“Going Dutch” A column by Darin Matthews, FNIGP, CPPO, CPSM

In addition to the quality of its software offering, Negometrix delivers a collaborative approach to customer service that would be hard to top.

Darin Matthews
18 July 2019

FYI: As of Spring 2021, Negometrix is now Mercell

Recently I spent some time in The Netherlands and found this European country to be most impressive. We were awestruck by the wonderful architecture we observed in both Utrecht and Amsterdam, and were simply amazed at the number of bicycles we saw. Having lived in Portland, Ore., for many years, I really thought the title of “Bike Capitol” belonged there. But after seeing thousands of two-wheelers in Holland, I might have to rethink that position.

We also experienced excellent food and drink, and had the privilege of meeting many wonderful people. The majority of the locals speak English and have a nice way of making U.S. visitors feel welcome. From the train station attendants to the restaurant workers, they all treated us like royalty; the only exception was the guy that yelled at me for being in his bike lane.

Alright, let’s get to the procurement stuff. I was thoroughly impressed with how the Dutch deal with the art of public procurement. National legislation requires that all public entities engage in electronic bidding (or tendering). So even if an organization wanted to issue an ITB or RFP on paper, they would not be allowed to do so. Not only is this a highly sustainable practice, but it leverages leading procurement technology. One could argue that The Netherlands is leading the world in the area of electronic bidding.

Negometrix is a software company based in Utrecht that offers a robust solution for procurement and contract management. In fact, they have the largest market share of public entities in The Netherlands and provide services to over 350 procurement offices throughout the world. Several months ago I saw a system demonstration from Negometrix and was very impressed with its functionality.

In addition to the quality of its software offering, Negometrix delivers a collaborative approach to customer service that would be hard to top. Their support professionals are continually on the ready to support any need that a customer may have. In fact, the conference I spoke at when I was in The Netherlands was a day dedicated to Negometrix users. While I spoke on the state of public procurement in the US, other sessions included enhanced system capabilities being offered and customer case studies on best procurement practices.

As I have said in past columns, I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to travel the world and talk about public procurement. I find that our NIGP member agencies have much in common with our international colleagues, and that we also have much to learn from them.

If someone were to ask for my advice on their public procurement practices, I might have to recommend, “Have you considered going Dutch?”

DARIN MATTHEWS, FNIGP, CPPO, CPSM, is the director of procurement for the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has extensive management experience, speaks throughout the world on procurement issues, and has published several books and articles on supply chain management. Contact Matthews at darin@ucsc.edu

This excerpt was taken from the NIGP Government Procurement Magazine (June/July 2019 Edition).The story can be found on page 40 of the publication.