Time is of the essence for public fleet equipment procurement, but supply chain processes are more time consuming than ever, with an average RFP lead time of fifty-seven days. That's two months of waiting for high-need organizations and almost three months of waiting on business days alone.
The impact of long procurement times goes more than skin deep. Private organizations deal with myriad concerns that reduce the efficiency of their procurement processes. The public sector in particular struggles to find fleet equipment in a reasonable timeframe, impacting government institutions and municipalities alike.
Let’s explore the underlying reasons for that, as well as a few ways to optimize the timetable with solutions like cooperative contracts.
Factors affecting public equipment procurement times
Procurement can be impacted by various causes, many of which are dependent on location and size. However, five major factors revolve around the state and health of the world.
- Financial climate: Recessions and depressions may impact the cost of goods, which ultimately affects marketplace supply and demand.
- Political environments: Elections, government regulations and laws, and international trade agreements all impact supply chain management.
- Digital tools: The development of tools and software can optimize the flow of goods much faster than manual reports alone.
- Socio-cultural norms: Cultural values and belief systems can influence how public and private organizations procure goods.
- Lengthy contracts: Traditional procurement contracts usually take significant time to complete.
You should be aware of all five factors to optimize the timeline of your public fleet procurement process.
How to optimize equipment procurement timetables
Although not every element of public procurement is entirely under your control, you can take proactive steps to optimize the timetable. It’s best to start with the basics.
Digitize your tools
E-procurement systems are powerful drivers of increased efficiency in the public sector. By leveraging up-to-date digital tools, like e-purchasing portals and cloud-based systems, you can streamline the procurement process and minimize wasted time, resulting in faster acquisitions.
Look for tools with integrated features that support bid management from start to finish. This way, you can ensure a smooth process with few opportunities for dead ends or miscommunications.
Fight red tape
Navigating bureaucracy can be a huge hurdle for public procurement. Work around this by arming yourself with knowledge and tackling the “elephant in the room” head on.
Familiarize yourself with all relevant laws, then look for ways to streamline acquisitions. For example, search for existing contracts that already cover the goods that you procure. You can skip a lengthy bidding process altogether, exponentially speeding up the acquisition timeline.
Human error plus redundancy equals a recipe for disaster—or at least a time-consuming headache. Automating your procurement workflow can help you avoid pitfalls and save hundreds of hours, if not thousands of dollars.
You may also want to consider a few tools. First, look for automations that send real-time alerts when contracts are about to expire or even generate an email blast when a new bid is posted. You can easily stay on top of the supplier management and business intelligence cycle, eliminating redundant tasks in the process.
If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business, and the same is true of procurement. Monitor your timeline with the help of key performance indicators (KPIs).
Lean on reports, audits, and KPIs during every step of your procurement journey. Tracking tools provide insight into how contractors are performing and enable you to course-correct in real time. Use quality information to make informed decisions for the betterment of your procurement process.
Turn to cooperative contracts
Cooperative contracts are the secret weapon of a timely procurement process. They have many obvious benefits, including that public groups can piggyback on already established bids. Any nonprofit organization can acquire the equipment that they need without hunting for bids themselves, shaving off time in the process.
Cooperative contracts have tight deadlines and require minimal paperwork, making them the perfect solution for all organizations, big or small. You can minimize administrative burdens, save more money, and access high-quality equipment at scale.
When you rely on the team at Sourcewell to source cooperative public contracts, you’ll save more time, money, and effort than ever.
Why cooperative contracts are the solution to timely equipment procurement
With cooperative contracts, you can procure vehicles faster, driving more efficiency to serve teams within your public agency.
The benefits speak for themselves:
- Cooperative contracts have significant cost savings, especially when grouped with other nonprofit organizations.
- Cooperative contracts streamline the contract process and allow for faster acquisitions, cutting the standardized procurement timetable in half.
- With the team at Sourcewell, you can search contracts available to nonprofits in all fifty US states—no geographic limitations are imposed.
With Sourcewell, cooperative contracts are no cost, no liability, and absolutely no obligation.
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!