Centralizing your procurement process, with Bonfire

Many public organizations operate in a partially or completely decentralized procurement model. This means that while the procurement team handles the majority of bids and RFPs, some departments or divisions (commonly Facilities or Public Works) run their own separate procurement process. 

All too often, this results in a situation where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, leading to organizational risk and missed opportunities. Many teams are looking to centralize procurement spend under one umbrella to gain better visibility into the big picture.

In the second instalment of the Bonfire Fall Webinar Series for Clients, we demonstrate how Bonfire makes it easier to centralize procurement across the organization to realize the benefits of visibility and consistency. 

Watch the full recording, or read on for a brief summary.

 

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Managing multiple departments in Bonfire 

 
Procurement teams can establish different Departments within the Bonfire platform. This allows teams to centralize all of their organization’s procurement activities in one place, while preserving a measure of separation between different buying departments.  

You can: 

  • Separate and report on procurement activities by department 
  • Limit user access between departments 
  • Conduct granular reporting by department 
  • Search projects or contracts by department 

Here are three key benefits of managing the procurement activities of multiple departments in one place: 

 

1. Easy reporting 

 

Bonfire makes it easy to view and report on procurement activities across the organization. 

With all projects occurring through the Bonfire platform, organizations ensure complete and consistent audit reports for each individual project, as well as consistent data and file storage. 

Insights graph in Bonfire

Side-by-side comparison of different departments’ cycle times. 

 

Not only that, leaders can access Project Insights which provide department-specific metrics on: 

    • RFP cycle length
    • Number of proposals 
    • Savings generated

This can be used for quick and easy reporting, as well as to inform future process improvements or bottlenecks that need to be resolved. 

 

2. Process consistency and compliance

 

When procurement is decentralized, it’s virtually impossible to ensure that all teams are following the correct process, adhering to procurement policy, and using up-to-date files. 

This results in greater exposure to risk, as well as a confusing experience for vendors who might bid on multiple opportunities with different departments. 

When procurement is centralized in Bonfire, teams can use Project Templates to enforce consistency in project set-up, minimize errors, and ensure compliance checks and balances are in place. These standardized templates have the added bonus of helping new employees get up and running quickly. 

Project Templates in Bonfire

Examples of Project Templates in Bonfire. 

 

Procurement users in all departments can use templates every time they create a new project, ensuring their project is pre-set with: 

  • Consistent language in project descriptions 
  • Standard public files
  • Standard internal files (for example, a go-live checklist or manual) 
  • Fields for requested forms or documents that are required for each project 

Any updates made by the procurement team can be universally applied, taking away the guessing game of having multiple versions floating around the organization. 

 

3. Effective vendor management 

 

There’s nothing worse than realizing that a poorly-performing vendor has just been contracted to work with your organization again by a different department. 

When your vendor management is centralized across the organization, this doesn’t happen. You can maintain one vendor record across the organization, giving other teams full context into existing or past contracts and vendor performance. 

Vendor Record in Bonfire

An example of a vendor record in Bonfire. 

 

Teams can also set up common vendor lists, saving time and providing efficiencies when running similar projects. 

 

Ready to see it for yourself? Schedule a live demo to see how Bonfire could work for your procurement organization.