3 Steps to Achieve Collaborative, Strategic Public Procurement

December 22, 2022 – OpenGov

As communities continue to grow, so does the need to enable critical spending and improve vendor management. To make this happen, it’s time for government agencies of all sizes to build a strategic partnership with procurement departments. 

Procurement departments need to be unified and calculated, which is a challenge across the country. No matter how your procurement team operates, here are three steps that can help your organization achieve collaborative, strategic public procurement.

1. Position procurement as a driver of strategic priorities.

Modern procurement is so much more than a simple sourcing process. Overlooked but essential priorities—such as encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)—are driven by procurement. By including procurement as a vehicle to achieve these strategic priorities, organizations can achieve more equitable purchasing decisions from a more diverse supplier base. 

Data is also crucial for measuring against strategic priorities. As part of supplier engagement, procurement teams should set goals, collect data, and report on important factors such as federal code compliance. This not only builds credibility for an organization but also makes it easier to comply with federal reporting requirements. 

Related: Learn how Phoenix Elementary School District #1 is meeting its DEI goals with procurement.

2. Simplify the process to improve strategic public procurement impact.

In each step of the procurement lifecycle, there are ways to create more efficient workflow processes to improve results. Start by understanding how collaboration and clarity affect the outcomes of each solicitation. Departments can create upfront alignment by asking the right questions to create better courses of action and develop intake forms that drive the right processes and solicitation steps. 

RELATED: Learn how Milpitas, CA saw a 90% average time savings per solicitation.

Centralized purchasing is also crucial. There are several ways to improve purchasing, such as creating step-by-step guidance with error checking, providing a free, publicly accessible vendor portal, and using intuitive templates to craft solicitations. Departments can also help lower the barriers to entry for Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) suppliers by improving purchasing. In addition, building trust can simplify the process: be transparent and honest, disclose evaluators, and always allow for questions.

3. Focus on continuous improvement.

As with anything else, there is always room for improvement. Departments should aim to work smarter with stakeholders to enable a strategic shift in their procurement process. By always asking, “What is working? What is not working?”, departments can analyze inefficiencies in their process and strategize ways to develop. Consider upgrading processes with checklists, established guidelines, and decision trees to ensure compliance. This allows procurement departments to make adjustments to their processes as they learn best practices.

Related: Learn how Palmdale Water District, CA was able to establish compliance and controls via procurement workflow automation.

Achieve collaboration and strategic public procurement with eProcurement

A critical step to creating a strategic sourcing and procurement management process is upgrading to a solicitation assembly and workflow automation tool like OpenGov Procurement. OpenGov Procurement is the most collaborative procurement suite built for modern government. Providing end-to-end automation across solicitation development, supplier interactions, and proposal evaluations, OpenGov makes procurement more enjoyable and transparent for everyone involved. To learn more about how you can attract 4x more supplier responses and spend 75% less time writing RFPs and bids, request a demo for your personalized walkthrough.