Aurora partners with Marketplace.city to streamline procurement

21st September 2019 Jonathan Andrews

The City Council of Aurora in Illinois has passed a three-year MoU with technology platform Marketplace.city to streamline processes and data for technology procurements.

The MoU will see Marketplace.city input Aurora’s data and needs to identify the market landscape and vendor options based on what other local governments are using, including contract details. Although specifically set out for the city’s IT department, other departments can use it at their discretion.

“Typically the time taken to undertake a traditional RFP has been quite long: six to eight months moving to 10 months or longer, and that’s just not feasible in the IT world when technology changes so rapidly,” Michael Pegues, Chief Information Officer, Aurora, told Cities Today on the sidelines of the City Leadership Forum hosted by Chicago and Aurora.

Pegues said that the new platform could allow him to procure IT hardware, software, and professional services within 30 days.

“It’s about time, efficiency, being effective, and offloading some of that heavy lifting into the hands of our strategic partner Marketplace.city, since they have the competency and the capability to manage that,” he added.

Earlier this year the city began a pilot with the technology platform which focused on a smart waste solution for Phillips Park. The company scanned the market for different solutions and then narrowed the vendor list down to 20. Local companies received additional points in the final list to help promote the local economy.

The agreement is a performance-based contract, which means Marketplace.city is paid by the vendor only if a contract occurs. According to the company the process also gives Aurora transparency, price certainty, lower risk and more speed.

Although the company has worked with 160 cities since launching in 2016, Aurora is the first to establish full end-to-end procurement with Marketplace.city.

Chris Foreman, CEO, Marketplace.city said that the company can take one example from where a city did an RFP and can then share that data to other cities “not only on the platform but also other cities within the Cities Today Institute”.

“They can piggy-back on that and can actually issue direct purchase orders off of that, without having to go do their own RFP,” he said.

Pegues said that Aurora will now look to use the platform to procure security services, an emergency 911 dispatch system, grant management software, and consolidated print services, among others.

“The traditional procurement process was probably created at a time when we focused on commodity-based purchasing,” added Pegues. “But now with technologies and services, it’s changed, and we have to change, we have to adapt and we have to evolve.”

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