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Why sharing resources is key to optimizing procurement

September 16, 2021 | Bonfire Interactive

Procurement professionals collaborating and sharing resources

When we talk about innovation in procurement, we tend to equate it with digital transformation or next-gen technology. And that’s certainly not wrong. It’s a big part of what we do here at Bonfire. But innovative procurement can actually take a lot of different forms. Just ask Carol Izzio, our special guest on the latest episode of Inside Public Procurement.

With over 15 years of experience in the field, Carol is the Director of Procurement at Sheridan College. An expert in the higher ed realm, she’s also worked in healthcare purchasing in both the public and private sectors.

According to Carol, the key to innovation is being creative “about the way you procure. And be[ing] innovative about the tools that you’re using to help you procure.” She joins us on our latest episode to talk about one surprisingly simple—but game-changing—approach to innovation: collaboration.

Here are some of our favorite lightbulb moments from the conversation. Have a read and be sure to check out the full episode on our website or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Procurement’s bad habit of reinventing the wheel

“In the past, public procurement has always been [done in] silos,” Carol says. Individual institutions would create their own procurement policies and processes, “so, we’ve been known to reinvent the wheel.”

In recent years, and especially with the pressure placed on procurement teams during the pandemic, it’s been increasingly important for agencies to collaborate. Carol explains why it’s so important to start sharing resources, tools, templates, and best practices right now.

The need for collaboration between agencies

The concept of pooling resources and working together for mutual benefit has been around for probably as long as humans have. And despite the fact that it’s not new, it’s still key to innovation and, in particular, optimizing procurement.

“Optimization is really about using each other. So, we have a ton of professional procurement people out there. There are a ton of procurement organizations out there.” Rather than starting from scratch on a new procurement policy, for example, Carol says the best way to optimize time and resources is by reaching out to other institutions.

She sees duplication of effort happening all too often and, in our latest episode, she shares her tips for tapping into existing networks and resources.

Maximizing value with sustainable procurement

In the second half of our conversation, we switch gears to chat about another hot topic in procurement right now: sustainability. Specifically, how can procurement teams make the most of taxpayer dollars through sustainable procurement policies?

For Carol and her colleagues at Sheridan, sustainable procurement “isn’t just about clean purchasing” or reducing the organization’s environmental impact. It’s procurement that “achieves social, economical, environmental, and financial goals.”

When planning their approach to sustainable procurement, Carol says her team focused on shifting priorities to drive those goals. “Let’s see what we can do about keeping our communities healthy, people in jobs, making sure that we can support people who have smaller companies, or who want to start entrepreneur groups, and let’s try and support them.”

More aha moments on the podcast

Catch the full episode for more advice and firsthand experience from Carol on how to promote collaboration, optimize procurement, and approach conversations around sustainability policies in your agency.

Hungry for more tips, insights, and inspiration you can use to level up your procurement strategy? Head over to our website, or find Inside Public Procurement on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts!

About the author

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Bonfire Interactive

Bonfire helps public procurement teams reach better sourcing outcomes through an experience that’s blazingly fast, powered by peer insights, and so easy to use—vendors love it just as much as buyers do.