Tag Archives: procurement

The Paths to Procurement: Implementing Digital Strategies for the Future

Silhouette of businessman holding target board on the top of mountain with over blue sky and sunlight. It is symbol of leadership successful achievement with goal and objective target.By Mollie Bolin

When city leaders are preparing to procure new or updated mobility solutions, they often ask questions such as, “How do I write a request that opens a bid up to a wider range of respondents?” “I have an urgent need–is there a way to speed up my procurement process?” Or, “Am I approved to procure through a purchasing alliance?”

Every city has a unique set of parking, mobility, and enforcement needs, and with those come different approaches to procurement. The traditional RFP method is no longer the only option and over the years, the industry has started to see an increase in procurement via purchasing alliances. This trend can be attributed to a number of reasons, but most commonly, cities are leaning toward this route to increase the flexibility in what they are procuring for and speed up the overall procurement process.

Many municipalities are unaware that they are already a part of (or fall under the umbrella of) an alliance. Alliances, such as the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA) and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), can offer preferred pricing and additional products and features that may not have been included in a traditional bid. Conversely, a traditional RFP may elicit responses from companies a municipality may have not expected to respond, especially if it is written with updated and accurate requirements.

Whether a city opts for the traditional RFP method (like the City of Portland, Maine) or the purchasing alliance method (like the City of Chelsea, Mass., and the City of Key West, Fla.), the modern curb space continues to rapidly evolve. Now more than ever, it is vital for cities to consider re-imagining the procurement process, how their overall parking management system is structured, and what is needed to accomplish for both short- and long-term goals.

Mollie Bolin is an account executive with Passport. She will present on this topic with John Peverada, City of Portland, Maine; and John Wilkins, City of Key West, Fla., at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, Nov. 29 – Dec. 2, in Tampa, Fla.

Revenue Control System Procurement in a New World

Sihouette of woman with technology symbols superinposed on her headBy Don Barrett, CAPP

In the past 24 years I have seen many improvements in the revenue control systems that are available on the market. We have seen some equipment providers stop production of their lines of equipment the past several years. We have also seen the number of new upstart companies grow at a far greater rate, specifically in the mobile payment arena.

With all these changes, there has to be some thought put into the procurement process of a new revenue control system. This process should involve both short- and long-term goals of the system. As with all technology, anyone purchasing a system must realize that in the fast-paced tech world, new features and functionality will inevitably occur.

When procuring a system, there are several options available. The procurement can be done directly through various methods. The system can be purchased by the owner/operator directly from a manufacturer. The owner/operator can request pricing for systems from a select number of manufacturers. And the owner/operator can enlist the assistance of a consultant who will provide guidance and manage an RFP process.

Regardless of the method of procurement that is selected, the system requirements should be clearly identified. What functionalities will the new system need to have? Whether the new system will need to provide monthly parking functionality, LPR, availability to remotely monitor the facility, transient, and a myriad of other functionalities must be considered. A schedule for the procurement process should also be determined, containing initial meetings for system specifications and provide realistic timelines for each stage of the procurement process. Upon completion of the selection process, the purchaser and system provider should meet and continue to refine the timeline so all expectations are clearly defined. At the end of the process, the goal is to have a system that meets all the goals of the owner/operator.

Don Barrett, CAPP, is executive vice president, aviation, with REEF Parking.