by Jon Soll

The Challenge

Statewide agencies have a huge task before them when it comes to transitioning their departments out of legacy procurement processes. Inevitably, a new system must start somewhere, and when done well, that implementation becomes a template for other public sector agencies to follow. Here, the state completed a development project in order to implement an enterprise-wide backbone eProcurement SaaS solution across all its agencies. Our Department of Forestry customer was selected to become an early adopter of a branded SaaS solution. 

Point B engaged with the Department of Forestry to provide the needed leadership for its new eProcurement implementation, a diligent 15-month process. From the onset, Point B recognized this large and complex agency had a geographically decentralized customer base, and adoption of a highly automated eProcurement system would be a big change from its historically manual approach. Add to that approximately 900 vendors used by the department and the looming possibility of an active fire season (where the department needs to be able to access in-place trusted vendors in its procurement system), and it was clear that timing and logistics were vital.

Making the Right Connections

Point B thoughtfully established a strong team governance structure that included executive-level stakeholders from procurement and finance to represent the full procure-to-pay life cycle.

By promoting the branded SaaS solution and frequently illustrating its advantages, teams across the large geographic footprint were able to understand and appreciate the new eProcurement advantages. The team also included a forestry procurement director who had experience working in the more remote offices, understood those nuances and could help transcend barriers. Point B also developed a close relationship with our customer’s state oversight agency to accommodate a mature stage gate process and collaborate on a master plan, business case, resource plans, and issues management. The close relationships Point B made with the executive leadership team ultimately helped secure resources, drive decisions and approve changes.

Uniquely poised to serve this project, Point B brought its deep project leadership service experience both in challenging implementation work and its unique public sector delivery experience to navigate a complex organization. More importantly, our customer appreciated its relationship with Point B built on trust, candid communication and Point B’s unyielding pursuit of providing value. Through this SaaS implementation process, Point B recognized the importance change management brings to lead and enable significant end-to-end process changes. It was also clear that organizations with a large number of vendors would benefit from incentives to participate in a new eProcurement solution.

Sustainable Results

With a new eProcurement SaaS solution implemented, the Department of Forestry is using the solution primarily for payments, now with a standardized payment process and more advanced reporting capabilities. This new solution immediately simplified reports, audits and spend forecasts. It also eliminated manual processing and cross-departmental coordination efforts for information. The solution’s enhanced reporting and forecasting tools improve and better inform senior leadership of decision-making, affirming the benefits of this implementation process for the entire agency.