The Public Sector Category

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What Procurement Must Do to Keep Pace with Government’s Promises to Taxpayers

When President Trump first took office, it was clear that the new administration expected government agencies to start buying IT more like “a business.” Nearly two years later, that directive has not changed. In fact, the White House wants a technology business management (TBM) framework to be embraced government-wide by 2022, a feat that is not feasible unless agencies first embrace a more modern procurement framework. If the White House wants to change how agencies buy IT, infrastructure or any other system or service, it first needs to encourage broader investment in the technology required to more efficiently execute, track and evaluate every purchase.

Sole Sourcing and Lack of Weapon Design Experience to Blame for Pentagon’s Munitions Procurement Woes

The U.S. government is facing considerable challenges with its munitions procurement, as reported by Defense News in an article memorably headlined “The U.S. is Running Out of Bombs — And It May Struggle to Make More.” According to the latest annual Industrial Capabilities report from the Pentagon's Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, sole sourcing and a lack of weapon design experience are crippling the U.S. industrial base.

Bonfire: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

procurement software

Bonfire is one of our most anticipated new participants in Spend Matters Q2 2018 Sourcing SolutionMap. Based on what we have covered in this deep dive analysis of Bonfire thus far, we suspect that the provider will personify many of the requirements of the Nimble persona, providing a compelling functional alternative to top-ranked Value Leaders including Scout RFP, Coupa, EC Sourcing, Keelver and Market Dojo (not to mention Nimble Solution Leaders including Ivalua, Zycus, Scanmarket and SynerTrade, as well as Nimble Customer leader SAP Ariba).

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Bonfire provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Bonfire and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides a summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering the vendor. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Bonfire as a technology provider and its specific solutions. Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

Bonfire: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

The market for best-of-breed sourcing solutions continues to take off. Bonfire, which was founded two years before Scout RFP, is the newest provider in the sector to build significant momentum in North America, leveraging a similar playbook as its better-known competitor, emphasizing ease-of-use, adoption and the user experience. With more than 230 customers in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, including market penetration in the public sector that rivals larger providers, Bonfire is becoming a more frequent shortlist candidate in an increasing number of sourcing buying scenarios in which suite capability is not a prerequisite.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Bonfire’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Bonfire in the sourcing technology area. The final installment in this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Afternoon Coffee: OMNIA Partners Purchases U.S. Communities GPO, Argentine Ports Stalled by Sticker Shortage

OMNIA Partners, a group purchasing organization (GPO) composed of National IPA, Prime Advantage and Corporate United, announced Monday it had entered an agreement to buy Communities Program Management LLC, the organization that staffs and manages the operations of the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance. Dangerous weather and labor strikes are not the only issues that can hold up shipments at ports. Sometimes a supply disruption can be caused by something as a simple as a shortage of green stickers. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

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The Perfect Storm for NHS Procurement

As one of the top five largest employers in the world and an average annual expenditure of £130 billion, the National Health Service (NHS) and how it spends its budget is a widely debated topic. Moreover, harsh restrictions on the public purse mean that healthcare procurement professionals are tasked with providing the best value for every pound spent while still protecting the quality of frontline care. And while we often see pressure on resources and cost of care making the media headlines, procurement professionals in this sector face a host of other challenges too.

How to Buy Procurement Technology 101, With a Public Sector Spin

If you’re new to procurement or have been sitting on the sidelines just waiting to get a pinpointed primer to the profession, look no further than Public Spend Forum’s latest webinar, “How to Buy Procurement Technology – Getting Started.” Like any 101 course, there are some fundamentals to consider before diving in.

Can Procurement Save the Government?

Think about the role of effective government: defend the nation from risks and support the citizens, with minimum tax burden. And in a capitalist society that is of, by and for the people, the government needs to tap market innovations of the same people it serves to solve big problems, be it national security, healthcare or recovery from disasters. The same is true in commercial enterprises. Procurement in companies is chartered with bringing in innovations and helping defend the enterprise from external risks in the supply chain while also helping maximize value to demanding stakeholders.

‘Ask Spend Matters’ Lightning Round: Marketing Spend, Public Procurement and Finding a Contractor

As we work behind the scenes to turn Ask Spend Matters into a more regular feature, we thought we’d chip away at a few of the reader questions we’ve been sitting on. As managing editor Taras Berezowsky promised last month those who have submitted a question but not heard back, we haven’t forgotten about you! Today’s lightning round edition, if you will, tackles three specific questions on the value versus price debate in marketing spend, where federal agencies find their suppliers and how to find a young person to prepare those boring databases.

Big Data in Public Procurement: Strategic Enabler or Leaker of Inconvenient Truths?

The term big data is not new in the lexicon of business jargon. After years of hearing how big data analytics will transform the enterprise by producing brilliant insights from reams of unstructured information, procurement observers are understandably skeptical about the promises big data’s marketers have made. It was no surprise to us, then, that for one of the first questions we received in our new series Ask Spend Matters, an anonymous asker hoped to find some evidence behind big data’s claims.

E-Procurement, The Chicago Way

Chicago

Depending on whom you ask, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration may not have the best track record for providing transparency to the public, even though his official communications channels — and even the Mayor himself — like talking it up. The latest stop on the Transparency Train, as it happens, is right up Spend Matters’ alley: an announcement that the City of Chicago’s Department of Procurement Services (DPS) will adopt a new e-procurement approach to do better business with its myriad vendors and suppliers.

Bad Procurement: A Roundup of Recent Procurement Scandals

Procurement scandals haven’t been a priority coverage area on Spend Matters, but that may change soon. Monday's Afternoon Coffee column covered the news, broken by the New York Post, that the chief procurement officer for New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been fired for allegedly soliciting bribes from a contractor. There is of course a “lady friend” involved in this saga too, but I’ve gotten ahead of myself. But this got us wondering: How does this compare with other procurement-centered crimes? Here is a roundup of recent scandals, some more salacious than others.