Case Study

Despite Turnover, Pittsburgh, PA Staff Triple Bid Volume

“This past year, had we been on our old system, we never would have gotten everything done with the staff that I had." - Jennifer Olzinger, Chief Procurement Officer, Pittsburgh, PA

When Jennifer Olzinger, Chief Procurement Officer, first started working at the City of Pittsburgh, it was still part of Pennsylvania’s Municipalities Financial Recovery Program. 

The Procurement department was down to a skeleton staff, and it had to partner with Allegheny County to handle the administrative process of putting out bids. “People here were really just paper pushers between the department and the County,” she says. “I really had to build the whole team.”

Olzinger also had to build a new process, as the City’s digital system was not delivering. “We had to do a lot of things manually that we wouldn’t have had to do if the system functioned correctly, Olzinger said. “They would enhance something and break something else in the process. We had tickets open for three years.” 

When the contract was finally up, the City implemented OpenGov Procurement, gaining efficiencies that proved to be crucial during a season of high prices and high turnover.

“We totally need an OpenGov ‘easy button’ because it’s so EASY to use. We are literally in love, if you can love software.”

Jennifer Olzinger, Chief Procurement Officer, Pittsburgh, PA



Agency Type

Annual Budget



Contract Management

Customer Results

300% Increase In Published Bids

4X Faster Solicitation Development

Proactively Meet Contract Deadlines and Balance Staff’s Time

An Onerous Process

The most time-consuming part of the old process? Answering questions. Under the old system, the Procurement team would assign a deadline for questions, then bring stakeholders together in a room to go through them to compile the answers altogether. Not only was that painful, but it was also hard to even find a time when as many as 20 stakeholders from 15 different departments could meet. The whole process could take as long as three weeks.

Solicitation development was also a very manual exercise. Without collaborative tools, folks on the Procurement team would have to retype Word documents, send PDFs, document changes, then go back into the system to make edits. It was also hard to keep track of changes, and there was no official record of what, exactly, a department had said to put out. “A lot of times it was a he said/she said,” Ozlinger said.  

Cutting Down on Inefficiencies

When the time came to make the switch to OpenGov, the process was a quick one—about three months, start to finish. “I’ve never had an implementation go so well,” Olzinger said. “The team was great, and we got up and running in a tight timeline.”

Now, her department doesn’t have to duplicate work by retyping documents or keep track of the status of each piece of the process by searching through email.

“Our project managers love that they can go in and see where everything is—what questions are answered, where we’re at in the process, and if we’ve flipped intake into solicitation. That also saves us from answering a lot of phone calls and emails about the status.”

There’s also a clear record of who has signed off on solicitations before they go out, so they can go back and find the root of any mistakes. “It eliminates a lot of the blame going around when there is an error,” Olzinger said.

A More Nimble Department

Like procurement departments across the country, the City of Pittsburgh is dealing with supply chain challenges and constant price increases. 

Those fluctuations mean contracts aren’t simply renewed—the procurement process starts all over again. And the sheer volume of work is making it hard to retain employees. Olzinger started 2023 down in headcount, and yet her department has put out triple what it did at the beginning of 2022.

“This past year, had we been on our old system, we never would have gotten everything done with the staff that I had,” Olzinger said.

Now that the process is more efficient, Olzinger’s department can develop a solicitation in as quickly as same-day, and they are seeing an uptick in responses. 

Centralized and Proactive Contract Management 

OpenGov’s contract management software is also making it easier for Olzinger to keep track of her employees’ workload. 

“It’s nice to be able to see and predict workflow and balance my staff’s time and have the data at a glance without having to pull reports and analyze it. I can see what’s coming up in the next 30-90 days, and whose plate is it going to be on.” 

The new system has brought in labor-saving efficiencies at a time the department really needed them. 

But it’s not just the Procurement department that is reaping these benefits. Olzinger and her team have also received positive feedback from external stakeholders. 

“OpenGov Procurement has helped streamline our projects through RFP solicitation, construction bidding and contract agreements. The time saved and efficiency of the program are a priceless addition to our procurement resources.”

Andrea L. Ketzel RLA,  Landscape Architect


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