Expert advice: The shift in procurement and how to create the right strategy
Solve what’s next for optimal IT purchasing – in budget and in less time

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Government, education, and healthcare organizations are constantly challenged to identify procurement options that enable staff to efficiently buy the technology needed to fulfill their goals. Public sector institutions at all levels had to simplify procurement processes during the pandemic to procure goods and services and quickly satisfy constituent demands and needs.

The resulting procurement speed was astounding – now organizations can get a request for proposal (RFP) out and responded to in as little as 24 days, according to eRepublic. Emergency laws and guidelines were adapted to expedite the process when end-user computing was urgently needed, and many organizations don’t plan to go back to prolonged RFP activities, which previously could take 6-12 weeks at least.

The shift is not solely related to the pandemic – many organizations are more open to and looking for contract vehicles, now seeing the value of utilizing cooperative contracts and exploring new purchasing opportunities than in the past. Using cooperative or national contracts eases the process and cuts down on the time to receive and implement new solutions.

For some organizations, especially government agencies, the shift in procurement processes comes from necessity while operating shorthanded. Previously with a full procurement staff, many purchases were put out for bid as the standard, with many publisher manufacturers viewed as sole source. Now, your organization may be seeking other contract vehicles instead of going through a lengthy RFP requiring time and resources.

And as more agencies pursue better alignment with legalese, contracts, bidding laws, and funding, the change in purchasing practices is not necessarily about removing people from purchasing but rather moving procurement responsibilities to a centralized location for better visibility and tracking across all groups.

The next steps for procurement

Public sector procurement is entering a new era with less red tape, greater centralized control, and preferred managed services models. But it is not all roses for PubSec procurement. Government, education, and healthcare organizations must still determine how to:

  • Implement efficient procurement processes
  • Assess current contract and cooperative agreement rules to identify savings
  • Identify new contract vehicles for eligibility
  • Review regulations to enable federal procurement alignment
  • Manage processes, accounting, and purchase cards (pcards)

Additionally, government, education, and healthcare institutions continue to receive stimulus and new funds from major infrastructure reform programs. Organizations want to use these funds for major digital transformation initiatives that will need to be sustained down the road when budgets go back to a pre-pandemic level.

The good news is you don’t have to handle these tasks alone. With SHI as your procurement partner, you will be better equipped to navigate the unique requirements for your federal funded programs and set your procurement strategy accordingly.

Our team of contract experts works with your sales team to solve what’s next on your IT journey, connecting you with the right cooperatives and contract vehicles for your needs.

Prepare with our procurement assessment

We can help your organization develop a streamlined procurement strategy – from understanding which contracts you can use to simplifying the purchasing process and gaining greater visibility. Led by our dedicated contract capture team, our new procurement assessment can:

  1. Support maximum purchasing options, assessing which contracts may be right for you
  2. Enable the most competitive pricing at different levels of government and education environments
  3. Explain which contracts are being used in your state by similar organizations
  4. Identify which contracts have federal funding clauses included
  5. Provide compliance guidance on legal requirements and codes

The assessment will initially explore a series of questions to understand where your organization stands. Do you have centralized procurement? How are you buying your products? Are you using contracts or going out to bid? Our contract specialists serve as your trusted resource to assess your current approach and offer potential alternatives to build the right procurement strategy for your initiatives.

With SHI’s 500+ contract vehicles and cooperatives across the U.S., including Sourcewell, NASPO ValuePoint, OMNIA Partners, and GSA, your organization’s purchasing options are never limited. Schedule your procurement assessment today, and let our specialists enable and support a better buying experience for the IT solutions and services you need.