Today’s procurement technology provides local, state, and federal government with powerful tools to access pricing data from thousands of agencies across the US.

Sara Harrison, Executive Director of Procurement and Payable Services at the University of Dayton, and her team have been utilizing GovSpend for over a year to integrate a data-driven approach to the university’s procurement process — with surprising results.

GovSpend is a massive online database of government purchase orders from over 24,000 local, state, and federal agencies. Buyers access the system to obtain the most competitive pricing on products and services, validate sole source, and locate new vendors to do business with.

Several months ago, the private, Catholic university needed to purchase a very expensive confocal microscope for the biology department. The purchasing team compared quotes they received with purchases in the GovSpend database. GovSpend revealed a wide range of pricing up to $100,000 less. Using the data found in GovSpend, a deeper investigation of required specifications resulted in a better understanding of the department’s need, leading to a better position in the negotiation.

“GovSpend has been a valuable tool for conducting purchasing research and validating sole source.”

Harrison and her team were able to find qualified vendors with minimal effort by running a powerful but intuitive keyword-based search on the GovSpend platform. The search yielded detailed results down to the specific line item, and also included company contact information. This data allowed the procurement team to easily compare pricing from their usual vendors with other companies that sell the same product to US institutions.

“It’s important to understand how universities buy and who to connect with outside of the university.”

Using this strategy, the University of Dayton procurement team was able to realize $40,000 in savings on microscopes by tailoring specification requirements to biology department requirements and working with the supplier. It is for this particular use case that they win the GovSpend Procurement Award for Q4 2018. With modern government transparency standards continuing to become more rigorous, more and more agencies are leveraging the power of data and integrating technology into their procurement cultures — with universities leading the charge.

GovSpend is an online database of government purchase orders from federal, state and local agencies. Government municipalities are provided access to the system to identify local vendors, evaluate pricing for best available rate, confirm vendor performance, validate sole source and find piggyback opportunities. In addition, this solution includes GovQuote, the first web-based digital platform to seamlessly connect government agencies and private companies on the largest and fastest request for quote (RFQ) marketplace. Agencies can request quotes in under 60 seconds, stay 100% compliant, and keep all their vendor quotes centralized.