Arizona advances e-buying system
- By Brian Robinson
- Jun 07, 2001
Beginning in November, vendors who do business with Arizona will be able
to deal with requests for proposals online, marking the beginning of the
end for a messy and time-consuming paper-based process.
Eventually, local governments, municipalities and other political entities
also will use the system to provide a statewide, one-stop "procurement community."
Arizona is not exactly new to aspects of electronic procurement. It
has had a Web-based system for the past 10 years through which vendors could
view and download RFPs and other documents. The new system will take this
to the next level, according to John Adler, the state's chief procurement
"We'll be able to send and receive opportunities, conduct evaluations
and even negotiate work contracts over the Internet," he said. "The next
step will be to develop online catalogs and link contractors and others
into the Web site to form an electronic mall."
Development of that will start in 2002. Expansion of the system into
the enterprisewide procurement community will take up to two years, Adler
Once completed, the system will dramatically reduce redundancies that
now exist. Minority and women-run businesses, for example, now have to register
at about 20 different sites throughout the state to do government business.
Once Arizona's procurement community is up and running, they'll only have
to register once because all participants in the procurement process — state
and local — will have access to a central database.
It essentially will create a cooperative through which everyone will
be able to work with each other in statewide procurement, Adler said.
Apex Software Inc., a Phoenix-based IT consulting company, is developing
the initial RFP stage of the system.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.