Using public procurement partners to optimize fleet operations

procurement partners

Procurement professionals purchasing public fleet vehicles can feel both stress and excitement. The stress comes from the process; the excitement comes from the outcome. With the right partners, you can decrease the stress of the competitive bid process and increase the excitement around a fleet upgrade.

When exploring how to best procure a new fleet, you will face challenges along the way, but by partnering with procurement partners who leverage cooperative contracts, these challenges are manageable.

Planning is key

Procuring a new fleet is a significant investment for any public leader. The procurement process must fit into their long-range plan for maintaining the fleet equipment. The purchase cannot just focus on short-term needs; the fleet must be maintained and monitored over time.

Several factors will impact the bottom line for years to come, such as maintenance, fuel, and associated costs (storage, security, and portability). Effective managers can project, as much as possible, how each of these factors will impact the budget in the future. All of this contributes to a long-range budgeting process and the fleet replacement cycle. If increased maintenance or fuel costs eat into future budgets, the replacement plan will have to be adjusted.

Spikes in cost cannot be anticipated, but with increasing fuel costs, many leaders are looking to replace gasoline-powered equipment with electric vehicles (EVs). Some estimates predict that by 2039, all construction equipment will consist of EVs. If you’re weighing this as an option, be aware that the projections for cost savings with fuel or maintenance will only be actualized if you can secure the right vehicles and equipment. A traditional bid process is not always straightforward and can come with barriers.

Traditional bids bring obstacles

Due to how the traditional bid process works, you need to develop specs to drive the process. You’ll find that a few of the main obstacles also come into play here. Highly specific specs can be challenging to acquire, narrow specs require upfront work and specificity, and overly detailed specs can raise auditors' attention if they seem to provide an advantage to a specific supplier. Conversely, broad specs leave the door open for many options, though some of them might not be exactly what you want. If your state or county guidelines require accepting the lowest bid, know that broad specs can derail long-range planning and projections.

An alternative to this process is for you to acquire a cooperative purchasing agreement to find out exactly what your fleet needs. The right partner can assist with this process to provide you with the right equipment.

Cooperatives as a solution

Tapping into the expertise of a procurement partner is invaluable because they can assist you in using a cooperative to get what you want and to decrease the lead time to optimize the purchase. Selection and delivery time are crucial factors in optimizing the purchase of a new public fleet.

Cooperative purchasing agreements work to drive down cost through volume purchasing, but they also enable you to know the specifics about the equipment at the start of the process. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, a good procurement partner can help meet your needs. You can add equipment to cooperative lists, but navigating this process can be complicated. A knowledgeable and experienced partner is vital.

When you’re using a cooperative, the procurement process is easier and faster. You can know about issues with supply chain and delivery at the start, which makes it easier for you to plan for the short and long term.

Partners are there to help make the situation better for you, and with a partner like Sourcewell, you will get exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. Long-range planning is possible, and the procurement process becomes exciting rather than stressful when you’re tapping into the great resources of a cooperative agreement.

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!