Transportation Agency Efficiently Moves Procurement Data

The Challenge

Sound Transit was approved by voters in 1996 to plan, build and operate a high capacity transit system in the Central Puget Sound area of Washington State. A public transit agency serving the citizens of Snohomish, Pierce, and King Counties, Sound Transit is focused on connecting the major regional centers across the three counties while partner transit agencies provide local service. Sound Transit’s plan provides for regional express bus routes, commuter trains, a cost-effective electric light rail system, and numerous capital improvement projects.

The cost and time to procure materials and services in support of a multi-billion dollar capital improvement program posed a daunting challenge to an organization just ramping up its procurement organization. The time and money that would be spent in processing and distributing bid packages by a limited number of staff was anticipated to be an inefficient use of valuable staff resources. As a new organization without long-established procurement policy, Sound Transit had the opportunity to think outside-of-the-box and move towards a paperless online procurement process.

The Solution

eBid Systems implemented a tailored solution for Sound Transit in 2001 that allowed them to rapidly build a database of service providers and suppliers and to broadcast notifications of new business opportunities to the vendor community. With annual procurement greater than $500 million, Sound Transit was also sensitive to providing maximum opportunities for disadvantaged business enterprises. Since initial deployment, the system has been periodically upgraded with new capabilities, including vendor contract management and contract compliance capabilities.