In 2009, the Group centrally purchased goods and services having a total value of approximately €7.7 billion (previous year: €9.0 billion). This figure does not include transport services, which the divisions generally procure themselves. Corporate Procurement is now increasingly involved in these purchases, however. Procurement expenditure has decreased in nearly all areas, with the exception of real estate due to the fact that the approximately 1,300 buildings sold to US investor Lone Star have been leased back.
Against the backdrop of the global recession, Procurement has intensified its efforts to reduce Group expenses even further. New guidelines for business trips and corporate hospitality have contributed to the success of these endeavours. As in previous years, we have bundled products and services and purchased all-inclusive packages from high-performance partners, thus obtaining better conditions both internationally and regionally.
We entered into a co-operation agreement with AT & T in the USA and in Puerto Rico for telephone and network services. The result is lower costs and improved service. In addition, we signed a five-year agreement with T-Systems aimed at enhancing communication between our international data centres. Both of these agreements are part of a global programme to increase efficiency in the area of telecommunications. Our savings should be more than €190 million over the next five years.
We also plan to combine certain facility management services – an approach that has been tested in Germany and Singapore. All types of services, from cleaning to security and maintenance, are being put out to tender and awarded in bundles. Pilot projects have shown that integrated facility management offers significant potential for cost savings.