Thought Leadership

Innovation Begins With A Question

by Jane Newman

Innovation is a difficult subject for many organizations. Some companies try to radically innovate, while others take an incremental approach. Some will look to outside sources for solutions and inspiration, whereas some tap into the knowledge that exists within the organization. Sometimes innovation occurs by accident, other times it is the result of a methodical approach. There is no one way to innovate, but what happens when the decision to innovate is not yours? What happens when you do not have time to draw up a business plan, timeline, and benchmarks?

This became the reality for many organizations as our world changed overnight. The status quo no longer existed. Office buildings were left empty. Restaurants and coffee shops no longer had seats. Schools and playgrounds were quiet. In an instance everything shifted to online.

The impact on businesses and industries were swift and substantial. But while everything was changing, Public Sector entities still had the massive responsibility to keep the lights on while still responding to the new Covid-19 world. There was no time to pause and adjust to the new reality. Any processes impacted by the changing environment needed to transform on the fly. But where do you start?

To Innovate, Ask “What Is Possible?”

In the current environment, where change is not only constant but critical, successful organizations will be the ones asking, “What if?”. Since entering the Covid-19 world, I’ve had numerous conversations with Public Sector customers and prospects about unique issues that they are facing. We have all been impacted differently, but one constant that has come out is the increased willingness to ask the “What is possible” questions. As an organization we’ve been asking ourselves these same questions, pushing our own boundaries, changing strategies, and developing innovative solutions to meet your unique needs.

Although we pride ourselves on having the best full suite Source-to-Pay solution for the Public Sector, during these times it has really been the flexibility of our solution that has been able to provide value to our customers’ questions. The request for rapid digitization of manual processes and filling gaps between systems has been a recurring theme. With the vast majority of work being done virtually, the smallest gap in a process has the potential to create large implications.

A Flexible Platform Enables Quick Fix and Long-Term ROI

Let’s take a hypothetical look at how taking a flexible, innovative approach to an immediate problem can set a public sector organization up for long-term success.

Most public organizations are used to accepting bids from suppliers in paper form, delivered to their offices. But when health and safety controls prohibited this practice, many agencies would need to rapidly digitize their processes. Implementing a full suite solution is not feasible to respond to this time-sensitive challenge. Yet, many off the shelf solutions would not provide the opportunity for future growth and thus restrict long-term ROI.

With Ivalua for Public Sector, however, our flexibility would enable you to configure a streamlined supplier account request process and bid solicitation platform, so that suppliers could securely upload sealed bid packages. With the base platform already implemented, the organization could easily expand its capabilities as time and budget allows.

This is the benefit of working with flexible, forward-thinking technology vendors to re-imagine how things can be accomplished. Technology should support innovation, not hinder future growth.

To learn more about Ivalua for Public Sector please visit the solutions page. Also learn about our recent engagement with the LADWP from the press release.

Jane Newman
Author

Jane Newman

Sr. Account Executive

Jane is based in Portland, Oregon and has been selling and managing teams within the Public Sector for over 20 years.  She joined Ivalua as the Western Public Sector Account Executive in April 2019.  She manages a 13 State territory. Prior to Ivalua, Jane worked at Global Tel Link from 2014 – 2019 selling telecommunication systems in the Corrections Industry for 13 western states and was with LexisNexis from 2000 -2014 where she managed sales teams within Federal and State and Local Government.

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