• A U.S. Port Authority

    Port Delivers Efficiency and Transparency through e-Procurement

    Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

Project Summary

A large port in the Texas Gulf Coast was investing heavily in expensive equipment and the construction of large infrastructure projects. However, its slow, manual, resource-intensive procurement process was hindering successful project completion. Management wanted a solution that would encourage local suppliers to participate in bid events, reduce printing and document management costs, and document their compliance with public procurement practices.

In 2007, the port automated and streamlined its procurement processes with Bentley procurement software. The port implemented a supplier self-registration system, which enabled them to better interact with potential suppliers. The port opted for a private procurement portal so that they could have greater control of the supplier relationship and increase participation from local companies.

Using the new software, port procurement staff reported a time savings of over 60 percent in the bid process through reduced document and communications management time. Using electronic distribution, the staff lowered the number of printed plan sets from 50 to 15. Instead of getting the requisite three quotes on smaller purchases, the port now invites up to 50 suppliers, and the increased competition has led to reduced prices. Because it is easier for local suppliers to learn about bid opportunities, more local firms are participating in the bid process and receiving major contracts.

The Bentley procurement portal included self-serve supplier registration, automated notification of bid opportunities, and online posting of large document sets. Sealed bids could be submitted online, making it easier for suppliers to compete for projects and allowing the port to more efficiently receive and analyze bids. The electronic process also enabled online public bid openings and automatic posting of award information.
  • The Bentley procurement software audit log provides proof that the port is meeting communication and transparency standards.
  • Procurement staff centralized vendor information to create a private database of more than 800 relevant suppliers.
  • Staff reduced time spent managing bids by more than 60 percent.
  • The required number of printed plan sets decreased from 50 to 15 because of electronic distribution.
  • The new system increased competition, with up to 50 bids on small projects instead of three.