3 Benefits of eProcurement for Government
Apparently, New Year’s resolutions are out this year, so here’s a proclamation instead: If you automate your vendor and supplier relationships with eProcurement technology, you can increase government revenue. How? By saving employees time and better understanding where your money is going.
In 2022, we’re predicting more communities than ever will make the switch to eProcurement systems to simplify and manage all of their vendor and supplier relationships in a single place (just look at New Jersey, the latest state to pass legislation around the use of eProcurement technology in purchasing activities). Read on to learn more about the benefits of eProcurement.
Key Benefits of eProcurement
If you’re still a skeptic, read on for the three major benefits eProcurement can bring governments moving forward. Trust us, your team will thank you later. Then, check out our ebook to see the best practices for eprocurement execution.
As anyone with a hand in government purchasing will tell you, procurement is essentially an exercise in persistence and collaboration. The phases may look different depending on your agency’s size, but they boil down to some version of research, outreach, assessment, and approval.
All of these steps take time, and one broken link between any phases can halt progress altogether. When you consider the variety of stakeholders involved—procurement, IT, risk management, and others—it’s almost a guarantee that there will be a few stops and starts before the final contract stage.
eProcurement technology changes all of that. It allows for efficient collaboration by automating all of this. When every internal team member is assigned a specific task and can visualize how their role impacts forward progress, it clarifies each project’s status with clear next steps and helps avoid missed deadlines.
What’s more is eProcurement solutions now have the capacity to integrate external stakeholders, such as vendors themselves, into the digital collaboration process. When granted specific permissions, vendors can submit bids for services through a secure online portal and respond to questions from government officials with comments in real-time. No more back-and-forth emails, document track changes, and manual brainpower to keep up with the latest version of solicitation bids and proposals—project history and status updates can be easily viewed online by all collaborating parties.
Benefit #2: Save Employee Time
The frustration of spending time meticulously updating an important Request for Proposal (RFP) only for it to receive zero vendor response is a harsh reality that many procurement employees know too well. No one likes to feel as though they are wasting time and effort on an initiative that isn’t going anywhere. But the reason for vendor crickets often stems from excessive bureaucracy rather than genuine disinterest in bidding.
For example, it’s tough for smaller vendors to get through the legalese included in old RFP templates that have needless sections in order to quickly discern what a government is asking for and whether they can actually provide it. It’s not uncommon for vendors to have to scroll through 30+ pages of an RFP before reaching the actual scope of work, simply because government officials were following a template.
Additionally, even in 2022, even when officials do not want this to be the reality, many government agencies are still operating with paper-based procurement workflows. Vendors must mail in necessary paper forms that get placed on officials’ desks to collect dust or are inadvertently lost in the shuffle moving from one office to the next. None of this helps with speed or efficiency.
Digital workflows and online submission forms expedite the procurement process for governments and vendors by reducing redundant paperwork. This not only saves employee time but attracts modern vendors that can give you best-in-class products and services. In fact, moving to an eProcurement process means your team could spend 75% less time writing and releasing RFPs. Less time on paperwork means more time to spend on strategic impact.
Benefit #3: See Where Your Budget Dollars Are Really Going
Which is a better way to track spending? A folder filled with a year’s worth of old receipts and paper invoices, or an interactive visual guide on your smartphone?
Both methods will tell you how much you spent in a year (although one will take way longer to manually calculate), but the latter gives better insight to actually transform your spending habits in a way that stretches your money further. The same principle applies to eProcurement.
Smart reporting features will increase your team’s ability to analyze spending at every level. A single data dashboard tracks spending by category automatically and allows for exportable spreadsheets and charts to make life easier when reporting. This can help eliminate spending redundancies that your agency may not have identified, such as multiple departments procuring goods from the same vendor through separate contracts. A single, enterprise-level contract could result in cost savings and a single point of contact rather than duplicating efforts across multiple staffing teams.
To recap, eProcurement software helps governments procure goods and services more efficiently with two main savings: time and money, allowing for greater overall strategic impact.
Reducing the friction between purchasing stages by automating them with eProcurement software will help you increase government revenue in the long run, while improving employee satisfaction, attracting stronger vendors, and enhancing spending transparency for citizens.
Want to learn more? Talk with our eProcurement experts.