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How sourcing software helps procurement teams weather the silver tsunami

June 13, 2019 | Lindsay Kroes

sourcing software helping office teams

Much has been made of the ‘silver tsunami,’ which describes the looming wave of Baby Boomer retirements set to disrupt the public sector workforce in the next few years. Between 30% and 40% of state workers are currently eligible for retirement, with even higher numbers in local government. Meanwhile, most public sector teams (as many as 90% in some jurisdictions!) do not have succession plans in place for replacing employees or managers.

For procurement teams, which are often operating under strapped resources at the best of times, the impact will be magnified. The reality is that when veteran employees retire, decades of experience and institutional knowledge go with them.

Retention, training, and recruiting initiatives are valuable strategies to mitigate the impact of the anticipated ‘brain drain’ from senior staff retirements. However, these are long-term plans—and with nearly half of the public sector workforce eligible to retire today, teams need to start preparing now.

Sourcing software: a port in the storm of staff turnover

Transitioning your paper or Excel-based bid and RFP process onto a centralized sourcing platform provides several benefits to help manage staff turnover and retirements without missing a beat on your procurement.

  1. Centralize bid and RFP activities in one platform.

All too often, bid and RFP information is stored in filing cabinets and locally-stored spreadsheets. When a staff member leaves, their teams find themselves putting on their detective hats to find project information, connect with the right stakeholders, or piece together FOI requests or audit reports after the fact.  

At best, it’s a time sink—at worst, it’s a source of risk for your procurement function.

Sourcing software provides one central platform to manage all bid and RFP decisions, across all procurement staff, in one place. Retiring employees can grant access to their colleagues to provide immediate visibility into vendor details, proposal documents, evaluator information, scoring, and project communication for all past and current projects.

As a result, procurement teams have the up-to-date information they need to pick up where their colleagues left off.

  1. Do more with less.

Forty-two percent of government purchasing staff report that they are overworked—and the problem is likely to grow more acute as staff retire. In many cases, open positions are backfilled or go unfilled. Even if they are filled, the average hiring process in public sector takes 53.4 days, so teams can be expect to be shouldering an increased workload for some time.

Sourcing software helps procurement teams manage growing workloads by automating many of the tedious administrative steps in the process — such as manning the receiving desk, distributing proposals to evaluators by hand, or manually aggregating scorecards.

As a result, teams are able to reduce RFP cycle time by half, giving them additional capacity to keep up with increasing demands on their time.

  1. Operationalize best practices for quicker on-boarding and training.

Every team has a ‘go-to’ person, who is relied upon for questions, gut checks, or reminders on how the formulas work on complicated Excel files. You wish you could bottle up their knowledge—but alas, that technology hasn’t been developed yet.

The next best thing is using a sourcing platform to operationalize best practices across the procurement team. Templates and drafts ensure that standard clauses and compliance language are always included. Staff can also access all past projects in order to learn from previous examples that yielded high value contract awards.

While new team members are learning, experienced team members can maintain supervisory visibility over bid and RFP projects. This helps team members learn the ropes more quickly, with full peace of mind that all steps are being followed correctly.

See Bonfire sourcing software for yourself

Join our upcoming webinar for a firsthand demonstration of how the Bonfire sourcing platform supports teams in managing capacity gaps caused by retirements or staff turnover.

WEBINAR: 3 ways eSourcing can address the transit talent gap

June 25, 2 pm EDT  

About the author

Bonfire Blog Author Lindsay Kroes

Lindsay Kroes | Bonfire Interactive