Administrative & Business | News

Georgia District Takes Procurement Online

Newton County School System (NCSS) of Covington, GA is moving its procurement to an online platform. The district had been seeking to lower costs on its bid-based acquisition of various supplies and other resources for use in operations and instruction.

"As we work to ensure the wise use of public funds, we are constantly striving to conduct business in the most effective and cost-efficient manner," said Michael C. Barr, NCSS director of support services. Potentially creating much of the sought-after efficiency for NCSS and many districts like it is the prospect of replacing the traditional manual bidding process for supplies and services with an automated equivalent that can save a great deal of time and ensure more optimal cost-benefit ratios.

Manual bidding requires participants to create requests for proposals and documentation and to manage bid submission the ongoing flow of paperwork. Some bids can take from several months to a year or more from initial offering to receipt of products, time delays that exacerbate bureaucracy in an age when so many cash-strapped public institutions such as school districts are struggling mightily to reduce it.

For the move, the district has chosen SciQuest as its provider of strategic procurement technology and services.

"There is a growing realization that the manual bidding processes currently used within the public sector significantly hinder efforts to be more fiscally progressive and efficient," said a spokesperson for SciQuest. "The visibility over spending that automated sourcing solutions deliver and the strategic sourcing techniques they make possible are of singular importance when it's imperative to realize the full value of every dollar."

"SciQuest technology will enable us to be more strategic in our steadfast efforts to achieve more with the resources available," Barr noted. "In the future, this relationship will allow the school system to utilize Team Georgia Marketplace, the SciQuest-powered online shopping portal that emerged from the State of Georgia's Procurement Transformation."

Finally, said Barr, NCSS was impressed by the ease with which the SciQuest technology integrates with customers' financial systems, as well as the relatively minimal IT resources it requires.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.