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City Seeks Consultant to Advise on Potential New Software System

In a request for proposals, the Silicon Valley city is looking for a consulting firm to assess its need for a new enterprise resource planning package and to manage potential vendor selection and system implementation, should the city opt to proceed.

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A city in the heart of the Silicon Valley is seeking proposals from consultants who can assess its need for a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) package – and guide the process should the city opt to replace its seven-year-old system.

The city of Cupertino issued a request for proposals (RFP-IT-2021) last week for consulting services that would have three phases: Phase I is an assessment of what the city needs in an ERP tool; Phase II is an RFP for that software package; and Phase III is project management if the plan moves to implementation.

The city seeks proposals from qualified consulting firms that provide ERP system consulting services. The city’s current ERP system, Tyler New World, was acquired in 2014 and incorporates what the city classifies as financial services (including accounts payable and receivable, bank reconciliation, budgeting, contract management, general ledger and purchasing) and human capital (human resources functions including benefits management, an employee self-serve portal, performance management, personnel and recruitment, and payroll).

The city, with a population of about 60,000, hopes to select one consulting firm to handle all three elements of the ERP plan, but it notes that the findings of Phase I, along with the city’s finances, could determine whether it advances to the next two phases.

“At the conclusion of the needs assessment,” the RFP says, “the selected consultant will prepare and submit to the city a written report including an objective analysis of the current system’s strengths and weakness, and where applicable, identifying inefficient practices and methods to streamline business processes independent of the current software system capabilities.”

If the consultant finds that the city should replace its current ERP tool, the consultant will be responsible for, among other things, developing the RFP and selecting the vendor. The consultant would then serve in a project management role during the ERP system implementation.

The RFP says the consultant will be chosen based on the following criteria:
  • Qualifications and experience of key staff who will carry out the work
  • Work program and methodology for carrying out the assignments
  • Project schedule for Phases I, II and III
  • Experience with California municipalities for like projects
  • Ability to accept the city’s contract terms including endorsements and insurance requirements
  • For Phase III, the mix of vendor solutions implemented
  • References and recommendations
  • Cost

The RFP spells out the key dates for vendors:
  • Pre-bid questions due by 5 p.m. Dec. 10
  • Response to questions by 5 p.m. Dec. 22
  • Proposals due by 5 p.m. Jan. 7
  • Short list developed by Jan. 18
  • Interviews and reference calls by Jan. 24
  • Consultant selected by Jan. 31
  • Initiate contract negotiations by Feb. 1
  • Signed contract from consultant by Feb. 25
  • Initiation of services by April 4
Dennis Noone is Managing Editor of Techwire. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in the Northern California foothills.