Free eProcurement software during COVID-19 from Negometrix

Free eProcurement software during COVID-19 from Negometrix
Emma Shaffer
1 April 2020

FYI: As of Spring 2021, Negometrix is now Mercell

In the wake of the current Coronavirus outbreak, Negometrix is offering 4 months of free procurement software. This will enable government agencies and buyers to maintain critical procurement processes while following social distancing guidelines. Get started today.

Procurement is the engine of government spending, enabling the execution of policy, ensuring the smooth and continuous operation of public services and works, and bolstering the economy. US Governments, from the Federal to local level, purchase an estimated $3 trillion worth of goods and services – roughly 15% of the nation’s GDP.  

During a large-scale national crisis, the critical nature of procurement is amplified. With the spread of COVID-19, governments at all levels are taking a wartime-like approach to mobilizing all aspects of our society to combat the disease. Continued procurement activities are a part of that mobilization and are instrumental in reinforcing social safety nets that are being tested in new ways, and in some places, pushed to their limits. 

Procurement – A Traditionally High-touch Process in the Age of Social Distancing 

In October of 2018, regulations took hold across the European Union requiring every public agency to conduct all solicitations digitally. As of that date, agencies could no longer accept paper or mailed bids. Experts from across the field of procurement (including Negometrix President Jan Siderius) held a conference in Lisbon to discuss the regulations and the impact of these changes to the public procurement landscape. 

Digital Transformation of Public Procurement Conference, 2018

While those regulations were created with goals of cost cutting, leveling the playing field for small and medium-sized enterprises, and boosting efficiency, they are serving a new purpose today as Europe is one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak. Digital procurement solutions are allowing European procurement departments to stay active. Buyers can continue to create and publish their solicitations digitally. Suppliers can submit offers without having to handle and then mail physical proposals.  

In the United States, no such wide-scale regulation or requirement exists, and for many agencies across the country, procurement has remained decidedly offline. For these agencies, the process still involves group gatherings in the form of submission of paper offers, official bid openings (mandated by law in certain states), and evaluation committee meetings.  

Proposals are generally mailed and are handled by possibly dozens of people on the supplier and buyer side. And even when they are able to be emailed or otherwise digitally transmitted, bids and proposals are largely printed out, passed around, and filed in person, as procurement teams lack an online environment to discuss, evaluate, and collaborate. In combination, this process is at best dramatically slowed by social distancing, and at worst, impossible. 

eProcurement Enables Agencies in Crisis. 

Negometrix empowers over 850 agencies around the world with a flexible eProcurement solution, allowing them to continue their important work from home, or wherever they may be located. The company helps to manage over $50 billion in awarded bids every year. 

With US procurement agencies facing new challenges that may be keeping them from serving their critical purpose, Negometrix is providing free licenses to our eProcurement platform for any solicitation started in the next 4 months.  

With this access, buyers are able to efficiently and securely facilitate a 100% electronic Solicitation process. Suppliers can ask questions online and submit bids that will be received in a sealed, digital vault. Once the deadline for offers has passed, evaluation committees can review bids or proposals and collaborate. All of this can be done without a single in-person meeting and without printing a single piece of paper. 

Enabling Digital Procurement Across the Country. 

It is our hope that this offer of free procurement software will help agencies to mitigate the impacts that they are seeing in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Our team of experts and consultants is available to help new agencies get set up and trained in a matter of days. Users and suppliers have direct access to our support desk as they begin to utilize the platform.  

Ideally this helps agencies to continue their work, as a functioning procurement process is more important than ever. Our users also find that an eProcurement platform serves to reduce overhead, increase supplier and vendor participation, and streamline day-to-day functions. In this way, perhaps we can find ourselves stronger and better positioned for success when the crisis ends.