Case Study

With More Equitable Evaluation Bloomington, IL Cuts Vendor Complaints by 66%

“OpenGov’s customer service on our side is exceptional! We have also heard from our bidders that OpenGov has helped them, and it was so easy.” - Carla A. Murillo, Procurement Manager, Bloomington, IL

Back in 2013, the City of Bloomington, IL, won the IPI Sunshine Award, ranking 9th out of 7,000 cities for outstanding achievements in transparency.  Ten years later, the City is still leading in engagement and equity efforts across the statemost recently by modernizing its procurement process. 

With the influx of federal grants such as ARPA, the Bloomington purchasing team knows it is more important than ever to make equitable and transparent purchases. “Spending public funds is always a little nerve-racking,” said Carla A. Murillo, Procurement Manager at the City. “Many of our citizens carefully scrutinize what we are doing and how we are doing our procurement.” 

The City partnered with OpenGov to increase solicitation efficiency and evaluation equity. Since going live in 2021, the City has cut development times in half and community complaints by 66%. 

“OpenGov has so many capabilities, and yet it is fairly intuitive, so you don’t have to be a programmer to utilize it.”  

Carla A. Murillo, Procurement Manager, Bloomington, IL



Agency Type

Annual Budget




Customer Results

50% Faster Solicitation Development

66% Fewer Questions & Complaints on Purchasing Decisions

6.6% Saved on Insurance Premiums Thanks to Effective Evaluation Tools

Extra Hours to Work on Strategic Projects and Training

Digitized & Streamlined Solicitation Development

For years, the City relied on paper processes for procurement. While the entirety of it was tedious, assembling the solicitation package was the most difficult and time-consuming. 

“Departments would copy over old versions of documents and send them to us to clean up. It was just such a cumbersome process to recreate a solicitation document with every new ITB/RFP/RFQ. There were a lot more chances for errors,” said Murillo. 

Completed responses, addenda, supplemental documents, FOIA requests, you name it, it had to be sent by mail. 

“We had many situations where our bids were lost,” said Murillo. “And stakeholders did not necessarily like that they had to mail in their hard copies.” 

With OpenGov, the City digitized solicitation development. This eliminated the hassle of versioned documents, as bids can be edited in real-time by multiple stakeholders. 

“OpenGov made our solicitation process just so much more efficient, and I feel like we are reaching more people, and both our employees and bidders are so much happier with the eProcurement platform.”

Carla A. Murillo, Procurement Manager, Bloomington, IL

Equitable & Open Awards and Evaluations 

Before OpenGov, Murillo took many extra steps to ensure fairness. For transparency, she and her team would open bids on a live video stream broadcasted to participating vendors. Then evaluators had to hand-record results in Excel to file them with the City Clerk. 

Now, these extra steps are eliminated, and vendors are more trusting: “This is a huge benefit of OpenGov… Vendors know that because it is on an electronic platform that we cannot access the bid until the set date,” said Murillo. 

The evaluation process is also much more straightforward: “The criteria set up in OpenGov with explanations help our evaluators to know what to look for when reviewing the proposals. They can see the explanations for each criterion and the number of points assigned to it. They did not enjoy our Excel worksheets,” said Murillo, “Evaluators commented on how nice it was to see other team members scoring and comments.”

This new evaluation process also saved the City money. With better means of collaborative scoring, the City saved 6.6% on a multi-layered Employee Health Insurance bid. 

“I believe because we were able to evaluate all the brokers so well, that we obtained a firm that helped us to obtain these results,” said Murillo. 

The People Behind the Software

For Murillo, it wasn’t just the product that sold her on OpenGov so quickly. The OpenGov team is “passionate and knowledgeable about procurement” and “always giving new ideas on how to utilize OpenGov even more.” 

“OpenGov’s customer service on our side is exceptional! We have also heard from our bidders that OpenGov has helped them, and it was so easy.”

Carla A. Murillo, Procurement Manager, Bloomington, IL


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