The way I describe these services is like eBay for professional services. The process looks like:
1. Publish your requirements online
2. Vendors bid for your work online
3. You evaluate the bids based on their response and their previous rating/work history which is linked to their profile
4. Once a vendor is selected the work begins and is tracked through the platform.
5. Payment is released upon acceptance (any issues are managed online through a 3rd party mediation company)
So the real benefits from this approach is access (1)to a huge marketplace of service providers (2) reverse auction (3) complete transparency and (4) no administrative costs to purchasers. The bottom line is that an online marketplace can: lower costs, improve quality, and provide a faster time to market. It also helps our local economy and lowers the barriers of entry so smaller firms can compete with the usual suspects.
Would this approach work in govt? What are the barriers? We all have requirements as to who we can do business with. Can we establish the same rules in these marketplaces to ensure that we source qualified resources?
If anyone is interested in discussing this further, I’m holding a conference call April 2nd at 12PST. Please register for the event in Govloop.