The State of Illinois procures everything from produce to the development of highway infrastructure. As a government agency, the state must adhere to public procurement law which regulates the purchasing of goods, work, and services by public-sector bodies. The set procurement processes require the state to place public bids, perform evaluation processes, and publish contract awards providing transparency, accountability, and cost savings. To manage all bids, documents, and responses, the state utilizes an online electronic process called eProcurement.
In 2014, the eProcurement process utilized by the State of Illinois was complex and often times redundant. To update the system and streamline the process, the State of Illinois looked to Periscope Holdings for the purchase of a new eProcurement system called BidBuy. The new system consolidated the many eProcurement processes into one system and normalized the disjointed practices used to complete the process. BidBuy not only provided the State of Illinois with “state of the art” online commerce between government purchasers and businesses, but has been successfully implemented by many other states and municipalities. With BidBuy fully developed, Periscope and the State of Illinois needed a company that could successfully implement the new system and train its end users.
In March of 2015, Catalyst joined the project with a focus on business analysis, communication, end user training, and overall system branding. When implementing a system as influential and utilized as the State’s procurement system, communication is critical to success. The Catalyst Lead invested time at the onset of the engagement to learn the business processes, communication streams, and culture within the State of Illinois Chief Procurement Office of General Services. With this knowledge, Catalyst developed a customized communication plan used across all departments that was not only effective during system implementation, but also easily accepted by the client.
BidBuy streamlined the entire eProcurement process from bid advertisement to contracts awarded, but a system is only as good as its end user’s ability to use it. To ensure BidBuy’s end users were well-versed in all aspects of the system, Catalyst developed customized training materials including course manuals, presentations, training guides, and training exercises. The project lead also took a “train-the-trainer” approach to ensure the State of Illinois had subject matter experts of its own at the close of the project. Finally, Catalyst’s lead designer worked closely with the State of Illinois to brand their new BidBuy system to correlate with their existing logo and branding. The uniform branding implemented by Catalyst reinforced the consolidation of the multiple procurement processes to one platform and ensured a seamless, consistent experience for all end users.
IMPACT & RESULTS
The implementation of BidBuy Reduces Cost, Streamlines Processes and Increases Transparency
The new system allows the state to advertise solicitation opportunities, evaluate bids and publish contract awards on one platform.