The Challenge

A leading facilities management firm delivers outsourced services to federal government agencies across the United States, including national laboratories, cabinet-level headquarter campuses, and facilities that support the intelligence community. To serve the geographically dispersed customer sites, the company relies upon hundreds of subcontractors and suppliers to provide security, maintenance, construction, and many other services.

In order to ensure profitability, sourcing teams must maintain a pool of qualified suppliers and obtain the best pricing through a competitive process. Because the company is serving the government market, it needs to provide opportunities to Disadvantaged Businesses Enterprises (DBE) and document their participation in the procurement process.

With multiple facility locations and departments maintaining their own vendor lists, key information about suppliers was often out-of-date and not shared. In addition, the company’s reliance on hardcopy distribution of documents and email communications both internally and with suppliers resulted in missed requirements and a prolonged procurement process.

The Solution

To improve quality and profitability, the company looked to eBid Systems to help streamline the procurement process and foster collaboration with remote sourcing teams. A new sourcing portal was implemented on the eBid Systems platform, which linked directly from the firm’s corporate website. From there, vendors are able to self-register and view solicitations. “I cannot conceive of how it could be easier” states their Subcontracts Administrator when speaking of the vendor registration system. The registration forms were configured to specifically meet the needs of company with sections to capture data on service areas, union status, government clearance, DBE classifications, and service categories.

To ensure supplier quality, a vendor approval function was implemented as part of their vendor registration procedure. Once approved, invited vendors can access solicitation documents and submit their bid online. The company can post and distribute addenda in minutes to suppliers and track the receipt of the documents. Plan holder lists are automatically maintained, ensuring all potential suppliers submit accurate and timely bids.

The Results

By deploying the eBid Systems platform, the company now has a single, centralized source to key data that directly impacts the bottom line, such as requirements, vendor performance, and contracts. No matter their location, facility managers can easily access, update, and share the same critical procurement data, eliminating the mistakes inherent with disseminated information and email exchange.

Furthermore, facilities managers are better able manage their subcontractors, ensuring a qualified pool of service providers from which to draw. Accessing the searchable vendor database, administrators can locate suppliers that provide the necessary services for a particular location as well as view the supplier’s performance history.

Based on the positive experience they have had with eBid Systems, plans are underway to expand its use within the company even further with the addition of hundreds of contracts.