Public Purchase Delivers Increased Efficiency and Competition to Riverside County Purchasing

The Public Group (TPG), provider of SaaS (Software as a Service) procurement and online auction solutions for government agencies, announced today the success Riverside County, CA has achieved with Public Purchase, its online procurement solution. The County, which serves about 2,125,000 constituents, began using Public Purchase in November of 2009 and has termed its transition to Public Purchase as "one of our success stories of the past fiscal year".

Public Purchase www.publicpurchase.com is a free online solution utilized by government agencies to post, manage and award bids, RFP's, reverse auctions and other procurement requests. Recently Riverside County posted a RFP for banknote paper, a highly specialized paper used by its vital records department. By utilizing Public Purchase's vendor pre-qualification tool, only interested bidders who had access to this type of paper were allowed to respond to the bid. This saved a significant amount of time and effort on the part of purchasing buyers, who did not have to read and reject bids offering alternatives that would not have met their needs. "Based on initial interest in the RFP, we estimate that an additional 20 - 30 companies would have attempted to sell us alternative paper that frankly would not have met the strict criteria established by state and federal statutes," stated (name, title) of Riverside County. "A lot of effort goes in to analyzing proposals, and we really needed to focus on qualified proposals." Budget cuts have eliminated 3 out of 8 positions over the past 2 years, but ongoing purchasing needs have not decreased. "The tools that Public Purchase provides have really helped us handle the additional workload that all of our buyers are experiencing", stated (name).

Competition among qualified vendors of the banknote paper increased over the previous RFP, which was issued in 2009. Public Purchase's Vendor Contact Group identified and called 10 vendors from across the US that specialize in banknote paper. Each was emailed a link to the RFP information and was invited to respond. Out of those 10 vendors, 3 responded. The lowest bid was half the cost of the highest bid, and came from a vendor the County had not done business with in the past. The savings over the previous contract was approximately $20,000. "We would not have known about this opportunity of Public Purchase had not called us." Stated (name, title of vendor company name). "There are a lot of bid websites out there, but never have we received a phone call from the bid management company inviting us to respond to an RFP."

Request management has become more efficient as each buyer can easily see the status of all active (draft, released or pre-awarded) requests from his or her custom "home page". All active bid activity, such as editing a draft bid, issuing addenda, releasing a bid or answering questions, is initiated from the home page. Closed bids (going back as far as 7 years) can be accessed as well. All bids can copied, a feature that has been identified as a significant time saver for buyers. "The copy feature has easily saved us hours of work." Stated (agency contact). We still take a close look at our documents to ensure that necessary items are updated, but for commodities there are rarely any changes beyond the dates and quantities."

The training and support that go along with any software service have exceeded Riverside County's expectations. "Public Purchase is really easy to use. Training was done via web seminar and only took a couple hours. Ongoing support has been great. Whenever we have questions, Public Purchase staff is readily available to answer questions or walk us through a process. All new buyers are trained by Public Purchase, so County staff can focus our training on County specific information and policy."

"Partnering with The Public Group and implementing Public Purchase significantly improved the efficiency and moral of our department. It really did everything they promised it would, and the people at TPG are great to work with." Commented (name) "It has saved us tens of thousands of dollars due to the increase in competitiveness, and on top of everything else this is a free system. It doesn't get any better than that."

TPG's unique business model allows Public Purchase to be available to both agencies and vendors as a free service. To learn more about Public Purchase visit www.publicpurchase.com

About The Public Group

The Public Group, LLC is a privately held company headquartered in Provo, Utah with offices and personnel in Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. TPG specializes in Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for government agencies in the online auction sector for surplus management - www.publicsurplus.com - and in the online procurement management sector - www.publicpurchase.com. With over 2,200 agency clients and several hundred thousand vendor and buyer clients, TPG ranks as one of the most successful service providers in the government sector.