A recent report was published by a global consulting firm regarding how governments are making positive strides in better managing the various challenges met in the public sector and in enhancing transparency to gain public trust, despite heavy debt loads and budget constraints. The analysis indicates that governments are able to achieve these objectives and successfully do more with less by adopting such practices including increasing their use of accessible data, connecting with citizens for valuable input and feedback, advancing their knowledge base, and working with other sectors to improve procurement processes. This approach focuses on the four aforementioned concepts and encourages public sector leaders to think more logically and leave behind legacy processes that are no longer effective. Periscope Holdings applauds the report and is a firm believer in these practices, offering essential procurement solutions and services that are designed for the public sector and align perfectly with the highlighted recommendations.
Increasing Use of Data and Analytics
Data tracking and analysis capabilities facilitate informed decision making and lead to more accurate results in measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. The report recommends gathering detailed performance statistics, applying benchmarking techniques, and using relevant data to promote government initiatives. Periscope’s e-procurement solution BuySpeed incorporates key procurement performance metrics and best practices from our clients to further develop our industry-leading suite of management dashboards and reports powered by BuySpeed’s Business Intelligence (BI) module. The State of Arizona implemented the BI framework to monitor performance and track spend and has since experienced a 26% reduction in costs toward various commodities and services. Further, the company works with state and local government entities to aid in master data cleanup for a more standardized format, rationalized inventory, and visibility of spend, and to deliver benchmarking analysis through its NIGP Consulting Program. The team is currently working with the State of Arkansas to conduct a material master data cleanse, which is expected to improve reporting capabilities, reduce inventory and carrying costs, increase vendor participation, and provide a highly structured, industry-standard classification system.
Connecting with Citizens for Input and Feedback
The movement toward citizen involvement is growing, and more governments are relying on the public for input on the design and development of services, in order to not only better meet their expectations but also to transfer some level of accountability. Additionally, they are improving productivity and further encouraging citizen participation by boosting transparency of data through technology. BuySpeed Sourcing and eProcurement software transforms the public procurement and competitive solicitation process by providing a one-stop-shop for viewing bids, solicitations, vendor responses, contracts, and more. BuySpeed’s vendor management functionality empowers private enterprises and ensures that primary suppliers of products and services to our state and local governments are sharing the administrative load associated with a fair and competitive procurement process. Further, this capability allows vendors to easily register for free, download bid notices and respond to bids online. The City of Baltimore more than tripled its vendor registrations, from 3,000 to nearly 10,000, after a successful launch of BuySpeed in 2007.
Advancing the Knowledge Base
This report points out that gathering well-trained employees who are driven by a purpose is absolutely essential in the strategic success of public sector programs. Procurement staff assessment, including the areas of knowledge, skills, experience, and workload management, is a primary component of many of the procurement reviews designed by Periscope’s NIGP Consulting services. Additionally through the efforts of the NIGP Consulting Program, we strive to advance the overall competency level of our public purchasing clients, assist them in achieving and maintaining necessary certifications, and assess staff skill sets relative to best practices in the industry. We work with our clients to leverage valuable educational resources that are available to them, such as those through the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP). Upon entering a project with the NIGP Consulting team, the County of Sarasota raised staff credentials with over 1,000 training hours logged within a 12-month period and members earning advanced certifications, such as CPPB, CPPO, CPM, and FCCM. Employing individuals who possess thorough backgrounds and advanced knowledge and skills is yet another way governments are able to gain greater productivity and do more with less.
Improving Procurement Processes
This overarching approach to government reform highlights the need for governments to improve the procurement of products and services and reduce costs. At Periscope Holdings, this is the foundation on which we have built our sole purpose. Our company focus is to eradicate waste and maximize value the value of every dollar spent, and we work every day to ensure that the tools and services we provide fulfill this mission for each and every one of our clients. The BuySpeed solution streamlines processes, decreases expenditures, and creates transparency to drive significant savings and ensures close collaboration with suppliers and vendors throughout the entire procure-to-pay process. Periscope is currently developing new offerings that will allow even greater visibility to and analysis of products and services that governments are purchasing collectively – qualities that will further assist public entities in making meaningful benchmark comparisons while also empowering a market-focused supplier community to be responsive to government needs.
The public sector has the opportunity to benefit from increasing their use of data, connecting with citizens for input and feedback, advancing their knowledge base, and improving procurement processes by first being willing to make a change. Governments should step up and implement creative solutions that will generate savings and raise efficiencies. Procurement transformation encompassing these four practices is a valuable investment and a crucial step to creating a more effective and manageable organization. Periscope takes pride in offering unique, purpose-built functionality and useful services that are proven to bring about procurement success.