Transforming Procurement for Transit Agencies

Jan 27, 2016 by Tim Schmidt

In many ways, public transportation agencies are the same as any other – they require vendor registration, posting of the solicitations, and submission of bids. Why is it that so many transportation agencies are moving to eBid Systems?

There are many solutions on the market for managing public purchasing. As detailed in many past blog posts on transparency, sealed bidding, DBE compliance, and vendor registration, our software solution ProcureWare is ideally suited for all types of government and educational institutions.

In this article, I will focus on a specific market in public purchasing: transit/transportation. We have been serving transportation agencies like Sound Transit, TriMet, and North Texas Tollway Authority for many years; however, in recent years the momentum towards eBid Systems has accelerated because our bid management software addresses their need better than other solutions through:

  • Increased access and transparency
  • Simplified construction bidding
  • Increased DBE participation
  • Improved efficiencies
  • Ease of use

Let’s go through each one and how it suits the needs of transportation and transit:

1. Increased Access and Transparency

ProcureWare provides improved access to solicitations by moving all key information online including solicitations, bid documents, awards and contracts. Suppliers can register to receive solicitation notices and buyers can easily send notices to them. In addition to emails, contractors can also opt to receive notices via FAX or text message. Further, ProcureWare also allows for online public bid openings which makes it easier for staff and contractors because they do not need to attend the meetings in person.

2. Simplified Construction Bidding

ProcureWare is ideal for managing construction-type bids. It has many capabilities that are particularly relevant to construction bids, such as excellent document management functions.

eBid Systems software has no restrictions on the number or types of files that can be uploaded and supports files up to 500 MB in size. Files can be organized into a hierarchical folder structure and contractors can download individual files or the entire packet in a single click. Files are zipped during the download to reduce download times. The system also supports ordering of hard-copy documents that can be fulfilled by third-party reprographic firms.

Other capabilities relevant to construction bidding are the ability to automatically generate and publish planholder lists, recording of intent to bid and project roles like prime, subcontractor, and suppliers. This information, along with the DBE status, can be included in the published planholder list to make it easier for primes and subs to team on larger projects.

3. Increased DBE Participation

We discussed other DBE capabilities in our previous article, Managing DBE Compliance with eBid eXchange, so we recommend you go back and read this post. In a brief summary, however; ProcureWare can help you significantly increase DBE participation in your projects. Further, it simplifies the entire reporting process by automatically tracking DBE participation in the process, allowing prime contractors report spend with contractors online, and generating FTA reports at the touch of a button. It could not be easier for transportation and transit agencies that rely on Federal Transit Agency funds for large construction projects.

4. Improved Efficiencies

Transit agencies that use eBid Systems software typically report efficiency gains of 50% to 70% over previous manual processes. This is due to the template that foster simple solicitation preparation, easy document management and distribution, and streamlined notification, addendum, and bid analysis capabilities. Paper documents can be eliminated along with the time and expense of managing them. Contractors also like these capabilities because they can deliver their bids instantly and spend less time dealing with paper documents.

5. Ease of Use

ProcureWare is easy, easy, easy. This means that even infrequent users like project managers can post the solicitations, send notices, and receive bids themselves without help from the IT group of centralized procurement team. Further, suppliers are able to register, access documents, and submit bids without support from the overtaxed staff. This all equates to huge time savings and less stress. Oh, and did we mention that it makes the process easy?

 

It is no wonder that ProcureWare is fast becoming the tool of choice for infrastructure intensive organizations like transportation and transit agencies. eBid Systems has transforms procurement operations to help organizations save time and select better contractors. Schedule a demo today!