Amtrak Puts E-Procurement on the Fast Track

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Amtrak announced yesterday that it has selected Ariba, a provider of business-to-business e-commerce solutions, and its product, the Ariba Buyer, to improve its purchasing process.

The system will allow authorized Amtrak employees to purchase supplies from their computer desktops. Their requests will be submitted electronically for approval and then forwarded to the corporation's preferred suppliers. Amtrak said this will result in streamlined processes, better purchasing control, economies of scale pricing and improved trading partner relationships.

Andersen, formerly Arthur Andersen, will integrate the solution with Amtrak's back-end enterprise systems, such as financial databases and its human resources software from SAP.

The first phase is expected to be available to 250 Amtrak employees and 10 preferred suppliers by October. Once fully implemented, the Ariba solution will be available to 4,000 Amtrak employees across the country with an estimated 1,000 online suppliers.

"By using Ariba Buyer, we will transform our purchasing process into a user-friendly, self-service procurement system and eliminate maverick purchasing at the same time," said Mike Rienzi, vice president of procurement at Amtrak.

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