Serviced Based Procurement Process
Problem StatementBased on a business decision made by the Library’s existing automation vendor in March of 2007 to not move forward with the long-planned upgrade to our existing product, the Library decided to evaluate the marketplace and solicit a new Integrated Library System (ILS) that would be able to meet patron, staff and technical specifications. After studying the marketplace and existing ILS Requests for Proposals (RFP) from around the country, the ILS Planning Committee decided, in its RFP process, to emphasize library goals rather than create a laundry list of software specifications in order to select a vendor who was equally committed to customer service.
Working with the County Procurement Department, the Library prepared the RFP to describe ideals for each business process and technical need, followed by specific questions regarding the prospective vendors’ ability to meet or exceed the Library’s needs. The Library then selected the best matched vendor based on the Library needs and the vendor that showed the strongest customer service support.
Some sample questions asked in the RFP are:
- Please describe the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). Describe in detail how the OPAC is prepared to support emerging technologies and features, ex: Web 2.0 functions, relevancy ranking, faceted navigation, etc. If these emerging technologies are not currently in your OPAC, explain future development plans or an overlay product that would provide these features.
- The Library cannot pay vendor invoices for books and materials unless all items on an invoice have been received. It is critical that the Library knows which items have been received in all locations when invoices are entered for payment. Since many items are … drop-shipped by vendors directly to the branch locations, the Library relies upon the System as a means to determine that all materials on an invoice have been received and the invoices can be paid.… How will the System enable the Library to know the materials have been received and the invoices can be paid? Are you willing to provide custom programming, if needed, so that when an item is checked in using Circulation its receipt is automatically reflected in Acquisitions?