Best Practices for Public Procurement at the NIGP Forum

The 2019 NIGP Forum took place in Austin, Texas and the show lived up to its theme, Connecting Procurement Communities. Gordian has been attending the forum for many years, but this was my first experience and it surpassed all my expectations.

Not only does Gordian serve on the NIGP Business Council, but as advocates for streamlining the construction procurement process, we also proudly sponsored the Construction track. Our session, “The State of Construction Procurement: A Look from All Angles,” was a hit (and I am not just being biased). Attendees packed our room, and our panel – Tammy Rimes, Executive Director of National Cooperative Procurement Partners; Wes Everett, Director of Facilities for the City of Lubbock, TX; and Tom DiGangi, Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs for Gordian – discussed everything from construction procurement regulations to cooperative purchasing networks to how to serve the public more efficiently. As track sponsors, Gordian had the opportunity to introduce various other sessions and sit on other panel discussions.

Gordian in Speaking Sessions at NIGP Forum 2019.
Gordian had the opportunity to present a session, introduce various other sessions and sit on other panel discussions.

The construction industry has undergone significant and widespread change to adapt to today’s challenges. We heard about the challenges procurement professionals are facing first hand, including substandard communication, enduring long process cycles, finding quality contractors, meeting regulatory requirements and hitting project deadlines. But through the track sessions and discussions with attendees in our booth and networking events, several trends emerged:

Collaboration

Everyone attending the forum is there to serve the public in one way or another, and it’s important to remember we are one team and share the same common goal. When it comes to making strategic decisions on how to streamline the procurement process, you need all the stakeholders at the table. For construction procurement, that means involving facilities, contractors and strategic partners to help improve efficiencies and deliver high-quality products. At the end of the day, the construction procurement process needs to run like a well-oiled machine. Every part is viable to the consistencies and qualities of the process. It all begins with a great team.

Cooperative Purchasing Networks

Cooperative purchasing networks aren’t new, but there is a recent shift in the ability to access services and construction contracts through these networks. Tammy Rimes is an expert in cooperative purchasing and offers innovative insights into how to maximize your memberships.

"The State of Construction Procurement: A Look from All Angles" sponsored by Gordian at NIGP Forum
“The State of Construction Procurement: A Look from All Angles” sponsored by Gordian at NIGP Forum

Alternative Procurement Options

No two construction projects are exactly the same, so there is no one-size-fits-all procurement solution. Procurement teams need viable options that help them not only stay in compliance, but stay on time, in scope and under budget. Traditional construction procurement methods like Design-Bid-Build or Design-Build are effective, but they often require a lot of time and resources to execute. Alternative methods, such as Job Order Contracting, can help you streamline the construction delivery process by establishing a single contract for multiple projects.

It was a very productive week, but it wasn’t all work. Gordian’s team took advantage of all NIGP and Austin had to offer. We attended the social event at Austin City Limits and enjoyed a “Taste of Austin” with various local food and the Austin Party Band. During the exhibit hours, we participated in the United Way Health Snacks Project where we colored healthy food guides and packed bags of nutritious snacks. In addition to spending time with our partners and customers at the NIGP-sponsored events, the Gordian team enjoyed Austin’s great restaurants and bars and even took early morning jogs around Lady Bird Lake.

Gordian at NIGP
Gordian’s team in the booth and participating in the Healthy Snack Kit Project sponsored by United Way.

We came away from NIGP with a better understanding of and respect for our procurement customers. Every day they seek to improve the cost and efficiencies of their organization’s procurement process. They work hard to make sure their communities are well taken care of while making the most of their limited resources. Gordian is proud to partner with organizations like NIGP, and we look forward to next year’s forum.

Discover more about Job Order Contracting.

John Castillo

About John Castillo

As an Account Manager, John Castillo demonstrates professionalism, exercises construction knowledge and delivers results while using Gordian's extraordinary construction data and software. John provides support, training, consulting and management regarding Gordian's Job Order Contracting programs for clients in Texas. John is an Army Veteran who is active in various volunteer organizations.