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.
3x increase in Completed Procurements
90% average time savings per solicitation
100% Department Adoption
95% overall productivity gain for Procurement
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