It’s quite fitting that the US government shutdown – which affects millions of people, departments and metal-buying organizations – coincided with the launch of another sister site in our family: Public Spend Forum.
While we at MetalMiner are primarily concerned with the movement of metals markets and how that affects an organization’s buying practices, the folks over at Spend Matters and Censeo (co-founding partners of Public Spend Forum) take up arms against inefficiencies in public sector procurement.
Essentially, MetalMiner and Public Spend Forum share common ground over the most effective ways to saving money on purchases of goods and services, the end result of which is sustainably streamlining the way an entity does business.
And that’s where the government shutdown comes in – that debacle has hardly anything to do with the words “efficiency” or “effectiveness.” Public Spend Forum has dived right in to covering how the shutdown affects government procurement and all the suppliers involved.
Now, with many government agencies already having shut down, many of the existing contracts with the government’s various suppliers are in limbo.
For example, PSF ran an interview with Alan Chvotkin, the executive vice president and counsel for the Professional Services Council, the trade association representing government professional and technical services.
“We’ve been telling our members to study, make sure they know when their contract was awarded and how it’s funded,” he said – whether it’s fully funded or incrementally funded.
However – members of the MetalMiner audience, take note – Chvotkin noted that “manufacturing tends to be fully funded more often.”
Regardless, the shutdown has myriad implications for delays in strategic planning, capital investment and the risks that fiscal uncertainty poses overall.
How Big Buyers Act
How buyers – whether of aluminum extrusions, steel plate, or cell-phone contracts for government agencies – operate is what interests both MetalMiner and Public Spend Forum.
Here’s how Public Spend Forum’s editor, Jonathan Messinger, recently put it into context:
“The federal government alone spends $500 billion annually, which essentially makes it the largest buyer in the whole world. And yet, as I’ve been talking with practitioners and the bright minds over at Censeo Consulting Group, there’s definitely a lag from what the public sector is doing and what the private sector is able to achieve. Part of that is due to the various restrictions on taxpayer money, but some of that is just because the more advanced strategies haven’t worked their way into government agencies yet.”
Make sure to keep tabs on PSF moving forward for the latest interplay between public- and private-sector procurement strategies and best practices – and cheers to the PSF Team for launching!