Expediting steps of the public procurement process for fleet vehicles

steps of procurement process

The order-to-delivery (OTD) time for public fleet procurement has risen exponentially over the past few years. In 2022, a factory-ordered vehicle could range anywhere from three months to two years, depending on the brand.

Unpredictable and extensive OTD timelines will remain constant throughout 2023 and beyond. But while it may not be possible to circumvent them entirely, you can still expedite the public fleet procurement process to ensure faster delivery with fewer obstacles.

Public procurement professionals can take advantage of new strategies to address old problems, including a slow-paced procurement process.

What slows down the steps of procurement process strategies for fleets?

The average fleet procurement process for managers using traditional RFPs can take fifty-seven days or more, which is nearly three full months' worth of working business days. There are three major reasons for this:

  1. Poor fleet maintenance: The maintenance of a public fleet vehicle can make or break your overall efficiency. Accidental or unexpected breakdowns may force you to look for new vehicles before you're ready, leading to a panicked or disorganized procurement process. Even a regular oil change can improve gas mileage by 2%, helping avoid slow or unplanned fleet vehicle procurement.
  2. Limited internal workforce: Labor shortages can affect the speediness of public fleet procurement. A few estimates suggest a 25% workforce loss for certain companies, which may impact public fleet management, maintenance, and even RFPs. With fewer human resources to help compose proposals, the timeline for finalizing a procurement contract may be extremely long.
  3. Traditional bid processes: Writing an RFP is not for the faint of heart. Depending on your fleet size or public organization, it may take three months or longer to compose a first draft. If you consider additional factors, like compliance or local legislation, the time to completion may be even longer.

Are you looking to sidestep these common procurement obstacles? Now is a great time to get started.

Five expedited steps of procurement process strategies for fleets

Modernized public procurement solutions are turning the traditional fleet acquisition timeline upside down, and it's not hard to see why. Here are five of the best ways to expedite the public fleet procurement process, starting with the easiest method.

1. Order proactively

Many fleet vehicles are sourced on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, the sooner you order your public fleet vehicle(s), the sooner you'll get to the front of the line. It may be a good idea to order your vehicles in advance, especially if you have forecasting models that suggest a specific purchasing timeline.

2. Enhance the workforce with e-fleet solutions

Digital e-procurement tools are a great way to avoid unforeseen snafus in public vehicle purchasing. You can also keep a close eye on aging vehicles and see exactly when new models are needed. This puts less pressure on you to evaluate timelines on the fly and offloads repetitive tasks to a software-based solution.

3. Standardize your vehicle needs

Custom vehicles can be difficult to procure, especially for public organizations. Since it can take up to 1.5 years to finish vehicle customizations, you'll need to know what you need early on. Consider standardizing your vehicle needs across departments and cities, which should smooth the procurement process in the future.

4. Consider used over new

Procurement officials typically focus on adding new vehicles to their fleets. However, this may be an expensive option and not feasible depending on your needs, location, or industry. Be willing to adapt, and consider used vehicle models that may temporarily suit your use case.

5. Ditch the traditional bid process

The traditional RFP is no longer enough for agile public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Today, thousands of government institutions rely on cooperative contracts to access unique equipment at low, affordable prices. If you register a free account with Sourcewell, you can start browsing contracts in fifteen minutes or less.

How to expedite the steps of procurement process strategies with Sourcewell

If you're looking to shorten your public fleet procurement timeline and lean into the power of cooperative contracts, Sourcewell is an excellent place to start. It provides hundreds of cooperative contracts to public fleet managers across the United States.

Here's what cooperative contracts from Sourcewell can do for your organization:

  • Avoid the chutes and ladders of traditional procurement processes. Rather than taking two steps forward and one step back, you can quickly make your way through a streamlined process with pre-written contracts competitively solicited on your behalf.
  • Instantly access compliant contracts that improve your public procurement strategy. There's no need to walk through a lengthy bid-writing process. Just search for a contract, contact the supplier, and sign the necessary paperwork.
  • Browse legal authority and legal status by state. With dozens of similar organizations sharing your contract of choice, you can feel calm and confident about making the right decision, without needing to hire an RFP expert.

Best of all, registration with Sourcewell is free and fast, with no obligation.

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!