5 steps in the procurement process of public fleet vehicles

steps in procurement process

Fleet managers working for public agencies contend with one of the most complex procurement processes in the world. Not only are their regulations far more stringent, but their timelines and OTD dates can be set weeks, months, or even years in advance. Today, open-market government procurement takes an average of 268 days, which is nearly 73% of the year.

It's clear that the traditional process of fleet procurement can be quite time-consuming. In fact, the conventional steps of public fleet procurement have remained relatively unchanged for the past fifty years. However, shifting these steps alongside modern solutions could simplify things and speed up your OTD margin by a significant degree.

Let’s explore the basic steps of the public procurement process, with one break from the norm: skipping the bidding process with cooperative contracts in order to expedite procurement for public agencies.

The five steps in procurement process procedures that you must follow

There are certain non-negotiables in public fleet procurement, particularly from a traditional standpoint. Most public fleet procurement officers follow a five-step procurement process to obtain new vehicles and identify supplier partnerships.

  1. Getting input from all stakeholders: Procurement officers must speak with stakeholders in their agency long before making a major purchase decision. Discussion points will surround specific dates and current maintenance costs, as well as the overall acquisition budget.
  2. Auditing your inventory: You need to complete a full asset audit to understand the condition, size, and value of your fleet. From here, you can derive a fleet procurement plan that takes future needs into account.
  3. Forecasting costs: Consider the cost/value ratio of your future vehicle. Start with a whole-life value estimate to understand how much a vehicle will cost throughout its lifecycle. Be sure to consider fuel, tires, and maintenance too, as these may vary according to vehicle type.
  4. Standardizing your fleet: Technical specifications help your agency meet regulatory stipulations and ensure overall fleet compliance. As you near the end of the public procurement process, define your operating environment and set up the required performance characteristics.
  5. Writing the RFP: After several months of preparation, it's time to write your RFP. This process can take more than twenty-four hours to write and between nine and thirty-six months to finalize.

The traditional procurement process must be completed in order and can only progress once the previous step is complete. This may create procurement silos that lead to slow-moving chains of communication, which can slow down vehicle delivery and cost additional time and money.

Fortunately, taking these five steps in procurement process is not the only way to acquire public vehicles. Thousands of CPOs are looking for new methods of acquisition to improve the speed of public procurement, namely with the help of cooperative contracts.

The cooperative contract steps in procurement process procedures

Cooperative contracts aggregate the budgets of multiple public agencies to reduce costs and increase equipment access from willing suppliers. As many CPOs have discovered, swapping traditional RFPs for cooperative contracts can provide innumerable benefits during the fleet procurement process. It also reorders the stages of your public procurement steps:

  1. Auditing inventory: Rather than starting with a time-consuming email chain, kick off the procurement process by evaluating your entire fleet. You can easily develop an overarching plan that continues long into the future.
  2. Standardizing the fleet: You can quickly determine the shape and size of your fleet with established standardization guidelines. Ask yourself: if this is what your fleet looks like now, what should it look like in the future?
  3. Forecasting costs: Cooperative contracts reduce the cost of fleet vehicles by aggregating demand between multiple public agencies. As you begin to forecast costs, check your budget against the prices of cooperative contracts on your shortlist.
  4. Getting input from stakeholders: Present your competitively solicited cooperative contracts to the stakeholders in your agency. Together, you can select a supplier that meets your needs and ensure that everyone is pleased with your final selection.
  5. Choosing the supplier: In lieu of writing an RFP, CPOs can easily search for cooperative contracts that fit their fleet requirements. This enables you to skip the bidding process entirely and quickly connect with suppliers that meet your needs.

Cooperative contracts can help you save time, reduce effort, and procure public fleet vehicles more efficiently. If you partner with the team at Sourcewell, you can begin browsing fleet cooperative contracts within fifteen minutes or less.

Finding cooperative contracts for your public fleet procurement process

Despite their increasing popularity, cooperative contracts aren’t difficult to find. With Sourcewell, you can look for them in one of three ways:

  1. Freely browse contracts by name, supplier, or keyword.
  2. Explore options by fleet category, including parts, trailers, chassis, and more.
  3. Connect with a Sourcewell rep for expert advice and guidance.

Keep in mind that all of Sourcewell's services come at no extra cost to you.

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!