A School District Learns an Efficient New RFP Process
The Green Bay Area Public School District, in Northeast Wisconsin, is the fourth largest public school district in the state. With over 40 schools, the procurement department plays a huge role in keeping the district operating smoothly and on budget.
Jake Alverson, the district’s Director of Procurement, came on board in the fall of 2017, succeeding someone who’d been in the position for 15 years. As Jake started assessing the systems and tools in place for his procurement staff, one of the first things he looked at was the department’s RFPs process.
Jake discovered that the District’s RFP process was inefficient, as is common in many organizations. His staff would receive an email or a Word document from an internal client and procurement would do their best to build that information into an RFP template that was created years before. Since they were using a template, the RFPs had a uniform look, but because the information they received from the stakeholder was not standardized, the resulting RFPS didn’t necessarily capture all of the required information. On top of that, some of Jake’s largest internal customers (departments like Facilities, Technology and Food Service) issued their own RFPs and had done so for years.
An RFP Solution
Jake knew he had to centralize the RFP process within his department. While it was critical for the stakeholders to be involved in the solicitations, Jake needed his team to be the ultimate driver. So, he signed on with ProcurementIQ to use our RFP Builder, a web-based tool that allows organizations to centralize the RFP process, making it more collaborative, simpler, and repeatable.
Was Jake able to pull off this restructuring of the District’s RFP process? The answer is a resounding YES. In the beginning, Jake encountered some minor pushback, but he was able to convince his internal clients to participate in the reorganization of the RFP process.
With the new system in place, stakeholders contact Jake and his staff to propose a project. Fortunately, the district’s department leads are experts in their fields, who truly stay up to date on their knowledge. So, Jake and his team collaborate with them to get their general scope of work and to understand how they’d like to evaluate the responses. The end result is comprehensive information that Jake plugs directly into the RFP Builder. The Builder creates a complete document, which Jake downloads, formats and sends to the user for review and approval.
Jake and his internal stakeholders are big fans of the new process that has been facilitated by the RFP Builder and they all agree it’s much better than what they used to do. Jake loves that the RFP Builder provides a repeatable standard for all of the District’s RFPs. With the tool, assuming his client gives him everything he needs, he can create an RFP in an hour, which is incredibly efficient. Plus, having that standardized, repeatable result cleary demonstrates that procurement is an advanced and highly professional department.
It’s not only the District’s staff that benefit from the standardized and comprehensive RFPs. Because the RFP Builder helps create RFPs that sequentially lay out exactly what the suppliers need to provide, there is very little room for error. This makes it easier for suppliers to respond appropriately and allows for more efficient evaluation of the responses.
Overall, Jake and his team at Green Bay Area Public School District have found great success in implementing the RFP Builder and getting procurement staff and internal clients and stakeholders on board. With a passionate ambassador like Jake, it’s no surprise that his department is humming along like a well-oiled machine. We’re excited to hear about his continued achievements.