Cooperative Contracts

A quick dive in to what is happening in the world of Procurement in the eyes of Contractors and Governments.

Estrada Consulting Inc.

  • National Institute of government Procurement states after conducting extensive due diligence and market research, public procurement should, where permissible by law or regulation, consider the use of cooperative contracts, in order to lower prices, lower administrative costs, increase competition, and obtain more favorable terms and conditions.
  • The 2019 Survey shows a strong favor amongst all parties for more cooperative contracts
  • By Introducing cooperative contracts, governments can help obtain quality goods and services to support effective and efficient government ensuring the prudent use of public funds.

This week the annual survey of State and Local Government Procurement Professionals was published through a collaborative effort between GovWin and Deltek which brought along with it some incredible insight in to the future of procurement from multiple angles; notably in this regard was the strong preference of cooperative contracts in the industry from both Contractors and Government’s.

What is Cooperative Procurement?

Cooperative Procurement is a term that refers to the combining of requirements of two or more public procurement entities to leverage the benefits of volume purchases, delivery and supply chain advantages, best practices, and the reduction of administrative time and expenses.

 

To understand simply, is that two or more organizations combine their resources in order to pull of a larger project that they would not have individually qualified for or been able to efficiently complete.


This allows for a more opportunity for growth and cooperation between organizations looking to gain contracts.

 

The Survey

This survey was done by testing four potential motivations for making a purchase using a cooperative contract; Time, Money, Solutions, Gap Filling.

What does this mean?

The results were heavily skewed as most organizations would prefer having the ability to collaborate and cooperate with third parties in order to efficiently pull off a project.

From a contractor perspective, cooperative purchases among government buyers helps contractors to prioritize their sales efforts across both traditional and alternative channels.

Not all businesses can qualify for national contracts, but there are also regional co-ops and statewide contracts that are cooperative in nature. For those firms who can participate, these cooperative contracts offer lower marketing costs on a per unit basis, larger per-contract revenue on average, stability of income, and potentially better overall profits as a result.

Why do we need more Cooperative Procurement?

According to NASPO (National Association of State Procurement Officials): The primary role of public procurement is to obtain quality goods and services to support effective and efficient government ensuring the prudent use of public funds. Public procurement professionals add value to every government program by:

  • Providing efficient delivery of products and services;
  • Obtaining best value through competition;
  • Offering fair and equitable competitive contracting opportunities for suppliers; and
  • Maintaining public confidence through ethical and transparent procurement practices.

In Conclusion

The benefits of cooperative contracts far outweigh the drawbacks, both contractors and governments have shown a strong inclination for it, and it will provide more competition and opportunities for all levels of contracting which will be a net positive for the taxpayers.

Seattle Reverse Vendor Forum

This week the City of Seattle hosted the Reverse Vendor Trade Show at the Beautiful Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion. 

The event as advertised by the city:

“Was an opportunity for vendors to introduce themselves to a variety of City of Seattle Departments and other public agency representatives.  Learn about upcoming solicitations, procurement opportunities, sustainable purchasing and network with other local vendors. Women-owned and minority-owned businesses are especially encouraged to attend.” (Kjell Elmer, City of Seattle)

Consultants from ECI attended the highly successful event in order to showcase and meet with officials from various departments in Washington State. 

Washington State has rapidly become an area of focus from ECI as multiple contracts have been awarded and delivered recently by our members. Most recently ECI again won a contract with Sound Transit only one year after initially winning a contract with them. 

ECI is proud to be contributing to the great State of Washington and is proud of the services and products that it provides in order to bring value to the lives of millions of its residents. 

 

BIZFILE – California Secretary of State Filing Services

California Business Connect

(CBC) is an IT project that aims to automate paper–based processes; allowing businesses to file and request copies of records online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Furthermore, it will provide access to Secretary of State business records allowing the public and government agencies to perform functions in a more efficient manner and allow fee payments to be processed within one business day.

The project was approved in 2011 and is set to go public in Mid 2019. 

California BizFile was commissioned by the California Secretary of State Department which processes close to 2 million business filings and other customer orders each year. The business functions such as registering business entities and registering trademarks and service marks are handled by the Business Programs Division of the Secretary of State’s office

The Business Programs Division performs the “Filing Process” in which information submitted by businesses are reviewed for filing. The filing information is available upon request to California businesses, government agencies and other customers; some specific information is made available publicly online.

Business filings delivers numerous benefits to individuals and private and public agencies by providing information such as:

  • Evidence of the formation, registration, modification of domestic and foreign business entities.
  • Evidence of the key persons or entities operating business entities
  • Evidence of the registration and modification of trademarks and business marks.
  • Evidence for court cases and law enforcement investigations.
  • Information to government agencies for taxing, licensing, and regulatory purposes.
  • Proof of existence or good standing to open bank accounts, obtain financing, obtain licenses, enter into contracts, and conduct other official business in California.

For more information, visit www.sos.ca.gov/business-programs/cbc.

Project Overview:

The Business Programs Division performs a variety of activities in support of the core functions of the Secretary of State. The previous Filing Processes were various and based on older information technology systems and paper processes that supported the different types of filings and orders.

The Business Programs Division goal is to have all the filing and order types supported by a single set of common processes using similar systems with similar architecture.

For example, The Trademark Registration pilot has been developed and implemented based on the desired process model and using cloud-based services such as “Government Online Forms & Workflow Automation” electronic workflow (www.simpligov.com) and inhouse development of web services.

To support the desired business process and the electronic workflow, CBC Provides a cloud-based DevOps solution based on Microsoft Azure platform and .NET technologies to design, develop, and implement integrated web applications and web services to facilitate real time bi-directional transmission of data between public facing systems and internal systems of record.

On January 17, 2018, it was launched, and the Trademark Registration Online, allows you to submit online trademark and service mark registrations including required supporting documentation; allowing faster processing of both electronic and paper submissions, provides filing tips and samples to help you get your filing right the first time.

The highly successful ECI team was brought on to the project and achieved multiple milestones: 

  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams, stakeholders and sponsors to develop the business requirements
  • Incorporated an Agile mindset to help the team focus on delivering the shippable products in incremental development iterations.
  • Facilitated and collaborated across teams involved in delivering integrated modules and Led Intranet/Extranet applications, workflows, and web services.
  • Supported assigned development team when encountered problems beyond their expertise buy performing the following tasks:
    • Apply best practices in software development using Microsoft IDE, Azure DevOps, and .NET technologies
    • Design and develop web services, dynamic libraries, and web applications, using the appropriate programming techniques and languages
    • Develop and maintain cloud-based SQL Server databases and advanced SQL scripts
    • Create logic, system, and program flows
    • Write and execute unit test plans
    • Track and resolve processing issues
    • Participate in the review of code/systems for proper design standards, content and functionality.
    • Participate in all aspects of the Systems Development Life Cycle.
    • Adhere to established source control versioning policies and procedures
  • Performed Agile planning and project management using Azure DevOps
  • Developed data migration plan and led the development team in selecting, preparing, extracting, and transforming data and permanently transferring it from legacy systems to the new designed database in a cloud-based platform.
  • Acted as servant leader in establishing a continuous plan of action to improve the team’s success toward commitments and goals.
  • Applied Continuous Integration (CI) process to automating the build and testing
  • Used Azure BLOB Storage to organize and maintain the documents and attachments associated to Filing Process.
  • Designed and developed self-installing service to automate and support integration and database management back-end services

While this project is still ongoing; ECI’s part has been successfully completed. We are greatly looking forward to the tools we helped create being fully utilized by the general public.