State, local agencies can streamline buying with 'procurement as a service'

BidSync has unveiled a complete management system for state and local government agencies that allows them to control every aspect of their procurement and purchasing activities via a software-as-a service portal.

BidSync ProcurePointe lets government agencies manage their entire purchasing cycle by handling complex activities, including audit trails, transparency and tracking of spending within a secure data structure, said Sabrina Stover, CEO of BidSync.

Spending by federal, state and local governments now accounts for a significant portion of the U.S. gross domestic product. As a result, a new economy has emerged known as gBusiness, the intersection of business and government, which has created a $5.5 trillion market, according to officials at Onvia, another provider of e-procurement services to the government.

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Since 1999, the company has provided e-procurement services to state and municipal governments through an on-demand cloud platform, Stover said. The BidSync eProcure software suite, categorizes a wide range of vendors and suppliers to quickly focus bid efforts. It intelligently automates bid creation, organizes fast electronic bid tabulation of responses, and directs workflow to provide reports on the post-award contract management progress. BidSync has a database of 750,000 vendors and suppliers, Stover said.

The key differences now driving e-procurement are the requirement for government to make more operations transparent to the public and the desire for government to gain better visibility into its spending.

As a result, ProcurePointe provides visibility of budgets and amounts remaining with a dashboard view. Executive dashboards provide insights into spending management performances and vendor performance.

The software lets agencies easily track and know where the assets are stored. By combining receiving with invoicing, users receive a full two-way or three-way matching to ensure they are only paying for what has been received, Stover said. The software also simplifies and incorporates all types and levels of approval processes.

More than 1,000 agencies use BidSync’s software services, including the states of California and Connecticut, the Michigan School Board, and municipalities such as Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Maricopa, Ariz.; and Orange County, Calif., Stover said.

Agencies pay an annual subscription for BidSync’s on-demand software with contracts lasting three to five years, Stover said, adding that as a software-as-a-service solution the services can be customized to meet the requirements of specific agencies. Pricing can range from $20,000 for smaller agencies to $1 million for larger ones. The return on investment can be substantial once agencies gain better insight into their spending on goods and services. For example, the county of Maricopa’s Corrections Department paid $100,000 for the BidSync software and has saved $1 million for the purchase of flour for bread, Stover said.

The BidSync software is hosted by Rackspace, which has secure facilities in Chicago and in Texas that conform to federal and state government requirements, Stover said. The company has another software module, Reverse Auction, which BidSync officials hope to sell to the federal government.

Reverse auctions are online, electronic strategic sourcing events where the roles of buyers and sellers are reversed. Sellers compete with each other in real time to lower the cost for the good/service. Instead of the highest bidder winning the bid, sellers are tasked with offering the lowest bid to make them the winner of the bid.

There are other companies offering e-procurement to the government, but Stover said they do not offer solutions that cover the complete procurement life cycle. Onvia and BidNet focus on the sourcing side and putting requests for proposals into motion. Periscope Holdings Inc. focuses on secure payments. Sciquest is a company that is coming closer to offering a complete e-procurement management system, Stover said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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Reader Comments

Tue, May 15, 2012 Bray B.

Colin, while it is true that our ProcurePointe solution is a result of our partnership with Coupa, ProcurePointe is indeed a unique and fully integrated solution. Our integration is designed to be an overall, tightly integrated solution which offers added functionality as a result of our joint efforts.

Tue, May 15, 2012 Bray B.

I am a vice president with BidSync. We have been selling software to state and local agencies for nearly 15 years, and there are indeed more than 1,000 state and local government agencies registered and using our software services.

Wed, Apr 25, 2012

BidSync executives are responsible for accuracy of the information posted in their press releases and they have certainly embellished in this article. This article boasts over 1000 Agencies using the BidSync platform and this is completely false and misleading information.

Wed, Apr 25, 2012 Colin Jones

I need to add another point. Again, I applaud any article on eProcurement, but the information is not completely accurate. BidSync did not develop its new platform and partnered with Coupa, who has a strong presence in the commercial market. You have two solutions being proposed to complete the procure to pay cycle and I hope they are integrated as tightly as necessary. To further elaborate, Coupa partners with several "eSourcing" vendors like BidSync, so this is not a unique relationship. It is exciting to see someone with Bidsync's experience expand its offering to further eProcurement to the Public Sector. It expands the number of offerings available on the market beyond Ariba, Periscope and SciQuest (who completed the p2p solution cycle with the acquisition of AECSoft USA in 12/2010).

Wed, Apr 25, 2012 Colin Jones

To the post about small business/veteran owned businesses, eProcurement technology actually levels the playing field. The right platform enables these types of businesses on the same level as larger corporations. Again, the key is the right platform, since the supplier management support is what really levels it out.

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