By Carol Capek, Proactis Project Manager and Former Project Manager at the City of Grand Rapids, MI
Covid-19 has seen the majority of workers having to work remotely, but this has not been simply taking a laptop home. For public sector procurement professionals there has been a need for process change too.
Before the pandemic, almost all processes were built for in-office functions and face-to-face events, but when employees started working remotely, the need to evaluate people, processes, and new technology became quickly apparent.
Some considerations when evaluating current processes may have included where you can improve internal and external communication, performance measurement, and collaboration. As we continue working remotely, in office or hybrid, your processes should account for all scenarios and allow employees to operate without loss of efficiency.
Does your current technology fit the new processes in your main procurement areas?
There are several points to consider that affect many of your processes when looking into the competence and effectiveness of your systems:
- Internal considerations - is there one central repository that provides 24/7 online access? Are vendors categorized by clear codes (such as NIGP, UNSPSC, etc.)? Is the vendor data up to date - are there automated notifications when a certificate/license has expired?
- External considerations - is there a vendor portal to self-register 24/7? Can vendors respond to bids, upload documents, submit responses, receive orders, and submit invoices?
- Can vendors submit bids electronically? Does your system provide integrated evaluation tools and standardized templates? Can they easily flip from bid creation to a contract?
- Is there an easy-to-access central electronic contract repository? Are alerts automatically sent when a contract is due for renewal? Can contracts be shared, based on authorization rules?
- Is order management a straightforward process? Are there electronic approval thresholds? Can a single request be allocated to one or more POs?
With budgets being squeezed and the constant need to do more with less, if the majority of your answers are no, it may be time to either consider an eProcurement solution or reconsider the technology you are using. In times such as these it is vital that your employees can focus on strategic activities and not the tactical. There are solutions out there that streamline the entire procurement process with faster, more efficient turnaround for many of the key metrics listed above.
We would love to hear from you, and discuss where your systems aren't performing as well as they could.
Contact us today to speak to an expert