Case Study

Phoenix Elementary School District #1 Meets DEI Goals with OpenGov Procurement

See How Phoenix Elementary School District Used Cloud Procurement Software To Meet Goals

Diversity, equity, and inclusion goals are on the mind of many school districts, but one of the most important functions for driving these goals – Procurement – is often overlooked as an important driver of these goals.

For federally-funded RFPs, school districts are required to “take all necessary affirmative steps to assure that minority businesses, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms are used when possible” (Code of Federal Regulations).

Streamlining procurement processes Phoenix Elementary School District #1 led to more equitable purchasing decisions, and a more diverse supplier base, and it also enabled the District to capture data for tracking and reporting on federal code compliance for engaging minority business owners.

What I love about OpenGov is that it captures [the] data that we need to prove to auditors that we made affirmative steps.” – Monique Harris, Procurement and Materials Manager for Phoenix Elementary School District #1

Population
Under 25K

Agency Type
School District

Annual Budget
$40M-$150M
Under $40M

Role
Procurement

Region
West

Solution
Procurement

Customer Results

More Equitable Purchasing Decisions

Diversified Supplier Base

Improved Data Capture Abilities

“We need to know that required business types are involved in our procurement processes when federal funding is involved. What I love about OpenGov is that it captures this data that we need to prove to auditors that we made affirmative steps,” said Monique Harris, Procurement and Materials Manager for Phoenix Elementary School District #1. “Now, I can easily show the number of vendors by classification type and the percentage of total vendors who are classified as certified small businesses, minority businesses, and many other categories.”

Previously, the procurement team had to pull together this data manually – and often it was not captured – which made both the audit and process for federally-funded RFPs much more challenging.

“With OpenGov we can capture the number of vendors by category, and share that data easily, which saves our team hours of time on reporting and assures compliance to federal code for reaching out to minority business owners,” described Harris. 

After over ten years in public procurement and project management, Harris was happily surprised that she was able to implement a modern system for managing the end-to-end process and reporting for the District’s RFPs in two months.  “We were able to hit the ground running by adapting  existing templates from other districts with the help of the OpenGov team,” Harris explained.

The benefit of a modern solution cannot be overlooked when it comes to attracting a more diverse supplier base. Making the process simpler reduces the barriers to entry for small and minority-owned businesses. “We are seeing an uptick in overall responses to our RFPs, especially from minority-owned businesses,” describes Harris.

In a recent Board Meeting to recommend vendors for District-paid student programs, Harris was able to easily share how each of the 17 vendors deemed acceptable were classified, which instilled greater trust in the procurement process and left more time and focus on consideration of the benefits to students.  

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