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Metropolitan Transportation Commission cuts RFP cycle times by 67%

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

San Francisco, CA

Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) sought to improve its paper-based procurement workflows, including hard-copy submission and scoring. By streamlining submission and RFx evaluation, MTC slashed project times by 67%, improved operational efficiencies, and supported decision-making.

Topics Covered

Transparency
Process Improvement

Cost

Initial: 10 Thousand USD

Funding

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2017

Gov Champion

Procurement Department

Problem Addressed

Paper- and Excel-based processes struggled to keep up with increasing pressure to 'do more with less'.

The Contracts team at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) manages all competitive bidding and RFx projects for the agency. Serving the San Francisco Bay Area, MTC manages over 75 RFPs per year, in addition to many other lower-spend solicitations and projects. The team’s mandate is to deliver the best value for the spending of public funds. To deliver on this mandate, MTC must ensure open opportunity to bid, be as efficient as possible, and maintain perfect compliance to applicable local, state, and federal laws.

In late 2015, the Executive Office tasked the Contracts team with improving the efficiency of their procurement process. It was clear to Denise Rodrigues (Assistant Director, Contracts Compliance Manager), Michael Brinton (Principal Contracts Manager), and the rest of the Contracts team that their existing manual, paper-based processes were no longer sustainable.

“We have a very small team relative to the volume of procurements and contracts,” states Brinton. “In our old method, everything was via paper... Our confidentiality and conflict of interest statements were signed via paper. We had a paper-based evaluation scorecard, where the evaluation panel members would have to fill out their scores and handwrite out their notes.”

Scores and comments were manually aggregated and tabulated in Excel, along with frequent in-person consensus meetings to follow.

Not only was this existing process creating operational hurdles, it also made responding to public information requests a difficult and time-consuming challenge.

A transition to digital tools was necessary

With the rise in project volume, they needed to be able to run more projects in less time with the same amount of resources.

The team worked to identify what they needed from a solution to achieve that. They needed system that:

  1. Can handle complex RFP evaluations
  2. Is extremely easy to use for all levels of technology proficiency
  3. Is reliable and stable
  4. Can help respond to public data and information requests
  5. Makes it easier for the team to find, gather, and share relevant project information as needed
  6. Has simple and straightforward implementation with little training needed

Solutions Used

Digitized procurement enabled MTC to bolster data and reporting capabilities with more powerful evaluation workflows.

Many of the options that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission team evaluated had individual components of what they were looking for, but ultimately they lacked the full functionality, ease of use for all users, and the modern look and feel they wanted. Having coming up short after testing and exploring numerous options, MTC finally found an eProcurement solution that had the individual components they needed as well as the ease of use they wanted. Finding Bonfire’s solution helped the team eliminate paper-based workflows and enhance efficiency in all activities.

“The way that the [first] demonstration was run, we could tell that [Bonfire] was going to be really easy for us to adopt: not a whole lot of training to do, it was intuitive," says Brinton.

In particular, PDF evaluation had the potential to significantly improve MTC’s evaluation efficiency. The agency can now bring their submissions online, structure their solicitation data, streamline their activities, and allow evaluators to review, score, and apply justifications all in a single place.

Using the new system, MTC eliminated its inefficient and manual hard-copy processes, improved the efficiency of data and scoring management and the effectiveness of evaluator panel meetings. These changes resulted in dramatically reduced project times, allowing the team to tackle the growing number of procurement projects in the pipeline.

Outcomes

1

MTC decreased project times by up to 67%, with RFPs completed in approximately 30 days compared to 60-90 days

2

Digitization enabled the team to meet the rise in project volume without the hurdles of hard-copy and manual processes

3

The agency can run its procurement process with greater consistency and efficiency

4

Residents benefit from changes that made it easier and less time-consuming for the agency to respond to public data and information requests

5

The new, centralized and easy-to-use systems allows the team to quickly train new staff members

Who Should Consider

Public sector procurement teams that struggle with labor-intensive paper-based processes and want to expand procurement capacity through centralized, automated eProcurement.

Government Project Team

  • Denise Rodrigues, Assistant Director, Contracts Compliance Manager
  • Michael Brinton, Principal, Contracts Manager

Last Updated

Aug 1st, 2022
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