The government’s mammoth use of public resources, goods, and services has made public procurement a multifaceted and complex industry. It entails the efficient and streamlined acquisition of supplies and assets, from public sectors and commercial businesses, such as real estate, construction, office supplies, and healthcare equipment.
Before any deal comes through, however, prices must first be pre-negotiated and government agencies need to draw up legal contracts with suppliers. According to a report by the United States Government Accountability Office, the federal government spent more than $665 billion on contracts in the fiscal year 2020, a significant increase of over $70 billion from the previous year. Half of this increase is attributed to spending on pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to treat COVID-19 patients.
Since government agencies use taxpayer money in acquiring the goods and services that they need, it is critical for these organizations to follow a number of regulations and comply with state laws. Otherwise, the consequence, as anyone with a public administration degree will tell you, can be catastrophic. Government procurement software makes these processes incredibly easy. Organizations can streamline government request for proposal (RFP) and vendor management processes. Modern governments could hardly do without these digital applications. For guidance, we compiled the best government procurement software available in the marketplace today.
Government procurement involves a series of crucial processes that allows government organizations to deliver public services, from supplier and vendor sourcing to contract management and purchasing resources for the current and future needs of state and local governments. Whether in the health care, defense, social protection, education sector, or law enforcement systems, government procurement encompasses the acquisition of supplies, infrastructures, and professional services from the best-fitting vendors and contractors.
Over the years, the federal government has spent hundreds of billion dollars on contracts with various industries. In 2020, government spending on contracts recorded an all-time high of $682 billion, the highest in the last five years (Bloomberg Gov, 2022).
Buoyed in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, fiscal 2020 marked the fifth straight year of increased contract spending by the federal government. As the pandemic created serious financial and health burdens for many US households, the federal government contracted expenditures on medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, with COVID-19-related transactions amounting to $45 billion in fiscal 2020.
Let’s take a look at some of the key statistics relating to government contract spending during the onset of COVID-19.
Source: Nextgov (2022)
Government organizations from different parts of the world spend around 17% of their GDP, or $100 trillion, on the purchase of supplies, work, and services (Bid Detail, 2022). To ensure that all services, goods, and suppliers will be given non-discriminatory and fair opportunities to compete in the government procurement of trading partners, the United States includes government procurement obligations in its free trade agreements (FTAs).
With this trade policy, vendors and suppliers can compete on a level playing field for foreign government procurement. As such, here are some of the latest statistics and reports discussing the agencies responsible for awarding the most contracts in fiscal year 2020.
In search for new clientele and business funding, one great source of revenue opportunities that small business owners should recognize is the federal government. As a vast organizational entity, the government has to purchase goods and services to deliver civilian services and function effectively.
Accordingly, a growing number of small businesses are now actively pursuing government contracting opportunities as part of their customer development strategy. Below are some of the latest statistics on government contracts for small businesses.
With a clear need for acquiring goods and services, public offices implement a government procurement software to streamline the planning, acquisition, and distribution of their needed resources. Some of these resources include medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, information technology software, and other essential needs—all of which are necessary for improving the welfare of the public.
Ultimately, a government procurement software enables government agencies to find suppliers and contractors with good performance record and reputation. At the same time, the best government procurement software ensures compliance with state laws and regulations and helps organizations meet production and delivery schedules.
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office (2020)
Bid Detail is a one-stop shop for federal opportunities and government tenders from all over the world. It provides government organizations with the latest procurement news and access to contract award data. It also provides bidding consultancy and facilitation services, enabling government tenders to broaden their business boundaries and government clientele worldwide. Furthermore, Bid Detail consolidates data on the latest bids and contracts awarded from different countries all across the globe.
Vendor Registry is a procurement solution for vendors and local purchasers. It has a wide range of vendor management tools that helps government organizations to streamline procurement processes, improve efficiency, and reduce errors.
The platform is also built with a self-service portal that allows vendors to register themselves to do business with local purchasers and government agencies. With its contract management features, Vendor Registry helps organizations store and manage contracts, vendor documents, and renewals from a single, centralized location.
Keelvar is a procurement management solution ideal for enterprise-level clients who need to streamline their supplier sourcing processes. With its intelligent automation and easy-to-use sourcing optimization tool, the platform helps enterprises accelerate digital transformation, boost cost savings, and improve efficiency. The solution also allows organizations to create, launch, manage, and award more quickly and efficiently.
Airbase is an all-in-one solution for approval workflows, accounting automation, corporate card management, bill payments, and employee reimbursements. It helps organizations take control and manage their expenses by budget owners and accounting managers to view spending by team member, vendor, or department in real time.
The solution also provides real-time visibility on every purchase request and approval within organizations, enabling teams to take actions on duplicate subscriptions, control ad spends, and budget travel costs and other resources.
EZGovOpps is a web-based intelligence tool that helps government contractors manage contract summaries, file cabinets, and targeted agencies. The platform is built with an extensive database that yields detailed contract and program information, allowing organizations to discover thousands of major programs and IDIQs, including SEWP V, TAPS, EAGLE II, or any other criteria. EZGovOpps is also packed with file management features to streamline the assignment of priority levels, management of mod alerts, custom tags, and team members.
GovWinIQ is an industry-leading platform that enables companies to discover and win contracts with the U.S. federal, state, local, and Canadian governments. The platform is continuously updated by award-winning industry experts, enabling contractors to identify early-stage opportunities, build relationships, come up with strategic plans, and navigate the competitive landscape. GovWin IQ also provides access to comprehensive government agency spending data and thousands of procurement contacts.
Scientist.com is an award-winning marketplace that helps scientists find the right tools and technologies that they need to run, design, and execute experiments and research data management processes. It allows organizations in the science and technology fields to digitize and optimize research operations, such as tracking purchases, negotiating prices, managing legal contracts, and handling payments. The platform leverages AI and machine learning algorithms to help scientists find the best suppliers and investors.
UrbanLeap is a procurement platform specifically built for local governments that need to develop quality solicitation documents, receive more proposals, and get the procurement data that they need. With a collaborative, data-driven approach, the platform enables local government agencies to simplify and eliminate the guesswork in procurement processes. It also helps organizations in developing strong solicitation documents by incorporating stakeholder requirements, best practices, and data from other cities and municipalities.
Citymart is a procurement solution that helps local government organizations innovate, reduce costs, and win contracts through high-quality information and advice in the procurement process. and improve life for city workers and residents. It is an innovative and thoroughly evidenced resource platform intended for procurement officers, as well as city leaders who want to unlock business and environmental opportunities. The solution offers consulting services for problem-based procurement, procurement challenges, and rigorous market engagement.
Tradeshift is a comprehensive business network platform designed to help organizations digitize trade and build a modern B2B supply chain network. It provides a variety of tools to streamline procurement processes, such as e-procurement and supply marketplaces, payments automation, and electronic invoicing.
The solution also enables buyers and suppliers to digitize invoice processes and automate accounts payable workflows. Moreover, Tradeshift provides sellers with free and unlimited access to supplier analytics and supplier collaboration.
Salesforce Government Cloud is a procurement platform that provides government organizations with a unified space for all their procurement data, systems, and processes. It helps government employees boost agency productivity, collaborate securely, and automate internal workflows and IT operations.
The solution leverages customizable technology and proven capabilities to meet the procurement needs of federal civilian agencies, aerospace companies, government contractors, defense agencies, and state and local governments at all levels.
Procurated provides a best-in-class procurement solution that helps public offices reward good supplier performance. It enables government, education, and healthcare buyers to find enterprises and contractors who have done outstanding work for public organizations.
With its extensive vendor directory, the platform allows procurement officers to discover the best and top-rated suppliers among hundreds of goods and service categories across different socio-economic designations and geographic areas.
GovSpend is an industry-leading procurement solution that helps government agencies get quotes from vendors for the products and services that they need. It enables government organizations to become competitive and avoid overspending by providing complete visibility into each vendor’s book of government business.
Moreover, GovSpend allows government organizations to grow their contacts, reach out to other agencies who have purchased the same products and services from a specific vendor, and consider peer reviews to make smarter procurement decisions.
Periscope is a public sector procurement solution designed to help government agencies streamline procurement processes and ensure that they are following the best procurement practices. It provides organizations with a one-stop public sector marketplace where government agencies can shop for open market catalogs and publicly sourced contracts. On top of simplifying the procurement experience, Periscope also allows government buyers to compare product specs, prices, and services.
Avisare provides a convenient, simple, intuitive, and customized procurement tool to government agencies that need to simplify contractor and vendor management processes. It has bidding management features to help government buyers spend less time on vendor research and more on relevant opportunities for the best contractors and suppliers. Avisare also makes it easier for small businesses to compete for contracts and help boost the local economy.
SmartProcure is a procurement platform built for government organizations that need a transparent and comprehensive database for optimum procurement practices. It encourages free and open exchange of information to improve the procurement process of government agencies. The platform works with thousands of government agencies to aggregate their purchasing data into a single, robust, and easily searchable database.
Bidspeed is a comprehensive procurement software that provides government organizations with opportunity data from thousands of public sources. It has a plethora of essential tools to help government buyers find the right opportunities and respond to vendors on time. The solution also makes procurement processes more simple, repeatable, and accurate.
Bidspeed helps small business contractors win government contracts and take control of the entire procurement process, from market research, business development, and capture management to bidding and proposal management.
CJIS Group is a market intelligence tool that helps contractors sell their technology to state and local governments. It enables vendors to monitor and track down contacts, RFPs, budgets, contracts, and bids to uncover quality leads. The platform provides procurement notifications and detailed agency information, enabling contractors to gain a better understanding of their clients. CJIS Group also allows vendors to keep track of projects, from pre-RFP to contract awarding.
Logica offers comprehensive legal, financial, and administrative services to optimize procurement processes in public sector institutions. It helps government agencies remain compliant with state regulations on public procurement and financial management and control. The solution also offers consulting services in the sphere of public law and finance, public spending, and public procurement.
Digisoft is a government contract management software that enables government agencies to simplify contracting processes, from finding company and project information to managing approval workflows. The platform provides an interactive dashboard that allows organizations to keep up to date with important metrics, such as project spending, utilization of resources, and company and project performance. Digisoft also offers purchase order management and travel and subcontract expense features to help government agencies improve procurement processes.
Finding the best government procurement software is a difficult undertaking—after all, not all systems are created equal, and there is no one-size-fits-all government procurement platform. As you can see from the list of platforms in this article, each one has a distinct set of features and capabilities, and some offer a more comprehensive set of functionalities than the others. In choosing the most ideal government procurement platform, it is important to consider a system that supports large-scale government sourcing and bid processes.
Government procurement involves a series of complex processes. That’s why government agencies should leverage the assistance of modern tools and applications for managing requisitions, approvals, awards, and compliance management. With the help of a government procurement platform, public offices and organizations can easily facilitate online collaboration with their vendors, contractors, and suppliers.
Governments today take on many roles that require modern computer applications. Consequently, they find themselves relying on many modern systems if they are to run efficiently. For example, providing public transportation used to be a relatively simple affair, but the ever-growing population and the vast, complex need it entails mean they have to turn to public transportation software providers.
All these systems put together eventually translates to mountains of data that only the best public records management software can handle.
To know more about other software products ideal for government agencies, you may also check out our guide to the top government software currently available in the marketplace.