There’s surely a lot of exciting things occurring in the world of municipal work. Changing work culture is causing a boom in development in previously smaller local economies, and federal funds from recent legislation are being invested towards physical and digital infrastructure in local communities nationwide.
Federal regulations and additional funding will undoubtedly raise the bar for local governments, meaning your municipality will have to prepare to embrace modern infrastructure and ensure expenditures get the best value for taxpayers.
Procurement related to goods and services will be one of the most critical tasks for your government to consider in coming years. As the infrastructure bill and American Rescue Plan inject Federal funds into your municipality, the need for hiring private businesses and government contractors for support will be needed in all communities in the country, regardless of geographic location and population size.
Follow along for clear insights into how procurement software can revolutionize government bidding and contract management as you gear up to make changes to your local infrastructure.
Why Does Procurement Matter for Local Governments in 2022?
Two major federal pieces of legislation were passed in 2021 to provide an update to American infrastructure. Within the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, trillions are being given directly to municipal governments to spend as they deem fit based on their biggest issues and challenges.
Local governments will need to apply for federal grants and consider hiring contractors for a variety of meaningful infrastructure projects. With money allocated towards resilient physical infrastructure meant to withstand natural disasters, your municipality will need to hire construction contractors. For a digital infrastructure plan like improving broadband internet in an area with poor-connection, you’ll need to consider IT businesses for proper installation.
As it stands, procurement is notably one of the biggest pain point for most local governments, meaning municipal workers may currently underestimate how integral procurement projects will be for years to come. Positive changes to improve procurement workflows are critical.
How Can Procurement Software Help Your Municipality?
As you're gearing up to hire private-workers for an array of big challenges, your municipal workers will need to be prepared to handle an influx of paperwork and spending. Bid requests, bills from businesses, and millions of dollars being allocated across various infrastructure projects and departments.
Automation of procurement can save time on these tasks, so that your municipality can focus on getting purposeful projects done at a quicker pace. Here are some of the ways that government software can assist with procurement
Here are some of the best procurement software types for automating government workflows:
1. Automated Bidding Software
Whether your focus is on improving public parks and buildings or updating your internet infrastructure, you’re going to need to outsource to the private sector for any infrastructure process. With automated bidding software, your local government can upload requests for proposal (RFPs) directly via your government website, notifying relevant contractors about the work opportunity and allowing them to submit bids directly online.
2. Contract Management Software
Throughout your engagement with vendors, proper government procurement means keeping up to date with progress, money spent, and vendor performance. Updates on progress can be updated and stored in the cloud via a vendor management platform tailored to your department.
3. Requisition Purchase Tracking
As various departments set forth on infrastructure investments, dozens of municipal workers will purchase services as a representative of their municipality. With government management software, all transactions related to procurement occur via the cloud, meaning that your government will automatically receive meaningful data related to government spending (among countless other telling data points.) Government workers will have an obligation to meet compliance standards and maintain departmental transparency.
4. Expense Reporting
As infrastructure projects unfold, government departments will need to pull together meaningful reports related to how government money is being spent. As a result of data collection and dashboards accessible via government management software, pulling together data-driven presentations that accurately depict the work being done will be a breeze.
FEMA Expense Reporting
With natural disasters occurring more regularly and wreaking havoc in communities across the country, the federal government is regularly allocating billions to local governments via HUD and FEMA to overcome the challenges posed by disasters both before and after via disaster resilience and disaster recovery grants.
If your municipality requires FEMA funding, the ability to quickly and accurately generate comprehensive reports for federal officials to analyze and assess will be critical.
1. Contractor Registration
In order to draw the best leads for your municipal projects, you’ll need to notify contractors to register with your local government via your government website. Government management software allows constituents to register new businesses with ease and will automatically store their information in the cloud.
Relevant municipal workers will then be able to scope out potential prospects from your list of registered businesses to work on infrastructure projects.
Registered businesses will automatically receive notification when relevant job opportunities arise, which will boost the local economy and garner your municipality multiple bids for each private-sector hire.
Pro Tip: Make sure your local government aligns with the Small Business Administration (SBA) in your neighborhood to encourage business registration.
2. Asset Management
As your local government makes purchases overtime, you’ll want to be able to track the status of recently ordered materials / goods. You’ll also need to keep an eye on assets that have been deployed overtime, like snow plows, fire hydrants, and countless other government purchases.
With government software, purchased assets will be tracked from purchase to deployment and can be monitored overtime via an automated, cloud-based platform.
3. Fleet Management
Along with tracking physical assets, government procurement software can be leveraged in any department that uses municipal vehicles.
With government fleet management software, you’ll be able to track the maintenance of municipal vehicles as well as purchase new vehicles (including legislation-approved electric vehicles!)
What Infrastructure Projects Will Require Private-Sector Hiring?
There are many options for your municipal government to consider when it comes to making infrastructure improvements.
Here are top federally-approved infrastructure projects for your community to consider, as well as the procurement tasks you’ll want to keep in mind when working with contractors.
1. Disaster resilient buildings
Project description: Whether your constituents’ biggest fear is a disastrous hurricane, tornado, or wildfire, natural disasters pose a threat to communities in any state. The federal government has doubled down on updating antiquated physical infrastructure to be better suited to withstand a powerful storm. For more resources on how to prepare for natural disasters, read on:
Procurement needed: Once your municipality decides what types of infrastructure it needs to prioritize, you’ll need to hiring relevant contractors such as:
General building contractors (builders, plumbers, electricians, painters, etc.)
Building inspectors (note: keep building inspection software in mind to automate the process and improve efficiency)
Building material suppliers
2. Broadband Internet Connectivity
Project description: The infrastructure bill set out to address slow internet in urban and rural communities alike across the country. The goal will be to distribute grants accordingly to municipalities so that all Americans can have direct access to fast internet. Bringing fast internet to antiquated communities will assist in virtual education for children, inspire entrepreneurs to start new businesses, and will allow remote workers to relocate to your community.
Procurement needed: to implement broadband technology in your area, you’ll need to hire
IT consultant: hire an expert to provide detailed instructions on implementing broadband in your community
IT contractors: allow IT contractors to place bids on implementing the technology within your jurisdiction.
3. Urban Transformation
Project description: Federal funds can be allocated towards outdoor projects in your community too. Parks and public areas can be revitalized. Pedestrian zones and bike lanes can be updated and expanded to make it easier for constituents to get around without a car.
To learn more about how to make an urban transformation, read the resources for municipalities:
Pedestrian Zones and Bike Lanes: Improving Your Car-Free Zones
Procurement needed: to implement changes to physical infrastructure in your pages and car-free zones, you’ll need:
Landscape architects: have assistance in making decisions about how to best leverage the available space.
Landscaping contractors: for a large enough project, the parks and recs and public works departments surely will need some additional help.
Tree inventory management: municipal software will record the deployment of plants and trees in local parks and public areas. Luckily, public works software will track in for you.
For more thorough resources about recent federal legislation and what it means for local governments, read on:
Government Procurement Platform - In Conclusion
With a clear need for acquiring goods and services in the immediate future, government procurement software wields the power to help local governments implement infrastructure changes at scale.
Government software can digitize procurement processes like online bidding, RFP mail outs to registered businesses, and asset management. As goods and services are acquired across departments, cloud-based data collection will provide expense reports and dashboards in real time.
To learn more about how municipalities can automate via government procurement software, book a consultation.
Public Sector Procurement FAQs
What is Government Procurement?
Government procurement is the acquisition of goods and services via public-private partnerships. With recent federal legislation putting funding related to infrastructure, government procurement processes include promoting RFPS, accepting bids from contractors, purchasing materials, and tracking and monitoring assets.
What is Bidding Software for Municipalities?
Before local government agencies can award a government contract, they'll need to leverage strategic sourcing to hire the best prime contractor and subcontractors for their selected infrastructure projects. With bid management software, RFPs are uploaded online and a bidder can apply via the official websites of municipal governments.
Once bids are submitted, the sensitive information provided will be accessible from the cloud to all relevant government workers, allowing them to consider the best options before awarding procurement contracts.
What is Contract Management Software for Governments?
Once you do your due diligence and purchase goods and services, tracking contract actions to make sure your money is being spent wisely and tasks are getting finalized as anticipated. Government software factors this aspect in by keeping meaningful asset management and task management automated and easily accessible.