Main challenges in public sector procurement

Procurement has transformed into a core and strategic department in most organisations. It is more…...

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Procurement has transformed into a core and strategic department in most organisations. It is more than reducing costs of sourcing products and materials; procurement is now a process-driven and innovative profit-centre helping organisations to increase efficiency and ensure customer delight. The same cannot be said about public sector procurement, as it has to face many challenges and roadblocks to implement innovation and efficiencies.

In the public sector, procurement professionals must operate within a specific framework, which focuses more on integrity than ensuring a smooth supply chain. If you are keen to become part of public sector procurement, here are a few challenges that you may have to reckon with:

Adopting new procurement approaches

The legacy systems that public procurement uses are outdated. While the government has created different platforms that need suppliers and vendors to register to qualify, SMEs are not getting the kind of business from the public sector they had anticipated.

Most public procurement professionals are not at ease adopting new tools and techniques to purchase, as they need to leave their comfort zone and also get to know new suppliers. Such professionals must realise that the optimisation of new procurement methods ensure efficiency.

Ensuring a smooth supply chain

The public sector has stringent rules with which suppliers must comply. Therefore, it is a challenge to find and qualify vendors and suppliers while ensuring optimal compliance and governance. As a result, it can be tough to ensure smooth and uninterrupted supply chain.

The sector cannot do much when suppliers fail to keep to their commitments. Some mechanism is essential to get suppliers to adhere to their promises so that the supply chain performs smoothly. It will also enable a long-lasting relationship with the supplier and the concerned department or agency.

Engaging local suppliers

With Brexit a couple of months away, it has become paramount that the public sector focuses on engaging local suppliers to meet their requirements. With Britain leaving the European Union at the end of October 2019, supply chains will be disrupted due to price fluctuations and borders. The public sector needs to focus more on bringing local and indigenous suppliers into the fold and also looking at non-EU suppliers.

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