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City Sanitation Entity Seeks Better Online Service Management

In a Task Order Solicitation, the city of Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment department is seeking a Customer Relationship Management system.

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A key refuse entity for the nation’s second-largest city by population wants to hear from IT vendors that might be able to provide it with a new solution.

The city of Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) department is soliciting responses, it said in a Task Order Solicitation (TOS) released Oct. 7, from nine “pre-qualified automation project consultants” in the Related Services and System Integration service areas. Specifically, LASAN seeks a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Among the takeaways:

  • LASAN provides curbside pickup of residential solid waste to more than 750,000 single-family homes and small apartment complexes and 500,000 multi-family homes across the city of Los Angeles — including refuse, recyclables, yard trimmings and horse manure, according to the TOS. It also does special collection of bulky items, electronic waste, metal/household appliances and other items. In calendar 2020, LASAN had nearly 2 million service requests — begun either by a person calling its Customer Care Center and having a service request entered by a LASAN agent/operator; via the self-service MyLA mobile app; or via the “Create Service Ticket” function on the LASAN or MyLA website. All requests get logged into a central app and are then sent to the appropriate LASAN division or service provider for completion.
  • LASAN seeks a “modern, robust, next generation, cloud-based CRM” with the features and functionality to meet its existing and future needs — one capable of eliminating “the need for the costly management and administration of an on-premise system infrastructure” but which can also maximize efficiency and customer service. The entity wants to improve and expand its service via more contactless options like virtual assistants, and using texting and image recognition to automate service requests. A new CRM would also empower the entity to deliver its app in different languages. LASAN also wants to consolidate its processes into “one ecosystem,” starting with its Customer Care Center’s cloud Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system (Amazon Connect) which empowers field fulfillment with Esri GIS tools. Now, LASAN’s CRM and fulfillment software (SANSTAR) are in separate systems — resulting in “inefficiencies, update/upload errors and no real-time data.” LASAN also wants a new CRM to deliver “live metrics in the form of customized dashboards and reports,” creating an environment where administrators and managers can create dashboards and reports without impacting overall CRM performance; and offering subscriptions to automate report delivery to stakeholders.
  • The TOS aims to “solicit consulting support to build and implement a unified service request platform” capable of delivering “visibility and the ability to manage the entire LASAN service request process for each participating division ... .” That includes a “tight integration for LASAN’s multiple services” from the IVR system to service fulfillment “offered with reports and real time dashboards” to help staff resolve any issues. It’s also “critical” per the TOS that field supervisors get the resources they need to make sure services are done and completed as scheduled. LASAN’s task list for the needed solution includes service request management, resident self-service, reporting analytics dashboards and enterprise GIS integration, as well as security, mobile functionality and social media.
  • Among the requirements, respondents must provide a description of current and/or past work on similar projects, and must have successfully done “a CRM integration with AWS Amazon Connect and with a Virtual Assistant (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri).” All respondents’ employees on the project just have skill sets including work with HTML, Javascript, GIS (Esri, Google Maps, Open Source GIS platforms, Geospatial Data, Spatial Query, etc.), as well as a “good understanding of web standards and security.” Submissions must include a “high-level project schedule” for service delivery as outlined in the TOS, and a statement of costs including hourly costs per person and extended and travel costs — as well as a grand total of “both hours and dollars for the project.” On-site training will be required, and respondents are expected to offer hands-on training to LASAN staff. Subcontractors must be identified in the appropriate forms.
  • Questions are due by 4 p.m. Oct. 20. Proposals are due by 1 p.m. Nov. 8. LASAN seeks a project timeline with completion in July 2023. A precise start date isn’t clear, but the agreement term will be two years with two optional one-year renewals.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.