Why, indeed. The current system is all over the place. Some departments want you to email your dossier package. The downside, often, is that you have to make your files tiny, or they get rejected by the recipient's mail server. Or the recipient's mailbox is full, and then you can't submit at all. You also get no confirmation of receipt, unless you BCC yourself everything (and then you at least know that your email got delivered somewhere), or the recipient is decent enough to confirm. Some departments (or HR offices) require you to upload all your files to their website. They pretty much all use the same (not very good) software, yet applicants are required to create an account and login for each one, and fill in the forms for each one. So, do the same work (20 minutes, on average) times 30. There's 10 hours of your life.
academicjobsonline.org is free for applicants. Reference letters can be uploaded to the service, and submitted to jobs for FREE. What the hell?
So, when the question has come up in discussions here as to why the philosophy departments can't get their shit together and standardize the application process, the typical reply is that it is not their fault. It's Human Resources, and university administrations that dictate (with an iron fist, no doubt) how applications are submitted. Let's be charitable and assume that's true. Do they have a separate policy for Math departments? Because last time I checked, a lot of those math departments were operating in the same universities that have philosophy grad programs.
So, to sum up, a system already exists to centralize the job listing and application process, it is completely independent of APA (that paragon of online ineptitude), and it is free for job applicants. In other words, everything we've been clamoring for. The JFP lists three programs (Yale, Duke, and Tufts) who are already using it this year. Someone explain to me why all the others (really, truly) are not using it, too.