Procurement Excellence Network reaches 800 members!
The Procurement Excellence Network (PEN) is a community for procurement professionals, for innovators and changemakers, for those who believe procurement is a powerful tool for good.
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Our resource library include quick reads, templates, and how-to guides available for free download. Check out our publication What Is Procurement Excellence? for an overview of our framework for procurement excellence.
Events & Opportunities
Join us for roundtables and trainings that will support your growth as a leader. Our interactive events are also a great opportunity to learn from your peers about how they’ve implemented procurement reforms in their jurisdictions.
About Our Community
PEN members are doing big things! Our members come from state and local governments of every structure and size, but they all have one thing in common: a desire to transform procurement.
Resources & Templates
A growing resource library of high-quality templates, guides, and cutting-edge innovations
Events & Opportunities
Virtual peer roundtables and interactive trainings to learn and workshop best practices
A member directory and online discussion board to connect with peers
Office hours with GPL experts for live one-on-one and
About the Procurement Excellence Network (PEN): Transforming Procurement
Procurement is one of the most powerful tools state and local leaders have to improve resident outcomes and equitably deliver services. But in many state and local governments, procurement simply isn’t working the way it should -- RFPs take too long, not enough companies bid on contracts, and archaic procedures make it impossible to implement innovative solutions.
The goal of the GPL Procurement Excellence Network is to help cities, counties, and states transform their procurement practices—so that, ultimately, governments achieve better outcomes for residents, businesses, and community stakeholders.
Pillars of Procurement Excellence
The Government Performance Lab's Procurement Excellence Framework is a set of strategies designed to help governments use procurement and contracting to achieve better outcomes for residents.
Efficient & Fair
Transforms the procurement process to be efficient, inviting, and transparent
Improves the outcomes of contracted programs, products, and services
Invests in equity to improve economic mobility and achieve better outcomes for historically marginalized populations
Elevates and resources procurement as a strategic function
Chief Assistant City Attorney
"In Phoenix, we are always looking to learn from peer communities across the country, especially when it comes to reforming procurement policies. We’ve already gained useful ideas on new tactics to try from GPL-hosted events, and we’re excited that PEN will make the process of connecting and learning easier and more targeted!"
Director, Office of Financial Empowerment
"In my department, we partner with contracted local organizations to run programs that advance economic mobility for the Lansing community. We’ve increasingly worked to write RFPs that aren’t so prescriptive, which has enabled the vendor community to offer more innovative solutions. It’s a win for us, our vendors, and the residents of Lansing."
Michael McKenna Miller
Director of Strategic Procurement
"Our vision in the City of Boston is to transform procurement from a compliance function to a force for achieving our policy goals and addressing income inequality. Tools, support and templates from the GPL have helped us leverage procurement as we work to make change."
Events & Opportunities
Adopting Your Optimal Purchasing Threshold
Feeling overwhelmed by the number of low-stake solicitations your central purchasing team has to review? Receiving complaints from department partners that your formal purchasing process is slowing them down? One […]
Using Process Mapping to Save Time & Money
Are you struggling with how to address an overly administrative, confusing, and lengthy contracting process? If so, join us for a training session on process mapping. Process mapping is an excellent first step toward cutting down cycle times and engaging members across different departments to jumpstart procurement reform. This training will cover the mechanics of process mapping and how it can be an asset to your procurement transformation efforts. We will share tips for beginning process mapping and include sample slides you can use for your own process mapping.
Deciding what to buy and whom to buy it from is a pivotal moment in any procurement. Who is awarded a government contract not only directly impacts how a government is able to deliver services to residents, but it also means that some vendors—and not others—receive an allocation of public resources. For this reason, the decision must also be fair and transparent. An evaluation scorecard is a tool that helps RFP evaluators and project managers make selection decisions that are unbiased, consistent, and data-driven. This quick read provides examples of evaluation scorecards and shares tips for how to use this tool to standardize your evaluation methodology, reduce evaluator bias, facilitate discussion, and justify evaluation decisions.
Step Into a Vendor's Shoes: Activity Kit for Paper Airplane RFP
When drafting an RFP, it's sometimes easy to forget what it's like to actually read and respond to the solicitation. This activity is designed to help participants understand what it’s like to respond to an RFP from the perspective of the proposer. By the end of the activity, participants will have a better understanding of the importance of designing a streamlined RFP with clear instructions, reduced compliance requirements, and a clear description of the problem the government faces and the goal the government wants to achieve. The activity kit contains facilitator instructions as well as participant materials.
Market Research: the Key to Your Next RFP's Success
When drafting a solicitation, tight timelines, complex programs, and limited staff resources can make it difficult for governments to systematically reassess needs, gather strategic input in designing new solutions, or engage with providers to help them understand the departments goals and priorities. However, not conducting any market research runs the risk of receiving few high-quality bids or receiving quotes that are way over budget. Investing some time to understand the vendor marketplace before releasing a new solicitation can yield far better results. This quick read will describe 12 market research tools and explore which one is right for your next solicitation.
Using Government Procurement to Advance Racial Equity
Exclusionary barriers have historically prevented organizations led by people of color from receiving their fair share of government contracting dollars while simultaneously making it easier for white-owned businesses to win contracts. Disrupting this cycle requires governments to take action in two important ways: vendor diversity and equitable service delivery. This how-to guide highlights innovative procurement strategies that can help governments increase investments in historically marginalized communities.