Celebrating Public Procurement Professionals

Each March, Gordian joins industry mainstays such as The Institute for Public Procurement (NIGP), National Cooperative Procurement Partners (NCPP) and public purchasing departments across the country to celebrate Procurement Month. We’re honored to work alongside public purchasing and procurement professionals in their efforts to build and maintain safe and reliable community spaces.

Working Alongside the Nation’s Best

Public procurement or government procurement refers to the purchasing of goods, services and works by governments and state-owned enterprises. Public procurement accounts for a substantial portion of GDP and the taxpayers’ money. Government agencies and procurement professionals are expected to serve with high standards of conduct and efficiency to safeguard the public interest and ensure a high quality of service delivery.

Our teams have decades of experience working side-by-side with procurement professionals to help them streamline processes, make better use of funds and maintain safe and reliable facilities for their communities. With each passing year, our nation’s procurement professionals gain more responsibilities and have to navigate ever-changing laws and regulations. Gordian’s Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Thomas DiGangi, Jr. says, “I have enormous respect for public sector procurement professionals, who need to be innovative and efficient, despite the often antiquated laws and rules that govern their work. I am always thankful when we work together to improve public policy around procurement.”

Summer’s spike in construction activity puts added pressure on procurement officials and facility managers to plan, procure and execute projects in a condensed timeline. There’s no time to waste, so download this free eBook to read tips to help simplify project planning and execution.

Overcoming Challenges with Increased Collaboration

The construction industry is undergoing significant and widespread change to adapt to today’s challenges. When making timely facilities and infrastructure improvements for their communities, procurement professionals are faced with substandard communication among stakeholders, long contracting and ordering cycles, quality contractor shortage from high demand and adhering to a vast number of regulatory requirements. To overcome these challenges, procurement teams are taking advantage of emerging treads in collaborative processes, cooperative purchasing networks and alternative procurement options.

When it comes to making strategic decisions on how to streamline the procurement process, the participation and buy-in of all stakeholders is key. For construction procurement, that means involving facilities, contractors and strategic partners to help improve efficiencies and deliver high-quality work. 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: Insights from Tammy Rimes of NCPP

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, MPA is the Executive Director of NCPP and an expert in cooperative purchasing. Gordian recently caught up with her to ask her insights on procurement and the past year.

Celebrating Public Procurement Professionals 1

  • What inspired you to go into procurement as a career?

“My career goal was not to be in Purchasing – I was on my way to becoming a City Manager! However, the City had a reorganization and I was appointed as Purchasing Agent. With my last five years in that role, prior to retirement, I believe it is one of the most challenging and rewarding roles in government. Now, I’m procurement’s biggest fan!”

  • What do you strive to accomplish with your work at NCPP?

“Government teams are strapped in resources and money. Cooperative contracting is a readily available tool that meets the needs of competition, transparency and best practices in government procurement. I didn’t know much about cooperatives when I was Purchasing Agent, and now, I believe that is a crucial tool to be maximized to solve problems. My goal is to educate all government purchasing professionals, including those from customer departments, about the benefits and choices.”

  • How has the pandemic impacted cooperative purchasing or procurement?

“The use of cooperative contracting has grown during the pandemic, as teams have had to work from home and not have all their typical resources available to them. In an emergency, cooperative contracts definitely come in to play, as there isn’t enough time to bid and award a contract through a traditional process that can take weeks or months. In my mind, the increased movement to eProcurement systems, telecommuting and cooperative contracts is the wave of the future.”

Increased Results Through Alternative Procurement Methods

It takes many construction procurement tools to make a dent in the challenges of maintaining public facilities and infrastructure. Procurement teams need viable options that help them not only stay in compliance, but stay on time, in scope and on budget. Limiting construction procurement to traditional project delivery methods can stifle facilities progress. Alternative methods, such as Job Order Contracting, can help streamline the construction delivery process by establishing a single contract for multiple projects.

Gordian’s Account Manager for the South Central Region, John Castillo, says, “The procurement process is no easy task and procurement teams face challenges every day. The process of ensuring compliance, sustainability and spending efficiently goes hand in hand with Gordian’s Job Order Contracting. The advantage of one phone call to get things started in a timely manner all while ensuring that the services are indeed compliant, sustainable and creates a time and savings environment that procurement teams love.”

Keeping the Mission in Mind

The goal of a procurement professional is a simply-stated yet daunting task: to get the best value for the good or service so taxpayers get what they need at the best price possible.

Tammy Rimes adds that the industry needs “to be forward-thinking. Many times, procurement leans to the compliance side rather than the innovative, because anybody who fails in government does so in a public way.”

Gordian’s teams have the privilege and good fortune to work with some of the best in the procurement profession, individuals that have been creative in finding solutions and progressive in challenging the status quo. All with the mission in mind.

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About Gordian

Gordian is the leader in facility and construction cost data, software and services for all phases of the building lifecycle. A pioneer of Job Order Contracting, Gordian’s solutions also include proprietary RSMeans data construction costs and Facility Intelligence Solutions. From planning to design, to procurement, construction and operations, Gordian’s solutions help clients maximize efficiency, optimize cost savings and increase building quality.