8 tips for efficient public procurement management planning
Cooperative contracts can effectively speed up public fleet vehicle procurement. A cooperative contract is an agreement between a government entity and a vendor that provides a more affordable price for supplies or services required by multiple agencies.
Before public fleet managers can draw up cooperative contracts, however, they must complete procurement management planning, identifying project requirements and creating the steps that will eventually lead to the agreement.
Every manager wants to draw up cooperative contracts efficiently, with few bumps along the way. Here are eight top tips to streamline and speed up the procurement management process.
1. Identify key stakeholders.
When beginning your public procurement management planning, consider who on your team will fill each of the necessary responsibilities. Several roles need to be filled when working on a project like this, including:
- Project managers, who lead the planning and consider schedule, budget, and risks
- Contract managers, who offer advice and document the contract requirements
- Lawyers, who draft the contracts within the confines of state and federal legal requirements
- Technical managers, who develop the statement of work (SOW) and account for vendor requirements
- C-Level executives, who monitor contracts, provide advice, and approve final agreements.
2. Share data and information in a single, unified place.
With so many stakeholders participating in the procurement management process, information must be shared in a dynamic, comprehensive way. Every detail should be accessible to every project stakeholder. Develop systems that ensure data flow between suppliers, finance teams, and the planning team in order to support collaboration, mitigate risk, and ensure precision.
3. Create your vendor control policies and management techniques.
Another crucial part of the planning process is identifying how you will manage your vendors after they sign your contract.
“All vendor control policies, such as site inspections and regular project meetings, should be included in the procurement management plan and the SOW or TOR,” said Jimmy Rodela, a writer for The Ascent.
These management techniques include:
- Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Creating an SOW with a timeline, deadlines, and compliance requirements
- Sharing a timeline for project meetings and updates
4. Find a vendor familiar with your niche with a proven track record of accountability.
A vendor can only be selected if they've completed and been awarded a contract. Before deciding, research vendors so you can choose one that not only offers you the lowest cost but can also mitigate the risk involved with the project.
“Select a vendor that can deliver what you expect and is willing to be accountable and work to resolve issues that may arise,” said CIO contributor Moira Alexander.
If your vendor doesn’t work out, however, you don’t want to have to start the process over entirely. “Identify a back-up vendor that can step in quickly if your chosen vendor falls short,” Alexander suggests.
5. Recognize that your relationship with your suppliers needs to be collaborative.
You don’t want to create a top-down relationship with your vendor. Rather, you want to partner with them so they will work with you to address challenges and develop your relationship over time.
“With emerging business opportunities, growing risk management and regulation, and an increasing awareness of corporate responsibility, your relations with your supply network call for continual maintenance and communication of evolving operations,” suggests Harvard Business Review.
6. Identify the contract’s legal parameters.
Lawyers are often involved in procurement management planning because these agreements typically need to meet state and federal regulations.
“For example, companies need to consider if they are affected by legislation such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and whether the product or service they are considering offers regulatory compliance with the relevant laws. The legal requirements should also be clearly identified to ensure all stakeholders are aware of them and do not violate the legislation,” said Kate Brush of TechTarget.
7. Use a contract that already meets competitive solicitation standards.
One of the most efficient cooperative contract types is called “piggybacking.” In this type of agreement, one agency lets others use an already-created contract, with established pricing and terms. The vendor must then agree to this contract.
Piggybacking benefits you as a public fleet manager because you will have more time for your own solicitation, rather than having to create your own contracts. This solution both expedites purchasing and saves administrative costs. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about the research for new bids and can instead find a contract that you can use immediately.
Some public fleet managers may worry that this type of cooperative contract doesn’t meet the competitive requirements for public agencies, but this isn’t the case.
8. Partner with a cooperative purchasing agency.
Sourcewell can partner with you to streamline your public procurement management planning and identify valuable cooperative contracts. As a self-sustaining government organization, it already has 400 contracts available.
Thousands of public agencies can access the contracts and leverage the power of economies of scale. For instance, one of Sourcewell’s cooperative contracts focuses on purchasing American-made vehicles, like Ford, Chevrolet, and Jeep. It can work with you to “piggyback” on the most effective cooperative contract for your public vehicle procurement project.
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!