Governments Find Savings and Efficiencies via E-Procurement

Georgia touts visibility and consolidation into acquisitions as a means to save money, while Maryland hails the streamlining of workflow management in its new electronic acquisition program.

State and local governments are increasingly adopting electronic procurement solutions to buy information technology products and services. As e-procurement implementation becomes widespread, it is changing the way agencies acquire IT resources. Some state and local governments use their traditional enterprise resource planning systems to integrate purchasing across their organizational structure.

According to the National Association of State Procurement Officers, e-procurement systems appeal to state and local governments because they support a great number of their goals, including improving transparency, promoting competition, expanding the supplier base, maintaining financial controls, measuring performance and promoting efficiency in workflow.

NASPO's 2019 list of Top 10 Priorities for State Procurement includes "Maximizing E-Procurement Solution Utilization and Functionality" as No. 4.

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Georgia Uncovers Budget Savings with E-Procurement Adoption

With its e-procurement vendor, Georgia enhanced its enterprise resource planning system with an online shopping portal that directs purchasing agencies to the state's negotiated contracts, producing a system called the Team Georgia Marketplace.

The system’s features provide visibility into financial transactions, automatically tracking and reporting on acquisitions by supplier, product or other characteristics.

“Team Georgia Marketplace has taken the State of Georgia into uncharted territory,” says Gina Tiedemann, deputy commissioner of operations for the Georgia Department of Administrative Services. “It is helping us to gain insight in valuable spend information that has never been available across the state in this depth. It allows us to understand what is important and which opportunities will lower the state’s costs and capture the most efficiencies.”

Tiedemann emphasizes the potential to achieve savings through the Team Georgia Marketplaces through consolidation of buying power. With e-procurement, the state can “accomplish more with its resources and free employees from time-consuming administrative work.”

Earlier this year, Oregon determined it potentially could have saved more than a billion dollars over the past two years with a statewide e-procurement system.

“A statewide e-procurement system would allow the state to replace fragmented legacy systems with one modern system that would allow for detailed spend analyses ... and eliminate redundancy and manual processes,” Katy Coba, Oregon's COO, told Government Technology.

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Maryland Emphasizes Workflow Management via E-Procurement

In 2019, Maryland launched an e-procurement system for its Department of General Services, establishing the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage system, known as eMMA. The system provides state agencies with a means by which to work with vendors, administer bidding and contracting, and complete purchases.

“Vendors will benefit from this easy-to-use, single access point to review and participate in sourcing opportunities across the state,” says Maryland Senior Procurement Executive Robert Gleason in a statement. “Our vendors are essential partners in Maryland’s success, and we want to ensure they have every opportunity to make full use of the eMMA system’s range of capabilities so we can enable fair, open and efficient access to all public business opportunities in Maryland.”

In May, Maryland Procurement released a statement to its partners explaining its move to eMMA.

“Our exciting new platform, called eMaryland Marketplace Advantage or eMMA, will provide improved eCommerce functionality and advanced capabilities that will benefit all users, including procurement professionals, vendors, government leaders and the public at large,” Maryland says.

“eMMA is a direct result of the Commission to Modernize State Procurement initiated by Governor Hogan in 2016, and managed by Lt. Governor Rutherford. This eProcurement platform will incorporate all phases of the procurement process from requisition through payment, with enhanced features such as contract management and reporting tools as well as analytical functions,” the state adds.

Maryland’s e-procurement system is available to state agencies, local governments, municipalities and local schools.

This article is part of StateTech's CITizen blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #StateLocalIT hashtag.

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Chainarong Prasertthai/Getty Images
Oct 30 2019

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