With students and staff back in the classroom for in-person learning, an administrator's priority is to ensure that each child and teacher is protected from COVID-19 and other health risks.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Miami’s city procurement team was working long hours purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), testing labs, testing kits, supplies, services and everything else needed for city testing sites, and any other items needed to address the pandemic crisis.
Developing and posting a Request for Proposals (RFP) and then poring over multiple bids before choosing a service provider and signing a contract can help schools find value in purchasing, but it’s an onerous and time-consuming process. When buyers need essential supplies right away, they don’t have the luxury of waiting.
Lance Jay, Chief Procurement Officer at the City and County of Denver in Colorado, says local governments are facing market and workforce challenges in COVID-19. "Goods and services are not readily available and as a city we are seeing price inflation as demand across the globe far exceeds the supply."
When speaking to finance and procurement departments at school districts, I often ask: “Who is the end customer that you serve?” The responses I receive, ranging from administrative assistants, teachers, school boards, and students, vary widely. While there is no single right answer, I’d suggest that they are all customers of procurement. With so many end customers, it’s important to have at least one guiding principle that influences how organizational decisions are made.
Kirkland Wash, a city of almost 88,000 on the eastern shores of Lake Washington, often relies on cooperative agreements says its financial operations manager, Greg Piland.Meeting the procurement needs in Kirkland, Wash., a city of almost 88,000 on the eastern shores of Lake Washington, is a major task with increasing demands, says its financial operations manager, Greg Piland.
A procurement strategy is essential when assessing the direction of a public entity, like state and local government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations – all of which face expense pressures and tight budgets.Implementing a comprehensive procurement strategy helps procurement staff to handle their diverse range of responsibilities and acts as a guide for the organization’s long-term goals and action plans. There are many types of procurement strategies, with organizations typically focusing on cost reduction, risk mitigation, and leveraging supplier relationships. However, a successful procurement strategy should be an organization-wide process that is tailored to meet the needs of an agency.
A rapidly changing workforce, integrated with the advent of the digital era, is shifting the way procurement operates. Younger generations entering the public sector workforce are proposing improvements to current processes that questions the status quo. For the first time in modern age, five generations are present at work –Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Gen Z.
Cooperative purchasing is more dynamic and effective than ever for government entities. The growing trend of using cooperative purchasing has driven surprising savings, superior results and flexibility for a wide array of government groups.