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Why Government Procurement Must Evolve with Technology

Time to Upgrade: Why Government Procurement Must Evolve with Technology.

Why Government Procurement Must Evolve with Technology

The government’s role in fostering innovation begins right from the inception of a project, during the procurement stage.

While the world has undergone significant transformations, the procurement processes followed by the public sector have largely remained stagnant since the 90s. It’s high time we acknowledged that traditional procurement methods are not yielding the desired results.

To forge ahead, we need to reshape policies and revamp procurement processes.

Technology innovations move at a breakneck speed and the traditional RFI, RFP approach to technology procurement often leads to long purchasing cycles that end with a solution that’s out of date before the switch is flipped. For example, deploying technology on trains at the OEM level often years before the trains go into service. To avoid this, agencies need to focus on futureproofing their solutions.

To increase the odds that an agency procures a future-proof technology solution, new approachesto purchasing must be utilized.

First and foremost, the procurement team must have a plan or roadmap for a future proof solution that is well thought out and encompasses a broad area of need.

Take for example today’s typical onboard vehicle technology solutions. They are siloed, with each solution addressing a small area of need and not integrated with other onboard solutions. This creates redundant hardware, messy installations driving up hardware and maintenance costs. Additionally, back-end software for these disparate solutions creates a headache for operations with multiple portals and sign-ins for monitoring and reporting.

We Often Discuss the Importance of Innovative Technologies, but What About Innovative Procurement?

We talk about investments, but what about investing time, effort, and resources into enhancing the procurement process itself?

Best practice is to start with an RFI, specifically requesting recommended (future-proof) solutions coupled with a RFQ and a ROM to be sure the respondents are qualified to provide solutions and a budget can be determined. This should be where the agency makes the decision on what solution and provider they want to proceed with. Once decided, speed of purchase and deployment needs to be the goal.

Public transportation agencies face a delicate balancing act: improving services while adhering to budget constraints. However, it is impractical for procurement teams to keep pace with every new idea, product, and technological breakthrough that emerges. Take for example, the purchase of a transit fare, where one can simply purchase from the convenience of their mobile in the comfort of their home without any monthly contract or automatic renewal. Like that of social selling, information on goods and services is readily available without putting out a RFI and carrying out a three-to-six-month process to obtain information.

We Believe That Government Purchases Should Be Just As Accessible and Convenient

Here’s an opportunity worth considering…

Over the past three years, we have partnered with Insight to fulfill our shared mission of better serving the public sector community.

Insight has experienced remarkable growth in Canada, emerging as the country’s third-largest IT solutions provider. Their presence has accelerated the delivery of hardware and software solutions to clients nationwide. While the procurement approach may have evolved, our ultimate goals remain unchanged.

In recent discussions with transit agencies, limited budgets and smaller workforces are still a thing in 2024. Yet, these agencies can meet their end goals one step faster by streamlining processes and learning new ways of investing and making progress.

The efficiency and effectiveness of public services hinge on the procurement process, and it’s time to explore better procurement practices.

We believe that it’s time to embrace a new era of procurement, one that streamlinesdecision-making, eliminates extra effort, and removes duplicated efforts.

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