3 insights for efficient fleet vehicle public procurement planning

procurement planning

With supply chain issues and staffing shortages, fleet managers face more challenges than ever. They already face difficulty keeping up with the latest fleet vehicle trends, but now pandemic- and war-related market shocks have led to higher prices, reduced vehicle availability, and fluctuations in interest rates.

Focusing on what you can control helps, and one of the tools available to cope with the ups and downs is cooperative purchasing. This can speed the process for efficient vehicle procurement, as you join forces with other agencies to create economies of scale. Take advantage of a proven and efficient way of fulfilling the competitive bidding process.

Working together, you can find suitable vehicles at the right price in less time. Here are three insights from Sourcewell for efficient fleet vehicle public procurement planning to save time and help every dollar go further.

1. Determine if you can use cooperating purchasing

Discover the numerous benefits of cooperative purchasing. First, efficient procurement planning for fleets requires ensuring that you have the proper authority to use cooperative purchasing as a strategy. Start with the laws in your state. Before engaging in a cooperative purchasing project to expedite fleet procurement, learn your state and local laws on the topic.

Most jurisdictions allow for cooperative purchasing, but ensuring that you have the proper legal authority is a fundamental step. To successfully use cooperative purchasing, department leaders and purchasing officers must communicate openly with each other.

Purchasing officers have goals, as do business managers seeking to acquire the proper resources for their teams. To work together productively, both parties must seek common ground in adhering to agency procurement processes. You, the fleet manager, and the procurement manager want the same thing: to manage resources appropriately while achieving goals for your departments and the organization as a whole.

Knowing what those controls are and how to meet them is fundamental to enabling your joint purchase project to proceed smoothly.

If cooperative purchasing is common in your organization, lean on those other department contacts that have already gone through the process.

2. Jointly establish procurement priorities

To implement successful procurement planning, build bridges between departments, even those with sometimes disparate objectives. While you’re managing the fleet in your department—assessing needs and studying variables such as routine maintenance schedules and warranty coverage—your procurement colleagues have concerns that involve different metrics.

Working together to understand each other’s priorities is crucial for the success of cooperative procurement for fleet management. Look for common ground. For instance, procurement officers are principally concerned with compliance, fiscal responsibility, and deadlines.

Synchronizing your goals and theirs can help a project move more quickly to completion than if you work alone. Focus on extra collaboration at the beginning of the project to lead to a more efficient fleet vehicle public procurement planning process.

3. Focus on data

For your own purposes and those of your procurement colleagues, make data a priority in your fleet vehicle public procurement planning. For instance, a procurement officer may not necessarily know the complexities of acquiring vehicles and will focus only on the bottom line price of each car. You can make a reasoned case for why a higher average unit cost for a car makes sense and is a responsible use of money by showing a lower total cost of ownership over the vehicle's life.

You can easily use data to build a strong case for the standardization of your fleet. For example, suppose that you argue for standardizing a specific make or model that's not the lowest bidder. A procurement officer may reflexively reject that argument based on cost savings, but you may be able to show that standardizing saves money in the long run by reducing the costs of repairs and spare parts. It's a hard case to make at first because standardization initially costs more. By collecting data over time, however, you can build support for your initiative, especially if it involves economies of scale in the purchasing.

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!