When history looks back on 2021, one thing that will stand out is local government’s ability to be nimble and creative during a crisis. During World War II, government was forced to act with speed and rigor. The same agility was required in 2021, but this time, the battlefield was in our communities and on our doorsteps.
This past year was full of challenges: political, economic, mental and physical. Top-down remedies were developed, such as vaccines, health guidance, state and federal economic support, but the day-to-day fight took place locally in each county, city, and school district. Every community had its own set of difficulties overlaid with regional philosophy and political influence that created the need for a local approach to a global pandemic.
One thing that is universal to each government agency during times of crisis is the need to find and implement fiscal efficiency; doing more with less, doing it better, and doing it faster. Use of Business Intelligence (BI) by government has been a long-standing tool, but during this past year it became a best practice. Counties, cities, school districts and other government agencies across the nation used BI to lower costs, increase speed of delivery, and raise service levels.
ProcureAmerica, the largest and most experienced government BI firm in the nation, had a very active 2021. Serving five of the six largest counties in California, one of the smallest school districts to the second largest school district in the State, as well as cities up and down the state, ProcureAmerica was utilized to support agencies of all sizes.
“I thought 2020 was a busy year for us, but 2021 was simply extraordinary,” said CEO Fred Armendariz. “We delivered much needed cost reduction services to almost half the State’s citizens by supporting their counties and cities, and I am deeply proud of the job our team did.”
In addition to serving government agencies, ProcureAmerica supports the majority of California’s healthcare organizations including Kaiser, Sutter, Adventist, Scripps and Cedars-Sinai. This made 2021 a busy year for the BI firm on two fronts. “90% of our clients are either local government or healthcare, so when COVID hit it was the perfect storm for our team to stand tall and deliver services in the most challenging of times,” Fred continued. “With the support of our clients, our staff delivered millions of dollars in cost reduction that was repurposed for other vital products and services. Working shoulder to shoulder during the pandemic with local government has been the highlight and honor of my career.”
“The County of Orange has always looked to be a “trailblazer” when it comes to business processes and the pandemic tested our resolve. Challenging times came and we were ready, however there is more work to be done. For many years we have used Business Intelligence services through ProcureAmerica in an effort to ensure that we are always learning, adapting, and improving. The hard dollars saved and efficiencies gained illustrate the value of information, experience and hard work.” Maria Pirona, County Procurement Officer, County of Orange.
BI delivers both operational efficiency and significant cost reduction. For example, through BI projects conducted by ProcureAmerica, the City of San Clemente will realize $1.8 million dollars in cost reduction stemming from a utility Tariff Rate Optimization Study; County of Santa Clara and County of Orange will each save about $2.5 resulting from a telecommunication analysis; and Montebello Unified recovered $500,000 from a waste review.
Additionally, BI provides significant cost avoidance by improving efficiency. For example, ProcureAmerica not only secured telecom cost reduction, reaching $750,000 for Contra Costa County Health Services, but also consolidated 160 telecom accounts into 3 accounts delivering significant monthly soft cost savings. “The pandemic impacted Contra Costa County Health Services in a material way,” said Patrick Wilson, CIO for Contra Costa County Health Services. “Resources were tight, and our staff was stretched thin. ProcureAmerica not only helped us lower our telecommunications cost by six figures; they did all the heavy lifting so our staff could focus on the health crisis and serving the community.”
“Telecommunications is an important service that became vital during the pandemic,” said Matt Denburg, ProcureAmerica’s Telecommunications Division Administrator. “With many employees transitioning to remote working environments, cell phones, hot spots and tablets became critical tools that also grew exponentially in cost. But in partnership with our clients, we were not only able to control cost—we lowered it!”
Crisis breeds innovation, and the use of BI is a clear example of how government, healthcare and others found a way to “improvise, adapt and overcome.” The war on the pandemic is not over, but like other challenging times our country has faced, we will come out stronger on the other side.
ProcureAmerica is the nation’s leading business intelligence company supporting government, higher education, healthcare and private industry. Their services support and deliver operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, expense transparency and net cost reduction. The firm has significant industry expertise in six specific expense categories: Utilities, Waste & Recycling, Telecommunications, Print Management, Technology Optimization, and Treasury.