January 19, 2024 • Thought Leadership
Navigating a Government Budget Freeze
With many states facing budget shortfalls and a freeze on spending, agencies more than ever need to control their spend management per the Budget Letter, a necessity for all governments regardless of their financial situation. However, existing processes and technologies need to meet these stringent requirements. City Innovate has managed over 15 billion dollars of government spending on critical goods and services, developing deep expertise in helping agencies best manage budgets to serve their constituents.
Read more to learn how City Innovate’s centralized, end-to-end procurement solution allows for better visibility and management of spend.
Getting the most out of your budget and improving efficiency is critical when dealing with budget cuts. Having a centralized solution that allows for better visibility and control of the entire spending in the wake of budget cuts is critical. This is where City Innovate comes in. Our Document Process Automation platform automates the procurement and contracting lifecycle end-to-end, increasing efficiency, visibility, and control of your spend.
Step 1: Intake and Requisition
Each year, government agency purchasing divisions receive hundreds of purchase orders, contracting, and budget change proposal requests across departments. Keeping track of and reporting on the status of all requests can be daunting. Legacy applications such as email, SharePoint, Lotus Notes, and MS Dynamics, are decentralized, leaving users to manage across multiple tools. As a result, visibility and reporting become time-consuming and error-prone. City Innovate’s Intake Module solves these challenges by providing a centralized intake mechanism for purchasing divisions to aggregate and gather requests, increasing collaboration and streamlining approval processes for faster time to value.
Intake may also involve conducting market research to identify potential suppliers or vendors who can provide the needed goods or services. Click here to learn more about City Innovate’s Market Research-as-a-Service offering.
Step 2: Solicitation Development
Building competitive procurements is complex and requires many stakeholders and documents. It’s a rigorous and structured process to ensure transparency, fairness, and efficiency. There are many challenges involved, including maintaining regulatory compliance, navigating complex requirements, stakeholder collaboration, and performance management. City Innovate simplifies and streamlines this process with Document Builder – the core of the City Innovate Document Automation Process platform. Document Builder dramatically accelerates the fundamental procurement, contracts, and budgeting processes, facilitating a faster time to result. Engineered for remote work and collaboration, Document Builder makes it easy to manage the contributions of hundreds of subject matter experts, all while ensuring strict compliance, eliminating version control headaches, and incorporating existing business logic and process flows.
Step 3: Vendor Portal
Vendor submissions in government procurement can be an intricate and challenging process for both government agencies and vendors. Complex and lengthy documentation, strict compliance requirements, diversity and inclusion goals, and manual submission and evaluation processes can dramatically affect procurement timelines. Flash and zip drives, emails, and printed documents no longer suffice. Thanks to City Innovate, submitting government contract bids and managing vendor profiles has never been easier or more convenient. The City Innovate online submission portal streamlines the submission process and makes it more efficient. Procurement Staff can process submissions more quickly, reduce errors, and improve communication with vendors. Vendors now have a more convenient and user-friendly experience, enabling online bid or proposal submissions easily and quickly. Click here to learn more about our online submission portal.
STEP 4: EVALUATION MANAGEMENT
Maintaining transparency and fairness in the evaluation process is critical to avoid favoritism or corruption. The challenge lies in ensuring that all vendors are treated equally and that evaluation criteria are applied consistently. Government procurement often involves a diverse pool of vendors ranging from large corporations to small businesses and minority-owned enterprises. Evaluating submissions from such a diverse group while considering their unique capabilities and limitations can be challenging. To solve these challenges, many agencies have turned to Microsoft Excel workbooks containing complex criteria and formulas to manage this process; often introducing unintended errors and delaying the procurement process. City Innovate replaces evaluation workbooks with a modern, flexible approach. Our no-code platform for Document Process Automation supports evaluations that can range from the very simple to the complex. Procurement officers can invite evaluators to participate and assign them to review submissions. Scores from evaluators are captured automatically and granular permissions protect the anonymity of evaluators and ensure that results are not tampered with. City Innovate takes care of calculating the final scores based on the weighting schema selected. Learn more about City Innovate’s Evaluation Builder.
Step 5: Contract Award
Contracts are the foundation of business relationships. Effective contract generation mitigates risks and maximizes value, ensures compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and organizational policies, and clarifies requirements and expectations – ensuring suppliers understand and can meet specific needs. Most importantly, it establishes a legal framework by defining terms and conditions and providing the necessary documentation.
Understanding and incorporating legal requirements into a contract can be taxing, as is keeping up with changes in laws and regulations. From finding the right balance between legal precision and plain language to anticipating potential risks and contingencies to protect the interests of all parties, contract administration takes significant time. The suite of City Innovate collaboration tools facilitates effective communication and coordination amongst all stakeholders to address any issues or concerns that arise during contract creation. Amendment and renewal flows help summarize and manage changes to the contract while ensuring proper documentation and approvals are obtained. With City Innovate Contract Administration, you can create contracts, contract amendments, and contract renewals without ever having to leave the platform. Download the City Innovate Contract Administration overview to learn more.
Step 6: Contract Lifecycle Management
Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) is the process of managing and optimizing the entire lifecycle of a contract, from its creation and negotiation through to execution, performance, and eventually, expiration or renewal. City Innovate’s CLM offers an effective solution for centralized request intake, thereby streamlining all contracting processes. The solution consolidates contract requests through a unified employee portal, which not only enables the easy collection and tracking of requests but also enhances operational productivity by offering a single workspace across existing systems. The CLM incorporates an automated response system, equipped with natural language processing, to promptly address common inquiries, further improving efficiency. The solution allows for auto rejection for incomplete submission or lack of authorization, and workflow routing and approval ensure sign-off is conducted before contract development. City Innovate CLM allows for the configuration of playbooks, serving as a guide for work teams through the various contracting processes, and facilitating planning for projects, initiatives, and expenditures. Real-time analytics provide valuable insights into contract performance, aiding in ongoing process and spend optimization.
City Innovate has managed over 15 billion dollars of government spending on critical goods and services, developing deep expertise in helping agencies best manage budgets to serve their constituents. Connect with our experts to learn more.