5 ways to streamline your fleet public procurement strategy
Fleet management is one of the most challenging aspects of public procurement. Commercial vehicles may be difficult to obtain for less-experienced organizations, forcing them to cut corners, abide with higher costs, or settle for inefficiencies that reduce their procurement effectiveness.
Today, 60% of companies are unaware of how they can improve operations with data. While data-driven decision-making is critical to success, you might not know where to start with efforts to improve your fleet procurement strategy.
To that end, let's explore ways to streamline the procurement process, highlighting the power of five easy implementations.
The components of a good fleet procurement strategy
Your organization must have a solid procurement strategy before implementing any optimization efforts. Three basic factors must be present:
- A full analysis: You should carefully monitor and adjust for spend, future needs, and the supply market. Quarterly reports are a decent place to start, but monthly reviews do provide more granularity.
- The total cost of ownership: How much are you spending on your fleet, and is the money being used wisely under current economic conditions? Apart from fuel, be sure to incorporate critical factors like taxes, licenses, and permits.
- Realistic objectives: Fleet procurement goals work best when aligned with SMART goals—that is, strategic, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely objectives. For example, rather than saying, “I want thirty more vehicles this year,” you should state, “I have a goal to reach twenty-five vehicles in twelve months by tracking progress with quarterly reports.”
Once you have each of these elements in place, begin the process of streamlining your existing procurement strategy.
Streamline your fleet procurement strategy in five steps
Smoothing out your fleet procurement process may be less tedious than you think. You can use five major streamlining strategies: digitization, automation, implication, GPS location, and cooperation. Let's explore each of these in greater detail.
1. Digitize your strategy
If you're not using software solutions to power your procurement process, you're already behind. Fortunately, digitization doesn't have to be a complicated affair:
- Move from physical paperwork to digital platforms with a more obvious paper trail.
- Generate and store digital contracts, invoices, and other documentation to save time on physical deliveries.
- Focus on electronic sign-offs to save time and hassle.
You can partner with a change management professional to ensure a smooth migration process.
2. Leverage automations
Automations streamline repetitive or tedious aspects of your procurement process, saving a surprising amount of time, money, and effort.
When evaluating opportunities to automate, keep an eye out for:
- Data entry: Some data can be automatically populated into forms rather than entered with manual inputs.
- Approval processes: Automate workflows and notifications to reduce your need for manual check-ins.
- Updates and maintenance: Some automations can keep your system updated with the latest software upgrades and security features.
Just keep in mind that certain software automations cost a significant amount of money. Balance your checkbook before moving forward with any major purchase decisions.
3. Consider data implications
Data is the lifeblood of a good procurement strategy, so be sure you're using it to your advantage. Ask yourself: “How am I collecting data, and is it accurate?” Look for ways to improve your systems or enhance your collection methods over time. If you aren't currently using a business intelligence platform or an analysis tool, now would be an excellent time to do so.
4. Track your fleet with GPS
Location services make it easier to keep track of your fleet, know where your vehicles are at all times, and plan better routes for future deliveries. Some fleets automatically come with tracking tools, while others require non-native installations with third-party GPS tools. Still, the investment is always worth the effort.
You can use a simple online calculator to evaluate your GPS return on investment within the first year.
5. Turn to cooperative contracts
Cooperative contracts are an exceptional way to reduce the costs and risks of fleet procurement. You'll have access to:
- A vetted list of suppliers: You can be sure your cooperative has gone through the necessary channels to find qualified, reputable suppliers.
- Better prices: The collective bargaining power of a cooperative contract can get you better discounts on products and services.
- A streamlined process: Cooperatives act as a well-oiled machine, helping your organization scale in a time frame that works for you.
Each strategy can create a flywheel of success for your fleet procurement process. However, cooperative contracts are by far the simplest and most effective option on the list.
Bringing it all together with cooperative contracts
Cooperative contracts are the most straightforward element of the five-point procurement strategy. Regardless of your organization type, size, or location in the US, you only need three steps to get started:
- First, if you are a nonprofit or government agency, you can sign up for free on Sourcewell to browse contracts in minutes. As long as you operate within the US, you're eligible for the free services.
- Next, view more than 50,000 contracts to find the perfect fit for your organization. It's easy to browse contracts by industry, supplier, and ezIQC, as well as unique item subsets.
- Get your contract awarded at the manufacturing level, or leverage them locally to support your local dealer.
If you need additional assistance, you’re welcome to partner with one of Sourcewell's in-house specialists.
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!