Reevaluating your public procurement plan during slow supply chains
Procurement managers are now dealing with the stubborn bottlenecks in the global supply chain following the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing reduced supply and increasing prices, those tasked with buying goods and services for organizations are looking closely at their procurement plans for ways to reduce the risks of future shocks.
According to the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, public buyers should review their purchasing plans and look for ways to build "agility and resilience" into the supply chain procurement processes. Kenan defines agility as the ability to pivot to short-term challenges, while resilience involves attacking longer-term structural changes.
Buyers in government can begin to blunt the impact of supply chain slowdowns through the power of cooperative purchasing. Cooperative contracts enable state and local governments to save time and money by building economies of scale in acquiring goods and services in support of their communities.
Fleet managers can use a potent tool like cooperative purchasing to acquire vehicles. It is also a way for those managers to inject new capabilities and resilience into the fleet vehicle procurement plans.
“Joint procurement agreements,” says the US Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation, “can help smooth over temporary disruptions in the flow of goods by simplifying cross-border transactions, facilitating the sharing of goods and inputs, and improving buying power, particularly those of small states.”
When you reevaluate a public procurement plan during a supply chain crisis, there are certain areas to consider. While you can’t solve the supply chain problems alone, you can help your organization take steps to lessen the impacts.
Time to award
Given the supply chain's structure and market dynamics, fleet managers need to organize their priorities for the future, since vehicles are inherently long lead-time products. When crafting an RFP, writers should consider several variables, such as service, vehicle life-cycle and availability, and vehicle standardization. Given these factors, you will expend a significant amount of time formulating your own RFP solicitation, especially since it must comply with agency requirements and state and local laws.
While fleet managers can’t control bottlenecks in supply chains, they can reevaluate the procurement plan carefully to find time savings to align the process with their needs, such as through cooperative purchasing.
As a fleet manager, consider cooperative purchasing contracts as ready-made contracting vehicles to find approved suppliers to fulfill your fleet needs. Procurement experts follow relevant competitive contracting processes to solicit, evaluate, and award cooperative purchasing contracts for goods and services.
Using a cooperative purchasing vendor also lowers your time investment. For instance, the Sourcewell procurement team handles advertising for each RFP in state and local publications, on their website, and on other e-commerce sites.
You have to follow competitive bidding requirements even during times of slow supply chains. State and local laws and agency policy require soliciting enough bids to comply. While you can’t get around the quantifiable requirements, you can adjust your procurement plan to satisfy law and policy.
Use cooperative purchasing to fast track access to competitive contracts. Since RFPs are issued on behalf of 50,000 agency buyers, multiple suppliers respond to these national solicitations. Local dealers and representatives still deliver contracted goods and services, which supports your local community.
Shifting your procurement plan in this way allows you to diversify the source of bids and access more suppliers than you could on your own.
Using laws of supply and demand, you'll find that supply chain shocks generally mean higher prices. This is another variable beyond fleet managers' control, save for reevaluating the processes and structure of their procurement plans. Fleet buyers can swing the pendulum of supply and demand back in their favor by harnessing national-level competition with their procurements.
Suppliers anywhere in the country who comply with the RFP requirements can now bid for your fleet business. Under a legacy model, you are limited in your supply source and at the mercy of the market.
Utilize volume commitments with cooperative contracts to potentially save even more money with flexible pricing. You also lower costs through staff time, as your team can focus on more value-driving activities than administering RFPs and contracts.
Reevaluate with Sourcewell
Addressing these areas can help reposition your procurement plan for success, but there are others. Sourcewell’s cooperative purchasing offers choice, value, and peace of mind. Search the contracts to expand your purchasing options.
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!