Bonfire Interactive Ltd. (“Bonfire”), a subsidiary of GTY Technology Holdings Inc. and a leader in strategic sourcing and procurement software, today announced the release of its 2020 State of Public Sourcing Report, a benchmarking study using anonymized platform data and survey responses, that provides insights into how COVID-19 and the transition to remote work have impacted the procurement process.
“The role of public sourcing has always been challenging, but COVID-19 has caused a dual crisis in procurement: increased bid activity along with the transition to remote work for procurement teams and their agency partners,” said Corry Flatt, CEO of Bonfire. “To meet this moment, digital procurement solutions have become the lifeline for public agencies and, consequently, a top business priority for procurement teams and executive leadership. Our hope is that the data gathered in this report will help procurement teams and senior leadership understand how to best respond to the current pandemic, while future-proofing their procurement processes for any upcoming disruption”
In March of this year, Bonfire announced the availability of the Emergency Response Program, which enables any public procurement team to use the Bonfire Strategic Sourcing Platform for free in order to adapt to remote work and support new emergency and ongoing projects.
“Like many public agencies, we had to bring our procurement process online to work remotely and quickly find vendors that could help with our COVID-19 response,” said Marian P. Hamlett, Chief Financial Officer at Texans Can Academies. “That’s why we started using Bonfire. One of our first projects was to put out an RFP for COVID-19 consultants to help us with our school reopening plans. Through Bonfire, I was able to find and invite over 150 vendors to participate and we successfully found a contractor that will walk beside us as we figure out how to safely reopen our schools.”
“During the COVID-19 crisis, Omdia has seen supply chains become brittle, inconsistent, and in some cases, inoperable,” said Terry White, IT procurement expert covering procurement and disruptive technologies at global technology research firm Omdia. “It has never been more important for government procurement teams to strengthen, stabilize, and regulate the procurement process with digital tools like Bonfire. Work from home, flexible working hours, and the need for rapid and efficient processing and evaluation of bids demands it. If not for the government agency themselves, then for the citizens they serve.”
Key Insights from the Bonfire 2020 State of Public Sourcing Report:
Speed and efficiency of procurement projects more critical than ever
Speed and efficiency are critical to meeting agency and constituent needs during COVID-19 and public procurement teams are adapting their processes to award bids and RFPs as quickly as possible. 73% of respondents said that their organization now views digital procurement as a business priority to support those efforts.
Public agencies, especially education and municipalities, are investing in IT & software
Public sector organizations are running 37% more bids for telecommunications software and services to ensure business continuity.
Many K-12 and higher education institutions brought learning online in March and April, resulting in a 219% increase in telecommunications bids and RFPs compared to January/February of this year. Municipalities, similarly, saw a 118% increase in telecommunications services, likely to adjust to a new remote work reality.
Vendor competition is on the rise
While there is 5% more competition on public bids, procurement teams must continue to be intentional in engaging and diversifying their vendor pool.
Remote work is the new normal
Public procurement teams are adopting video conferencing and digital procurement tools to ensure their processes run business-as-usual while working from home. 98% of surveyed procurement professionals said their teams were working from home in full or in part while 100% of those surveyed said their team had adopted a video conferencing tool during COVID-19.
More procurement work is happening outside of traditional office hours
There’s been a 62% increase in procurement work, particularly bid evaluations, taking place outside of the traditional 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. business hours. 21% of RFP evaluations are being performed outside office hours, highlighting the increased importance of digital solutions that offer the flexibility for evaluators to complete their scoring around other responsibilities and priorities as they work remotely.
The Bonfire report holistically reflects the entire procurement process and encompasses all types of bids and RFPs. Data in this study was collected using anonymized first-party data from two sources: the Bonfire Strategic Sourcing platform, containing the competitive event data of 400+ North American public procurement teams, and a survey conducted with 176 procurement respondents.
The full 2020 State of Public Sourcing Report is available today and can be downloaded by visiting the Bonfire website.
About Bonfire Interactive Inc.
Bonfire Interactive Inc. (“Bonfire”) is a business unit of GTY Technology Holdings Inc. and a leader in strategic sourcing and procurement software. Bonfire brings procurement online, ensuring 100% compliance, reducing cycle times, and improving transparency. Through the power of tools optimized for collaboration and in-app access to RFP insights and templates (surfaced from Bonfire’s library of 40,000+ projects), Bonfire unlocks procurement’s potential to drive greater agency impact, achieve better outcomes, and engage colleagues along the way. Bonfire’s proven history of customer-driven innovation is trusted by hundreds of public procurement teams across North America.
About GTY Technology Holdings Inc.
GTY Technology Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: GTYH) (“GTY”)) brings leading government technology companies together to achieve a new standard in citizen engagement and resource management. Through its six business units, GTY offers an intuitive cloud-based suite of solutions for state and local governments spanning functions in procurement, payments, grant management, budgeting, and permitting: Bonfire provides strategic sourcing and procurement software to enable confident and compliant spend; CityBase provides government payment solutions to connect constituents with utilities and government agencies; eCivis offers a grant management system to maximize grant revenues and track performance; Open Counter provides government payment software to guide applicants through complex permitting and licensing procedures; Questica offers budget preparation and management software to deliver on financial and non-financial strategic objectives; Sherpa provides public sector budgeting software and consulting services.