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This case study report was developed by the authors and contributors to serve as a reference for practitioners focused on E-procurement systems.

The case study clearly lays out the problem statement, which provides a good summary of the motivating factors behind exploring the use of a supply market developed E-procurement system by Indian Railways:

“The manual system of tendering has problems regarding non receipt of tenders, clerical mistakes, inordinate delays in tender processing; Tampering/Misplacement of tender files etc. Further there is lack of adequate transparency and discretionary treatment in tendering process.There is proliferation of agents/ local offices for various tender related works like purchase of tender document, submission of the bid and attending the bid opening etc. Case Studies on e-Governance in India – 2012 – 2013 Page | 2 Infructuous expenditure in preparing tender document in physical form, travel by bidders, communication, paperwork, postage/courier etc. is physical and financial barriers in the whole process. Bidders may be prevented from dropping tenders and participation in tender opening at some of the places resulting in complaints.”

The case study highlights the benefits achieved by Indian Railways as part of their E-procurement implementation as well as discussions around challenges and lesson learned. Of particular interest is the summary of benefits to both the buying organization and its sellers. These benefits to both parties is outlined below. The case study report provides a discussion around each point below:

  • Benefits to the buying organization
    • Improved image and transparency of the buying organization
    • Savings in cost of purchase
    • Reduced paper work
    • Improved decision-making
    • Audit trail
    • Reduction in procurement cycle time
    • 24*7 availability
    • Wider choice of suppliers
  • Benefits to sellers
    • Centralized information of all the business requirements of goods
    • Information regarding corrigendum (tenders)
    • Reduction in cost of travel in collection of tender documents, dropping of bids and attending tender opening event
    • Greater confidence due to transparency and fairness in purchase process

Full Report: e-Procurement in Indian Railways

Image Courtesy of Nicolas Raymond

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