Staples, Minn.,
16:29 PM

Sourcewell Moves to e-Procurement Model

Members, vendors to benefit from increased efficiency of procurement portal

Chris Robinson, Sourcewell procurement manager
The portal will eliminate the burdensome and time-consuming process of physically delivering RFP and IFB responses by mail or courier.
Chris Robinson, Sourcewell procurement manager

More than 50,000 members of Sourcewell will benefit from enhancements to the competitive contracting process as the cooperative purchasing organization officially launches an e-procurement platform.

The Sourcewell Procurement Portal is an online RFP-response system that provides vendors in the marketplace a more efficient and responsive opportunity to submit proposals for Sourcewell contract solicitations. According to Sourcewell Procurement Manager Chris Robinson, Sourcewell is launching the Sourcewell Procurement Portal to enhance its competitive process. It will also improve communication of opportunities to prospective vendors and create a more efficient process for vendor responses.

“The portal will eliminate the burdensome and time-consuming process of physically delivering RFP and IFB responses by mail or courier,” Robinson notes. “The first posting of a solicitation on the Sourcewell Procurement Portal occurred on April 1, with the posting of a solicitation for indefinite quantity construction services in the state of Colorado.”

Robinson says, while the benefit is great for current and potential vendors, members should have an even greater sense of confidence in Sourcewell's mission of providing better competition, pricing, and efficiency.

“Members should see an increase in the competitiveness of Sourcewell solicitations as a result of more vendor participation. In addition, the Sourcewell Procurement Portal will serve as a single point of information for members on currently pending solicitations and previously awarded contract categories.”

Robinson says with the increased use of technology, online procurement platforms prove to be a best practice in the industry. Bids & Tenders™, an online bidding service, was selected by Sourcewell to help carry out this step in moving forward with the process.

“I am most excited to see the hard work of our procurement department come to fruition,” Robinson says. “We engaged in a rigorous competitive solicitation to identify and select the platform that fit the Sourcewell process the best and provided the most value for Sourcewell, our vendors, and members. eSolutions Group, through the Bids & Tenders platform, has been a strong partner and very responsive to Sourcewell's specific needs and requirements.”

Director of Operations and Procurement/CPO Jeremy Schwartz notes this is, easily, the single most progressive cycle of improvements Sourcewell has made to its procurement process in recent years.

“Not only are we launching a new sourcing process through our eProcurement platform, we have synchronized the platform release with multiple refinements to our procurement and contract documents,” Schwartz adds. “I am proud of the great work our team has done to bring this round of procurement continuous improvement to implementation.”

About Sourcewell

Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota's nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with more than 325 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.