Accelerating the bidding process in public procurement

bidding process in procurement

Reformatting your bidding procedure could speed up procurement by weeks, if not months. The process of public procurement has long been problematic for fleet managers, as it's an enormous time sink for organizations, with an average lead time of thirty-one days just to evaluate bids.

But this doesn't have to be the case for every procurement workflow. In fact, you could start accelerating your bidding process within a few hours by using powerful tools and modern suggestions.

Why the bidding process in public procurement takes so long

The bidding process of public procurement is incredibly different from commercial purchasing. Many public fleet managers are subject to certain regulatory, financial, or internal factors that private companies don't or can't experience.

For example, fleet managers in public fleets must consider:

  • Disagreements from multiple evaluators: Private companies may only have a single CPO to choose suppliers. In contrast, private organizations rely on eight evaluators on average to select an agreeable bid. If evaluators cannot agree on a single suitable bid, the selection process could become convoluted and even lengthier.
  • Budget sizes and scopes: Private companies may be able to shift their budgets from one line item to the next. This is not always possible for public organizations, which may have stricter or leaner budgets for procurement. Some organizations may even need to wait several years to purchase a single vehicle or compromise on specifications to accommodate or re-allocate funds.

Fleet managers cannot completely avoid the roadblocks of public bidding. However, they can look to tactical strategies to speed up their existing procurement timelines.

Five great strategies for accelerating the public bidding process

Optimizing your bidding process is the best way to acquire fleet vehicles faster. Fortunately, this isn’t hard to do. You can accelerate the public bidding process using these time-tested solutions.

1. Update your technology

Many organizations struggle with outdated technology. It may be challenging to keep track of procurement timelines (or verify information) without a digital interface. Additionally, managing compliance documentation is far more difficult with physical paper.

E-procurement is the future for many public organizations, especially when it comes to fleet management. Not only can you track critical information on a user-friendly dashboard, but your evaluators can rely on a single source of truth.

2. Centralize your process

The less organized your bidding process is, the less efficient it will be. Evaluators without a rubric, for example, can struggle to complete their tasks on time.

Procurement experts suggest building custom templates to help stakeholders evaluate bids effectively. These can be stored on your e-procurement system or in a cloud-based folder that all evaluators can access.

3. Hire additional staff

The current labor shortage has affected procurement in many ways, including the efficiency of the procurement bidding process. A lack of human resources can significantly reduce procurement pipelines and bloat acquisition timelines.

If possible, hire temporary staff members to help you share the workload. Contractors may be available to manage less-complex work, enabling you to deal with mission-critical tasks on your procurement to-do list.

4. Automate where possible

Inefficiency breeds obstruction, especially in terms of time. Manual labor and human error could be a large part of the slow-moving bidding process.

This is where automation comes into play. Rather than performing all procurement tasks yourself, look for ways to automate grunt work and put time back into your day. Third-party tools and e-procurement integrations can help you communicate cross-platform, sync critical data, and push information where it needs to go.

5. Turn to cooperative contracts

If you're looking to accelerate your bidding process sustainably, your best and most effective solution will be found in cooperative contracts. Not only can you aggregate costs and save time at scale, but you can browse competitively solicited supplier contracts without managing the bidding process yourself.

Speed up the bidding process in procurement with cooperative contracts

Cooperative contracts are group purchasing agreements that enable multiple organizations to purchase goods together, ultimately streamlining the bidding process in procurement. This means:

  • You don’t have to wait to evaluate bids after soliciting an RFP. Instead, you can select your favorite contracts and suppliers from a database—no spec writing required.
  • You can explore hundreds of contracts for government institutions and schools. Once you find a supplier you like, just contact them to learn more.
  • Your organization can spend more time finding a great supplier and less time waiting for bids to roll in. Evaluators can score potential options from a pre-established shortlist, saving hundreds of hours for internal stakeholders.

With Sourcewell, your organization can get started with cooperative contracts after registering for free online.

Here at Sourcewell, we help public agency buyers procure fleet vehicles faster by fulfilling the time-consuming bid process for them. Through cooperative contracts, we expedite the fleet vehicle procurement process so you can better serve your teams.

Want a faster procurement process? Contact one of our specialists today to buy the fleet solutions you need!