Public Sector

Believe It Or Not, Procurement Impacts Every Single Person

Vishal Patel, VP Product Marketing, Ivalua

You’re probably wondering what I’m going on about here. It’s pretty simple, actually. If you live in a city, state or country, which everybody does, your life and the lives of your family and friends is impacted directly by Procurement. No, I’m not referring to the Procurement department of your company (although, if Ivalua has anything to do about it, there are lots of interesting things happening there too). I’m talking about the organizations responsible for Procurement at the City, County or State level.

I live in New York City with my family and have been here for a decade (apparently it takes 8 years to officially call yourself a New Yorker, not sure where I heard that). Having spent several years in the Procurement technology market, I tend to think like a Procurement guy and often have a “Procurement Filter” (newly coined term) and can literally see and have access to things in the City because of the Procurement department and the vendors they have chosen to work with. From the ferry I take to work everyday and the bike lanes that can take me anywhere in NYC to the dog park that I would take my dog, if I had one and the app I recently used to contest a parking ticket. At some point, there was a need for this, a solicitation process to select a supplier, a competitive bidding process, a contract negotiation, transactions and so on. Being responsible for Procurement at the city, county or state level is a big deal and it directly impacts citizens.

Public Sector Procurement has always had a fairly poor perception of being in the dark ages. However, a lot has changed in the last few years, many Public Sector Procurement organizations have woken up to the potential improvements and impact of modernizing Public Procurement and many are well down the transformation road.

For the longest time, leading Procurement technology providers in my experience just ignored this space. Their cloud-based technology could generally not be configured to meet the highly unique and complex requirements of the Public Sector, and the long, drawn out sales cycles discouraged most from diverting R&D capacity to meet the needs of a niche market. Ivalua, on the other hand, saw opportunity. Opportunity to bring Public Procurement into the modern digital age and by doing so, hopefully, making the lives of citizens, vendors, minority, women and veteran owned businesses better and an additional bonus, making Public Procurement more exciting.

While we have been serving customers in this space for a while, we just announced a new set of solutions packaged and designed specifically for state and local governments and their Procurement needs. The goal being to build in best practices that we’ve seen across our Public Sector customers, so that they are able to deploy and get up and running faster, thereby drastically reducing time-to-value. The breadth and the flexibility of Ivalua’s platform really play well in this sector, covering all Procurement requirements and also enabling agility to adapt to changing legislation and policies.

Some of the objectives Ivalua typically has together with its Public Sector customers include:

  • More Efficient Government: Make it easier to do business with government, maximizing automation and end-to-end Procurement cycle time.
  • Reduction of Risk: Enable better risk and compliance management by enabling proactive mitigation and real-time monitoring with vendors.
  • Increased Transparency: Greater visibility for all as to the opportunities available (or already planned) to work with city and state agencies.
  • Rapid Speed to Value: Quickly deploy solutions tailored to meet Public Sector needs to achieve faster ROI.

Some of the solution highlights for state and local solution include:

  • Public Portal: Public catalogs, FOIA & bid protest management, optimized search
  • Supplier Management: Enhanced supplier document management, diversity self-identification and validation
  • Procure-to-Pay: Subcontract payment management, smart forms for needs identification, pCard management
  • Source-to-Contract: Subcontractor identification and management, distributor/dealer management, compliance management, and enhanced subcontractor and diversity reporting

We look forward to being a part of the advancements underway in Public Procurement.

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