The government agency known as the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) faced a technology challenge that had its suppliers concerned and threatened to increase costs to the agency. The dilemma: After CCSF implemented a new Oracle PeopleSoft Financials system, it discovered that the eProcurement portal used for bidding on agency contracts was confusing and diﬀicult to use.
When suppliers arriving to the site ﬁnd it challenging to register as a bidder, to bid for contracts, or to locate key information they can be driven away, meaning prices to CCSF rise as it receives fewer bids. Julie Ansell, CCSF’s Director of Procurement Systems, believed it imperative to modernize the look and feel of the portal and to make navigation more intuitive.
After considering an in-house solution, Ansell turned to InFlight to build a new user interface on top of PeopleSoft that optimized the portal for mobile and branded it to match CCSF’s other digital properties. “There was no need to write any underlying code and the solution resulted in a more modern, user-friendly, and secure portal,” Ansell says.
Because of the uniqueness of InFlight’s technology, they were the only vendor that could meet the demands of CCSF for rapid implementation and time to results, Ansell says.
One of Ansell’s biggest concerns was how the InFlight solution would accommodate an upcoming PeopleSoft upgrade.
“But we discovered InFlight could implement its solution in a way that would create no disruption when the PeopleSoft upgrade inevitably came,” Ansell says. “There’d be no need to redo the portal or any of the connections to it.” InFlight’s deep knowledge of PeopleSoft also aided the process, Ansell says, as she didn’t have to invest long hours in describing or translating PeopleSoft requirements for the InFlight team.
The redesigned portal has made it easier for suppliers to register, to bid on contracts, and to search for needed information, Ansell says. It also provides more seamless access to other partner websites and databases aﬀiliated with the CCSF.
“On the old portal suppliers were spending too much of their time with user support asking questions about how to use the site,” Ansell says. Now through use of metrics InFlight embedded in the portal CCSF has seen supplier satisfaction improve considerably. The majority of suppliers who’ve used the site following the redesign have rated it 9 out of a possible 10 for usability and eﬀ ectiveness, Ansell says.
“The new portal is receiving high marks from suppliers, who tell us it’s much easier to ﬁnd what they need and to conduct business more eﬀiciently,” Ansell says.
Julie Ansell| Director of Procurement Systems
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