“Slowly but surely, public-sector procurement is changing. Starting in the 1990s, states began taking a smarter approach to the way they buy things. In the past decade, advances in technology and data — along with growing economic pressures — have led to more strategic purchasing processes in some states,” said Liz Farmer in her governing.com article Purchase Power: A Special Report on State Procurement. “The bad news is that states, by and large, have struggled to take full advantage of technology to improve procurement.”

Oftentimes states’ fear of playing favorites means they stay with the established processes for solicitions and choosing vendors. But recently reforms in certain states have led to adopting new technology with gains of increased purchasing flexibility, visibility into vendor performance, proper contract execution and tracking.

Said Farmer,” While many states are slogging through the beginning stages of these reforms — and some haven’t changed at all — a handful are clearly ahead. In an in-depth survey over the past year, the Governing Institute assessed state purchasing processes and ranked 39 state procurement offices, weighing factors such as contract management and effective implementation of technology.”

Gaining the full support of top-level officials is a major first step as state governments play “follow the leader” to more efficient procurement and innate visibility into spend. Learn who is on the tech leader board, check out http://media.navigatored.com/documents/GOV03_Procurement-infographic-web.pdf.

By: Tara Ann Neville