KNUT is one of the projects financed by VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems. It is a project on public procurement of telecommunication services and was one of the few projects, especially in the area of public procurement, where private and public sectors cooperated on an equal basis. The project lead was done by the academia.
KNUT (Electronic Procurement of Telecommunications Services for the Swedish Public Sector) challenged the question of how to create a service of electronic procurement for both buyers and sellers.
The project created a tool to carry out the whole public procurement process electronically, starting from analysing the needs of an organization, through the evaluation of tenders up to contract administration, and even further. KNUT also aimed at creating a model for analysing the needs of end-users, both in terms of telecommunications and organizational needs. If done correctly, this can empower organizations to do the public procurement themselves by using the same tools, which leads to cost reduction and better deals for both buyers and suppliers.
The organisational procurement process of telecommunications services has been analysed and structured in the KNUT-project. The buying process can be broken up into ten phases, starting with the anticipation of the need to procure, over the collection of needs, market investigations, the collection of information regarding legacy to contract administration.
The analysis of needs is structured with mandatory and non-mandatory requirements for all end-users and specific working situations.
In the short run, KNUT can facilitate the analysis of needs and the writing of requirements specifications for the agencies as well as the compilation of tenders for the companies aiming to bid. The project helps reducing misunderstandings between buyers and suppliers through common definitions and standards. It also reduces dependencies on consultants and increases the possibilities for adaptation and selection of services specific to a particular agency. KNUT increases the possibilities for SMEs to bid and can be used by private companies for their procurement of telecommunication services.
In the long run, KNUT can be used in other complex procurement areas. It facilitates proactive acting for the development of standards derived from the users’ priorities and needs, and also facilitates to push changes in the procurement law, where necessary. KNUT can be used internationally since telecommunication services do not vary significantly from country to country.
The KNUT project raised several questions to be answered: Are framework contracts still relevant? What can and should be procured centrally and locally, respectively? How can experiences from the KNUT project be transferred to other complex procurement areas? How will the KNUT model and tool influence the private sector’s procurements? What are possibilities to transfer Swedish experiences to other EU member states? How can experiences from KNUT be considered from the Knowledge Management perspective? And finally, electronic procurement – will there be other ways to procure?
Global Forum 2012 : SHAPING A CONNECTED DIGITAL FUTURE, 12-13 November 2012, Stockholm, Sweden