Case Study

Transforming Purchasing in Milpitas, CA: From Paper-Pushing to Driving Innovation

The City of Milpitas, CA is a vibrant community nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley. With an eye on modernization, the City upgraded its bidding system in 2014 in an effort to bring in more vendor bids to serve its growing population.

This small step started the City on a journey toward rethinking procurement workflows to better serve its operational and strategic needs.  


Starting with Bids, But Still Seeing Inefficiencies

In 2014, the City’s purchasing team  stopped receiving paper bids from suppliers  by implementing electronic bidding, but that didn’t solve the process challenges that plagued Purchasing.

At the time, the Milpitas purchasing team was managing around 40 solicitations a year with some departments like IT and public works opting to manage their own processes separately. Lack of consistency created compliance issues, and left out key stakeholders. 

Even with electronic bidding the process was problematic, projects were still being managed in documents passed via email as attachments, and were ultimately printed into massive documents for evaluation teams. 


A Full Scale Overhaul Brings Real Change

Recognizing that fixing one step in the process was necessary but insufficient to create the alignment and drive the efficiencies needed to serve a growing city, Purchasing took a broader view.

The Milpitas team shifted its focus to contract management to drive more value for the City. By ensuring funds are being spent strategically and vendor relationships are managed effectively, Purchasing can more effectively support innovation and growth.

The Purchasing  Division knew systems existed to help with the backend of the sourcing process, but what they discovered when they contacted OpenGov Procurement was an opportunity to streamline the entire sourcing process, from idea and solicitation development, to evaluation, award, and contract management. 

With the adoption of OpenGov, they soon realized that a full-scale collaborative procurement automation tool would allow the City to gain efficiencies by making their process more collaborative, transparent, guided, and more intuitive and automated. “We jumped from a word processing  operation to a collaborative tool… it really moved us forward,” explains Assistant City Manager Walter Rossmann.


Procurement Advances the Speed of Innovation 

With OpenGov Procurement in place, Purchasing now has the proper platform to prevent bottlenecks and set better expectations for the City of Milpitas. They have standardized their process across all departments and promote  more meaningful collaboration with their internal customers. Today, they are no longer seen as the adversary to expediency, but rather a partner in innovation.  

Because this entire process resides in the cloud, the purchasing  team provides continuous business operations, even during an emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic. 


“We jumped from a word processing  operation to a collaborative tool… it really moved us forward.” Milpitas Assistant City Manager Walter Rossmann.


Key Results for City of Milpitas

Assistant City Manager Walter Rossmann shared: “As we step back and look at the differences between electronic bidding and where Milpitas is  with OpenGov Procurement today, it is safe to say that in this case, the City realized a minimum  95% increase in productivity. 

“With OpenGov Procurement, we worked with our senior services manager and staff person in real time, making changes, getting live updates  and discussing (the RFP). We were able to turn it around by the end of  business that day, and within 17 days we had our first shipment delivered  on the deadline,” described Zachary DeVine, Buyer, City of Milpitas

He added, “ with OpenGov Procurement, not only was I able to source and publish the solicitation the  same day, but I also came in $2,000 under budget after receiving more than a dozen quotes.  That would have been very difficult in a hardcopy environment.” 

The pandemic underscored the criticality of cloud solutions as cities continue to evolve their workflows to enable more virtual work, and OpenGov Procurement ensures that everything, from pre-proposal to contract management, can be done virtually.


Agency Type

Annual Budget




Customer Results

3x increase in Completed Procurements

90% average time savings per solicitation

100% Department Adoption

95% overall productivity gain for Procurement

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