In 2004, the SMWBE Program Office requested an analysis and documentation of the SMWBE tracking process; analysis of data sources; design of desired reports; documentation of requirements for utilization tracking and analysis, availability tracking and analysis, and gap analysis; and recommendation of potential solutions.
The business environment in which the SMWBE Program operates is complex. A great deal of data is needed to support the Program's business requirements and reporting duties.
Some of the data does not exist in any automated system. Other data exist in several systems (AFS and SCTRCA) and are maintained separately and without synchronization. Much of the information is only available for manual examination even though it is stored electronically because the information is stored as PDF documents rather than as fielded data in databases.
Other data, while available in an automated system can be inconsistent due to changes over time, lack of edits in the system, and 'creative' use of some of the available text entry fields. The inconsistency makes the data less than reliable and inaccurate.
The need to track the County's business involvement with SMWBEs evolved much later than the need to keep records about County purchases and vendors and payments. The result of the later evolution is that the data needed to support SMWBE tracking resides in multiple formats and multiple, disparate systems.
While the data needed for SMWBE tracking exists, the manual effort required to locate and manipulate it and do the necessary calculations was extremely formidable.
The B2GNow Contract and Diversity Management System provides the County with a technological tool to monitor specific contract elements, which includes, but are not limited to, prime contractor requirements, subcontractor utilization, insurance and bonding, and payment tracking.
The system went live on October 1, 2008, and as such the SMWBE Program staff scheduled a series of meetings to demonstrate the system to all departments and offices that engage in professional services or contracting. The contracts that each department or office administers were then loaded into the system.
BCIS SMWBE Tracking Analysis 2002
The SMWBE Program gets data about SMWBE vendors from at least seven sources. A great deal of time is spent trying to reconcile information about the vendors that are found in multiple sources. Data is used for reporting and for outreach.
Outreach involves public viewing of basic vendor and product data as well as creating mailing labels and solicitation listings. A single database with all needed data in one place would greatly simplify the work currently needed for outreach and reporting and would improve the quality of both efforts.
Project goals and objectives
Create and maintain a database for data about opportunities, bidders, contracts, primary and sub-contractors.
Background and reason for the project/request
The County has a goal for SMWBE participation of 20 percent minority and 30 percent small business. Commissioners Court has tasked the SMWBE Program with developing procedures and processes to achieve the program goals. Improve evaluation by expanded analysis and wider dissemination of information is needed. Actual participation is underreported because subcontractors are not tracked.
Business Process Improvements with CDMS
Improved evaluation by expanded analysis and wider dissemination by:
- Performing a joint internal program assessment annually;
- Calculating the rate of participation by commodity code;
- Determine participants by both SCTRCA & other certified and non-certified vendors;
- Track subcontractors;
- Accurate tracking of all vendors contact & payment information;
- Countywide access to vendors for staff solicitations.