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Building Procurement-centric Technology: An Interview with Becca Moran
Procurated launched its Pennsylvania beta site in June of 2019. One year later, in June of 2020, Decisions That Matter podcast was joined by Becca Moran, Senior Director of Product Management, to reflect on the journey of the platform.
The Procurated platform has evolved significantly since we last spoke with Becca several months ago, but the key motivations and processes she discussed still ring true:
Procurement will always have a seat at the table
Procurated was created with the public sector, and specifically procurement, in mind. Understanding the unique challenges and objectives of this industry is essential to building a tool that actually makes it easier to select the right supplier.
In-depth interviews with procurement professionals informed early product decisions such as making Procurated a closed site and offering the option to write reviews anonymously. And more recently, updating Procurated’s search experience to better match how users prefer to search for suppliers.
Building with feedback and progress, not perfection, in mind
Just as Procurated uses industry interviews to inform product planning, user feedback is also critical to how platform features continue to develop post-launch. In this episode, Becca shares how the hardest part of managing a product can be deciding when you are “ready” to deploy a new feature.
“If you wait until you feel ready you’ve waited too long,” Becca shared. “It’s better to get [the new features and functionality] out there and get some early feedback.”
By taking a phased approach to product rollouts, it’s easier to ensure that the user experience stays at the heart of the site. During this episode, Becca discusses how the team launched the vendor search directory:
“Even though the entire site wasn’t ready, [government buyers] could come and search for suppliers. To get that early validation for the vendor directory was really important for our product.”
With that early validation and user feedback, Becca and her team have been able to continue to improve upon that beta search directory. And, you guessed it, it’s now accompanied by reviews from thousands of public sector buyers.
Innovating inside the procurement lines
As a technology company, innovation is in Procurated’s DNA. As a technology company serving the procurement industry, we have the duty to uphold the rules and regulations that ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent ethically and responsibly. We take this duty extremely seriously.
During this episode, Becca highlights an example of how Procurated “innovated inside the lines.” A challenge public procurement has always faced, which has received long-overdue attention in the past few years, is the underrepresentation of small and MWBE suppliers in the public sector. Rules such as minimum relevant projects or references, created to weed out high-risk suppliers, give a disproportionate advantage to the larger, long-established businesses.
To give small and MWBE suppliers an increased likelihood of being selected, the question isn’t “How do we change the rules?” The rules are there for a reason – to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly. The challenge is to provide purchasers with enough information to realize that small and MWBE suppliers are qualified for the bid.
Procurated has approached this challenge through two main avenues: search filters to make it easy to find historically underutilized suppliers and collecting and sharing peer reviews of small and MWBE suppliers.
“Procurated creates a space where it’s not only easier to find these historically underutilized businesses, but also to read feedback from other governments that have worked with these businesses,” said Becca. “This gives governments the confidence to work with a new supplier because they can see that other procurement professionals have worked with them successfully.”
Making the hardest job in government a little easier, together
Procurated was built on the idea that procurement works better when we work together. By sharing our collective supplier experiences, buyers have the insight they need to make supplier decisions with confidence.
If there’s one thing you take away from this post, it’s that we take your user feedback seriously. If you are a Procurated user and have feedback or an idea for how the site could serve your needs better, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published on Feb 03, 2021