Today’s NLPA Vendor review focuses on SourceSuite, a cloud-based eProcurement solution for organizations in the public sector and private organizations.  They are a part of BidNet, who provides government contract and intelligence.

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Some of the key goals of that SourceSuite helps public sector organizations achieve are the elimination of manual processes as well as offering transparency with respect to the bid process and detailed auditing capabilities.

SourceSuite has a revenue model that stems from zero cost for public purchasing groups.  It is a subscription-based vendor funded model.  For their private sector clients, there are similar vendor funded and private fee models.

SourceSuite boasts over 1,000 government agency clients belonging to their 15 regional purchasing groups.  The purchasing agencies include counties, municipalities, school districts, libraries, regional purchasing groups, etc.  These purchasing agencies share resources among themselves within their particular region which includes an extensive bid library.

In addition, the regional purchasing groups allow for expanded vendor competition and vendors able to easily find bid requests for public groups all in one area.  According to Kim Cullen, Marketing Director for SourceSuite, there are nearly 100,000 vendors available in their system.

A public sector organization can join one of these purchasing groups typically within a week.  Customized purchasing groups take a little bit longer (2-3 weeks) for design and implementation purposes.

SourceSuite-2The latest version of the SourceSuite system was built entirely from scratch two years ago upon an Oracle Enterprise database and a java code base along with the SourceSuite application itself.  The system is built with usability in mind and a very simple wizard approach. Ease of use for clients and an improved interface were key factors in the system redesign.

The core of the SourceSuite system is creating and issuing bid solicitations to vendors.  The SourceSuite system is highly configurable based on your organization’s preferences.  For example, there is a choice of over 300 solicitation types, thus you are able to choose only the ones applicable to your particular purchasing group.

The required acknowledgement area of the system was requested by many purchasing groups.  This area allows for vendors to agree to NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements), attendance at a pre-solicitation meetings, etc. before being allowed to submit bids.  The buyer requirement area includes items such as proof of certification, proof of insurance or custom requirements crafted by the buying organizations themselves.

NIGP codes are available for the vendors to identify their specific classifications and to allow buyers to pre-select the codes they require for specific vendors to bid on their solicitations.

SourceSuite also contains audit and tracking tools which allows for the transparency necessary in the public sector and is being more and more utilized/requested by their private sector clients.

The SourceSuite portal for public purchasing groups is highly customizable to meet specific design needs required such as css sheets, templates, etc.

SourceSuite-3In addition to the public sector groups, standalone, private portals are also available for private businesses.  These private sector portals are specifically branded and skinned to meet the design needs for the private organization.  The transition from the private organization website to the SourceSuite portal is seamless and vendors do not see they are entering the portal.  SourceSuite’s private organization clients include property management companies, engineering firms and banks.

SourceSuite offers is a live support team for purchasing groups from 8AM to 8PM EST based out of Albany, NY. Email support is also available.  In addition, SourceSuite offers a separate vendor support team to handle their distinct issues.

The SourceSuite system is very easy to follow as everything is focused upon bid management.  System training is done on the phone or online as the system is rather self-explanatory and intuitive for users.  Typically, a purchasing agency is then able to publish their first bid or RFP while online during their training session.

For more information or to schedule a demo, please visit SourceSuite eProcurement solutions.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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