A Tool to Bring Structure to the Complex Web that is Managing Vendors | OnActuate
 In Public Sector, Trending Insights

When it comes to supply chain management, there are typical concerns that many organizations face.

Public Sector agencies face an extra layer of complexity as they work with all types of vendors – everything from office supplies to services for the city to materials for city operations such as construction. Additionally, the Public Sector is required to keep records of all transactions since it is subject to public record requests. Attempting to juggle multiple vendor relationships across the entire spectrum of public services while staying compliant can feel like a nightmare, but we have designed a solution that can help.

Top challenges when working with vendors

When it comes to business operations in government, transparency and visibility are essential. Because it is managed and funded by the government, the Public Sector often faces unique problems and complications.

  • Difficulty meeting citizen expectations – Delivering seamless customer experience in a public sector enterprise requires effectively managing relationships with several external vendors. Vendors are used across a wide variety of public sector initiatives and failing to manage the procurement process can have a dramatic impact on customer experience, resulting in delayed service delivery, canceled projects, or flawed products. Not being able to effectively manage multiple vendors on a central platform can lead to a lack of outreach and limited vendor interactions.
  • Lack of technology support – Current Vendor Management systems tend to miss the mark. Typical concerns with current systems include a lack of real-time intelligence and insights, difficulty meeting customer expectations, and limited flexibility to innovate. Many vendors are also not ale to gain access to all the RFPs, so they can bid for all that are relevant. RFPs, purchase orders, invoices, quotes, and communications can be overwhelming for public sector employees— which is where a vendor collaboration platform can help.
  • Staying compliant – To stay compliant, Public Sector agencies must clearly document vendor relationships and transactions. Because of how the Public Sector is funded, there are barriers to how business operations can be performed. For example, Public Sector entities are required to thoroughly document financial and business interactions because they are subject to public records requests. Managing multiple strict compliance requirements can be a challenge to Public Sector entities, especially without the proper tools and procedures.
The Foundation – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management makes operational innovation and technology modernization possible. Dynamics 365 provides the foundation to optimize supply chain management. Using the powers of Dynamics, modern vendor collaboration systems can optimize the fulfillment of orders, streamline the procurement process and gain visibility into product inventory, accelerate product delivery, and implement a unified and intelligent production lifecycle.

Additionally, the Dynamics platform allows for technology modernization throughout the life cycle of the system. The solution allows a business to automate their processes across Dynamics 365 solutions, build and deploy scalable web and mobile client apps, move towards innovation by infusing IoT and mixed reality, and enable effective business processes with unified apps and data

Extend Reach, Go Paperless – The Future of Vendor Collaboration

OnActuate has helped many state and local governments increase efficiencies and minimize risk through our services and solutions. Our Vendor Collaboration Solution is a modern portal that can be added to your Microsoft Dynamics 365 system. With the OnActuate Vendor Collaboration Solution, you can increase outreach to your vendors through a modern portal to centrally manage the bidding process. It enables a transparent bidding process with minimal manual intervention and prompt availability of bid results on the due date.

Benefits include:

Greater Reach and Tracking

  • Being online offers wider reach to potential vendors
  • Retain records of all collaboration actions for vendor performance evaluations and auditing purposes
  • Scalable native mobile apps to empower vendors to see updates from anywhere, anytime
  • Better support and transparency for citizens

Automation and User-Friendly Interface

  • Autosuggested Request for Quotations (RFQ’s) for vendors to bid based on their registered categories
  • Workflows to provision new interface users and manage their security roles
  • A centrally managed bidding process so there is no need to use 3rd party platforms, making it easier to track and manage vendors
  • Collaborate with external vendors using a vendor collaboration interface that displays information about purchase orders, invoices, and bidding opportunities
  • Use the vendor collaboration mobile workspace to help vendors stay informed on purchase order statuses and respond easily to orders that are awaiting approval

Stay Compliant

  • Extended features to help procurement departments remain fair and compliant
  • Allows for a greater outreach to a wider base of vendors so businesses can reach out to provide opportunities to diverse groups like Women Owners, Veterans, and Minority Groups
  • It assists with automation and ensures vendors receive Confirmed Purchase Orders. It also improves transparency by providing details about the status of invoices and payments
  • Anybody can access public records about the various bids awarded to vendors
  • Vendors can themselves complete their contract compliance online to stay active and ensure smooth business with the agencies
  • Overall, these features enable Public Agencies to retain their vendors and achieve efficiency

Better for the environment

  • Paperless options are better for the environment because they use less organic material and do not produce waste
  • Reduces paperwork with electronic submissions
  • Digital invoicing shows all purchase orders and payment details right away
OnActuate Vendor Collaboration Solution – Desktop Application

OnActuate Vendor Collaboration Solution – Mobile Application

The valuable OnActuate Vendor Collaboration Solution is an extension of the Power Portal, Azure Logic Apps, and CDS Data Integration to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management

Watch our webcast on-demand for a demo of the Vendor Collaboration Solution from a technical architect >

What does this mean for the Public Sector?

By utilizing a vendor collaboration platform, public sector companies can provide vendors with access to a portal where they can upload necessary documents, gain insight into the bidding and procurement process, and view invoices and payment status, while public sector organizations can manage the end-to-end procurement process, manage vendor relationships, and handle vendor scoring and payments. By using a vendor collaboration platform, public sector agencies can begin to apply some order and structure to a complex web of vendor relationships.

Read more about our Vendor Collaboration Solution >

Customer Showcase: City of Columbus

The City of Columbus partnered with OnActuate to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and implement our Cashiering and Vendor Collaboration solutions. Here is what Cheryl Reed, Dynamics Solution Manager at City of Columbus, said about the streamlined experience the City can now provide to vendors who bid on services and goods to the city, including an automated registration process:

“With the OnActuate-developed registration process, we have registered nearly 3,000 vendors since go-live in January 2021. We had a goal of providing a public-facing vendor portal to display all RFQs posted for the city without requiring authentication. OnActuate developed a power portal application for vendors to display all open RFQs, details, and attachments for public consumption.”

Ready for Vendor Collaboration done right?

Simplifying and controlling vendor interactions helps make procurement and vendor-related activities more effective and accurate. If you would like to discuss whether our Vendor Collaboration Solution is the right fit for you, please contact an OnActuate team member today. We are happy to help!

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