How Atlantic Council revamped its existing procurement program by amending policies and procedures, updating technology, and expanding team training.
Atlantic Council created their initial procurement program with the help of Vendor Centric, but like all growing organizations, their needs and requirements changed over time. Faced with outdated policies and systems, the Council turned to Vendor Centric for help updating procurement operations.
With accurate and expanded manuals, well-trained staff, and a modernized system to support current operational needs, Atlantic Council is set up for success in their global procurement program.
Procurement Program Needs Important Updates
In 2019, Atlantic Council partnered with Vendor Centric to, for the first time, design and document a formalized set of procurement policies and procedures. The goal was to create standardization across the organization and also to comply with federal regulatory requirements the Council was required to follow due to their federal funding. Concurrently, Vendor Centric supported the Council in selecting and implementing new procurement and contract management software.
Since that time, the Council has grown significantly in both size and complexity of operations, necessitating the need for updates to their policies, procedures, and technology. Specifically, Atlantic Council was looking to:
- Refresh Their Procurement Manual: With a growing staff and more complex procurements, the Council wanted to update the manual to reflect current operations and also to improve the overall ease of use for staff.
- Create a Third-Party Subgrantee Manual: Atlantic Council had expanded the type of funding they received, resulting in the need to formally document policies and procedures for third-party subgrantees.
- Update Vendor Management Software: Atlantic Council’s existing vendor management system needed to be updated to reflect operational changes that would come from the refreshed procurement manual and new third-party subgrantee manual.
- Educate Their Staff: The Council wanted to ensure that employees understood the updated policies and procedures and could implement them in day-to-day operations.
Based on their positive experience working with the Vendor Centric team in the past, and Vendor Centric’s familiarity with the Council’s policies, operations, and stakeholders, Atlantic Council partnered with Vendor Centric once again to tackle their procurement program updates.
Strategy and Solution
A Structured Approach to Improving Procurement Operations and Training
The Vendor Centric team met with the Council’s procurement and compliance teams to discuss the Council’s procurement issues and prepare a project plan and scope of work to address each of the specific challenges listed above.
The strategy included a series of workshops with the appropriate stakeholders where the Vendor Centric team teased out the specific pain points of the Council’s existing procurement and subgrantee manuals and defined operational procedures that needed to be addressed in the updated manuals.
After agreeing on the updates to be made to each manual, Vendor Centric crafted new, updated language and worked with the Council to refine and finalize the documents.
With the procurement and subgrantee manuals updated, Vendor Centric then advised the council on the necessary updates to make in their procurement and contract management software.
Finally, Vendor Centric then led two instructor-led training sessions to educate staff on their updated roles and responsibilities. Vendor Centric collaborated with the Council to select the content that would resonate with staff members and created a training program right-sized for their organization.
Standardization Brings Order and Compliance to Procurement Management
The solutions delivered by Vendor Centric provided a much-needed level of standardization to the procurement and subgrantee management processes at Atlantic Council. The new procurement program has resolved the previous pain points, saving staff members time and frustration in their procurement duties.
The updated procurement and subgrant manuals have taken the guesswork out of previously vague or nonexistent procedures. Further, the procurement and contract management system now provides a level of automation that will improve the efficiency of the subgrantee risk assessment process.
With the right training, Atlantic Council staff members have a firm understanding of procurement policies, procedures, and their roles in the process. And they have tangible training resources to refer back to later down the road, should they ever need a refresher on any responsibilities.
As a result of working with Vendor Centric, Atlantic Council staff members have been empowered to make smart, compliant decisions with confidence regarding procurement and subgrantee management.
“Over the last 3 years, we’ve collaborated with Atlantic Council to strengthen the governance, processes, and technology of their procurement program – three operational areas that are critical to their continued growth and global program delivery. Atlantic Council’s success is Vendor Centric’s success, and we’ll continue to support them as needed in the future.”
Josh Angert, Vendor Centric
About Atlantic Council
The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community’s central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders. The Atlantic Council—through the papers it publishes, the ideas it generates, the future leaders it develops, and the communities it builds—shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more free, secure, and prosperous world.
Are you looking for better standardization, efficiency, and compliance in your procurement, contract management, third-party risk, or vendor management operations?
Vendor Centric can help you bring order to the chaos by establishing a program that functions properly and brings value to your organization. Schedule a call with a consultant today.