By Eden Laikin and Caitlin Kelly
The Nassau County Legislative Rules Committee yesterday unanimously approved a contract to develop County Executive Mangano’s plans for an electronic purchasing and bidding website that would bring Nassau County’s Shared Services initiatives to a whole new level of cooperation and cost-savings.
The first of its kind, 100% transparent, Cloud-based online system, which operates in real-time, will be developed by Specbid – a Roslyn Heights company that won a bid Nassau put out earlier this year.
The system will allow, for the first time, all County contracts and blanket purchase orders to be downloaded and searchable; send out bids through instant alerts via email to both buyers and sellers for increased efficiencies; and encourage participation in Leveraged Buying.
It will serve as a revolutionary way to ease the process of procurement and lower costs, and will be available for all other municipalities to join in on.
“Our purchasing officials will be able to leverage lower-cost buying by having other municipalities’ annual usage amounts on particular items or services, instantly available, and then buying cooperatively to achieve better pricing,” County Executive Mangano said.
The newly designed Share Services Dashboard will allow instant access to the site, from anywhere on any device. Since it uses a Cloud-based system, through an Internet connection, no additional software is needed.
It will feature a shared Energy Services page – where real time analytics will identify current pricing for the ever-fluctuating markets of Natural Gas, #2 Heating Oil, Gasoline, Diesel Fuel and liquid propane. And, it will meet new state and federal guidelines for contracting with MWBEs.
The Shared Services team is also exploring extra cost savings for initiatives that generate rebates for selling excess power back to the utility or utilizing shared P-cards for automatic purchasing. Further research includes assessing the possibility of shared purchasing of electricity, micro-turbines, fuel cells, controlled heat and other power opportunities.
“I am proud of what Nassau County Shared Services has been able to accomplish so far, and pleased know that we are planning to do more to save the County money purchasing common goods,” said County Executive Mangano. “I urge our cities, towns, villages, school districts, and other political subdivisions to register, for free, on this new website and complete the survey of usage on commonly purchased items.”
Of the $637,000 legislators awarded for Specbid’s 3-year contract, $353,000 will come from a state grant the County received last year to continue its aggressive shared services efforts.