to be managed in the finance system.

Users can shop from authorised marketplace suppliers with the convenience of a single shopping basket. They can also compare products easily, enabling savings where alternatives offer better value.
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Scottish Government electronic invoicing solution

In July 2014, Scottish Procurement advised that the EU Directive for Electronic Invoicing in Public Procurement came into force on 26 May 2014 and was implemented into national law by amendment to the Scottish Regulations on 18th April 2019 (Transposition of the EU Electronic Invoicing Directive.) While central government and the NHS must comply by this deadline, other public bodies have a further 12 months to meet the EU eInvoicing Directive.

Who does it apply to?
The Directive requires contracting authorities to be able to receive eInvoices and make payment electronically for all contracts regulated under the EU Procurement Directives (all OJEU contracts & suppliers on OJEU agreements).

What do contracting authorities need to do?
Contracting authorities must comply with the EU Directive for Electronic Invoicing within the appropriate timescales above. To meet these you need to ask yourself:-
  • If your organisation has an eInvoicing solution in place, ensure that this is compliant with the Directives (e.g. invoices are processed without any manual intervention)
  • If your organisation is not compliant and have no eInvoicing capability, what plans do you have in place to comply with the EU Directive?
  • Do your current invoice processes lend themselves to adopting an eInvoicing solution? If not, have you identified what needs to change (e.g. processes, technology)
  • Will the Scottish Government eInvoicing solution work for our organisation?

The Scottish Government eInvoicing Solution ?
The Scottish Government's eInvoicing solution is available to all public sector bodies in Scotland. The solution accepts a range of invoice formats that can be automatically processed for matching and payment. It provides an easy, consistent and standard platform for suppliers to the public sector. The solution is fully compliant with the requirements of the published EU Directive on eInvoicing in Public Procurement and there are no costs and no technology changes for suppliers to issue invoices using the system.
The eInvoicing facility went live in September 2014 after being piloted by West Lothian Council. Since then, it has been successfully implemented eInvoicing with over 20 contracting authorities and the Scottish Government is actively engaging with a range of organisations across the public sector. To date, over 700,000 einvoices have been processed and over 100 suppliers have been or are being adopted. Furthermore, the Scottish Government is continuing to engage with other suppliers. Across a number of projects in the HE/FE sector in Scotland, the Scottish Government & APUC are currently providing support & guidance to contracting authorities regarding implementing eInvoicing.

How Do I Find Out More?
If you would like to register your organisations interest in introducing eInvoicing or have any questions about this project please contact the APUC Helpdesk.
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PCM (PECOS Content Manager)

PCM is a system hosting electronic catalogues for contracts at national, sectoral and local level. It increases compliance to contracts, drives out appropriate contract management information and embeds standard procedures and processes. The system allows APUC to manage the upload, validation, approval and automatic publication of electronic catalogues for use by colleges and universities. Catalogues are directly uploaded onto PECOS without further manual intervention. PCM also allows for the output of catalogue files for publication onto Proactis. The system is available to PECOS & non-PECOS institutions either to download APUC content and/or to validate local content.

APUC's Electronic Content Register can be found at this link. It provides a list of framework suppliers where content is available for inclusion in eProcurement solutions.
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Hunter

Hunter has been developed by the eSolutions team. It is a database solution which uses standard Microsoft packages (Access and SQL Server) enabling organisations to effectively monitor and report on collaborative contracting activities.

As a solution, it is operational within the HE/FE sector in Scotland and is also being utilised by the HE consortia in England and Wales that also provide collaborative contracting services to the sector. Hunter has a multi-level structure which allows consortia to share collaborative agreements, make them visible to their member organisations, and in turn enabling them to record their own contracts.
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Contract Uptake website

This is an APUC developed website that provides institutions with the facility to identify their usage of the available agreements. This website requires an institution username and password, please contact the APUC Helpdesk to gain access.
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Supplier MI website

APUC eSolutions team have developed a website which improves the process for contracted suppliers to record institution spend through Agreements. The secure site provides the functionality for suppliers to upload spend figures through the website. It is faster and more intuitive than the old process as suppliers upload their own spend on multiple Agreements and Lots.

This website is UK-wide and is hosted on behalf of the other Education Consortia (NEUPC, NWUPC, SUPC, LUPC and HEPCW). Each Consortia can quickly export supplier spend data to assist meetings and evaluate the effectiveness of each Framework and procurement process.

If you supply to an Agreement and are unsure of your username and password, please contact the MIS Team. The supplier MI website can be accessed here. Instructions on how to use the site can be found on the Welcome page after you have successfully logged in.

Please be aware that all data shown in the screen shots for the instructions are fictional and are only intended for testing purposes.
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Spikes Hub

The Scottish Procurement Information Hub is provided by Spikes Cavell as a spend analysis tool allowing organisations to:-

  • Identify non-pay spend on external goods and services
  • Identify key suppliers and how many transactions are made with each
  • Highlight common spend across suppliers and categories
  • Identify spend with SMEs and/or local suppliers

This information means that individual organisations and Centres of Expertise can identify where collaborative opportunities might exist and where transactional efficiencies could be made.

For more information, visit the Scottish Government's Hub page.
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APUC Buyers Portal

The new APUC Buyers Portal is now available. This resource provides you with access to a searchable database of collaborative agreements available to your organisation. The contract terms and all information related to the agreements can be found within this portal.

If you require access to this resource and have not already been notified of your log in details please contact APUC Helpdesk. The sign up process is quick and easy.