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The State of Procurement: 4 Takeaways from NIGP Forum

We learned a few things about the state of cooperative procurement during this year’s NIGP forum. Take a look at some of the most important industry trends.

Great things happen when the brightest minds in an industry come together to share ideas and learn from each other. This year’s NIGP Forum was a virtual event but that doesn’t mean it was any less informative or thought-provoking. The trends and issues discussed continued at the in-person Leadership Summit shortly after.

Attendees of both events experienced a wealth of phenomenal presentations, outstanding networking opportunities, and the chance to hear directly from peers about their recent experiences in the industry. Throughout the multi-day event, a few themes began to emerge and provide us a picture of the current state of procurement. Here is a look at some of the trends we noticed.

1. Cooperative Contracts are on the Rise

We heard from multiple speakers this year that the number of contracts containing cooperative language has grown substantially in the last year. Government entities are becoming more interested in cooperative contracts and their inherent benefits. They’re realizing how cooperative contracts provide them with more buying power, help understaffed teams, and provide them with more specific vendor selection. The pandemic has played a role here as well, with federal funding grants being issued to public entities for the purpose of building safer environments for everyone.

2. The Pandemic is Speeding Up the Evolution of Procurement

Unprecedented events and unique challenges cause companies and industries to pivot. While the pandemic has been difficult for all of us, there’s no question that it has given us all time to consider things and create new processes to orient us towards success. With the world shifting towards remote work, the supply chain experiencing constant disruptions, and the needs of our customers and internal organizations evolving, the cooperative procurement landscape has adapted to meet these new challenges head-on.

One of the most important ways we’ve seen this evolve is in the advent of new technologies. While workers in every industry embraced video conferencing and project management tools for remote work, procurement professionals further embraced technology platforms that help simplify the procurement process.

3. Socially Conscious Procurement is Growing in Importance

One trend that we’re really happy to see grow is an increased focus on socially conscious procurement. Whether it’s working with more minority or women-owned businesses, supporting veterans, finding climate-friendly vendors, or supporting more local communities, it’s clear that socially conscious initiatives are here to stay. We can all agree that these are important things to support, and we’re glad that it was a big topic at the NIGP Forum this year.

4. The Procurement Industry is Embracing the Future

Procurement specialists, cooperatives, agencies, and suppliers are more ready than ever before to experience the benefits of modern technology and business practices. There were several different presentations and panels talking about the ways technology is aiding procurement and allowing professionals to increase their effectiveness.

It’s becoming clear that procurement professionals understand the need to move on from the old model of spreadsheets, constant web searching through multiple sites, and playing email/phone tag in order to coordinate contract deals.

These are some of the main pain points we had in mind when we built CompareCoOps. When new technology is applied to massive industries like procurement, everyone involved in the process can experience the benefits, from agencies and cooperatives to suppliers. Change is a positive thing and it’s exciting to see the industry embracing it!

At CompareCoOps, we not only allow agencies to experience the benefits of cooperative purchasing, we actually enhance them. We even further reduce the time spent reviewing cooperative contracts, Book a demo with CompareCoOps, or learn more about the platform here.

Jennifer Sulentic 1sq

Jennifer Sulentic

Jennifer leads CompareCoOps in the US. With over ten years of experience at U.S. Communities and ProcureSource, she is well known and widely respected in the world of public procurement cooperative contracting.

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