How Polaris overcame procurement and compliance challenges with a procurement program customized to their size, resources, needs, and goals.
Polaris was steadily adding vendors to their network, but as a nonprofit with a small team and limited resources, they had trouble managing vendors and maintaining compliance with federal regulations. Vendor Centric helped them establish an efficient, compliant procurement program right-sized to their needs and goals.
Polaris’s newly designed procurement operations are easily managed and ensure compliance with federal requirements. With the perfect system in place, Polaris is set up for success and can scale their operations as they continue to grow in the future.
Increasing Regulations and Limited Resources
As Polaris grew, they steadily added vendors to support their expansion. Since some of these vendors were backed by federal funding, one of the challenges they faced was ensuring that their procurement policies and procedures were compliant with new federal procurement regulations.
Another big challenge for Polaris was that they had no central procurement function. They needed a way to manage procurement activities and ensure compliance with limited resources from an already stretched finance team.
Polaris turned to Vendor Centric for help getting policies and procedures compliant, and also to create a long-term solution for successfully managing procurement with a small finance team.
I was operating with a really small team. Vendor Centric got this right away, and designed their approach to ensure we right-sized our policies and procedures.
Strategy and Solution
Finding and Implementing Right-Sized Procurement Solutions
Vendor Centric’s strategy focused on finding solutions that were right-sized for Polaris’s needs and goals. Compliance was the ultimate objective, but the program and operations had to be reasonable and executable by a small team with limited resources. With a deep understanding of Polaris’s business structure and requirements, Vendor Centric implemented the following solutions:
- A redesign of procurement activities to fit what could be successfully managed by the Polaris finance team.
- Documentation of procurement policies and procedures to be compliant with federal requirements under the Uniform Guidance.
- Technology consultation to choose a cloud-based vendor management system suitable for Polaris’s needs, staff, and resources.
- Implementation support for the new vendor management system to manage current and future vendors.
- Upgraded procurement reporting to support federal compliance and auditor requirements.
An Easy-to-Manage Procurement System Brings Improved Compliance
Because of the changes implemented in Polaris’s procurement operations, they now have a procurement function that is perfectly suited to their organization. Procurement activities can be handled by a small team in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. With vendor management software, vendor information is centralized, and time-consuming manual tasks have been eliminated.
Also, Polaris’s procurement operations ensure compliance with federal regulations. Policies and procedures follow compliance guidelines. Meanwhile, vendor management software streamlines the procurement and contract management process and assists in compliance reporting. The system provides scalability as new vendors are added to Polaris’s network.
Polaris’s team is now confidently and competently managing procurement and maintaining compliance. Vendor Centric continues to provide practical support and consulting on an as-needed basis.
”The key to success in this project was aligning Polaris’s procurement program to their goals and available resources. Knowing the outcome of our work would be a small part of helping their mission to disrupt human trafficking was an incredible motivator to get it right.”
Josh Angert, Vendor Centric
For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline and built the largest known U.S. data set on the crime. With the guidance of survivors and working with public and private-sector partners, they use the data to improve how trafficking is identified, assist victims and survivors, and prevent human trafficking.
Need help right-sizing your vendor management operations to your organization’s size and resources?
Vendor Centric can help you create a custom program designed just for your organization. Schedule a call to talk with a consultant today.