A Challenge-Based Approach to Market Research Facilitates California’s DMV Vendor Day

Success Stories
March 28, 2022

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hosts an annual Vendor Day where it invites the vendor community to partner with the agency to help it prepare for the future. The agency shares transformative business challenges that focus on improving its employee and customer experience. The goal of vendor day is to provide enough information on the DMV’s business opportunities for the vendor community to propose innovative solutions that meet new market demands, customer expectations, and employee needs. 

Historically the DMV’s collection of vendor information was inefficient and often led to lengthy procurements. The agency used non-interactive PDF forms, Microsoft Office, and email to facilitate information sharing. As a result, vendors would often provide only readily available marketing materials, and frequently forms that requested specific information were responded to in handwriting. These are just a few of the time-consuming bottlenecks during the intake and evaluation process.

For the third consecutive year, City Innovate has partnered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Department of Technology (CDT) to advance and transform how the DMV conducts business. At its core City Innovate’s involvement with the DMV has revolved around assisting the DMV to better facilitate market research, emphasizing the agency’s Requests for Information (RFIs) which help projects find the appropriate path to procurement. The DMV has utilized City Innovate’s challenge-based methodology and our application’s Market Research module to accomplish this transformation. 

City Innovate’s Software Solution

A month before the Vendor Day 2022 event, the DMV worked with City Innovate to identify and define five business challenges within its internal programs. Programs are guided through a Business/Stakeholder Analysis*, where special care is given to identify relevant stakeholders and draft a tangible action-oriented problem statement. Once a concise problem statement has been generated, it can be offered up to the vendor community to be solved.

*If you’d like to learn more about how City Innovate can help you surface, review, and approve Agencies’, Departments’, or internal programs’ business challenges, read about how the Technology Modernization Fund is leveraging our Business/Stakeholder Analysis Module.

The DMV Vendor Day 2022 was a virtual event where the DMV’s internal programs shared their business challenges with an audience of over 450+ from the vendor community. After formal introductions and an overview of the agenda, programs present their problem statement, scope/timeline, and desired outcomes. Vendors are encouraged to engage in a Q&A after each project presentation and are reminded that there’s no expectation to provide solutions that solve the problem in its entirety. After the conclusion of the event, vendors are directed to submit their responses and any additional questions through City Innovate’s online application portal. This is where City Innovate’s Market Research module comes into play. 

The DMV leveraged City Innovate’s Market Research module to share, collect and evaluate vendors’ responses to the six (five defined + one wildcard) business challenges presented during Vendor Day. Below is an approximation of the vendor submission response and evaluation process;

  1. The DMV configures its online vendor application portal with business challenges that include a concise action-oriented problem statement.
  2. The agency shares the online portal during Vendor Day, over email, and/or on their website.
  3. Vendors navigate to the online portal to submit their responses and any questions about the challenge they may have.
  4. The DMV executives review and evaluate vendor applications.*
  5. Best fitting solutions are selected for requirements development. Internal programs are shown which procurement vehicle to use.
*All submissions are kept in a secure searchable database for the DMV to reference as new business challenges arise.

Key Results for the DMV

Since City Innovate’s initial involvement in 2019, the DMV’s Vendor Day has had 450+ solutions submitted on behalf of the vendor community. Nineteen of the submissions were pitched to a group of California state executives, which included members from GovOps, the Office of Innovation, the DMV, and other transportation agencies. Ideas that have been implemented include; mobile technicians to capture REAL ID applications outside of field offices, AI-based remote proctoring for diver knowledge tests, robotic process automation of paper workloads, workforce scheduling optimization, etc.

Customers of the DMV have experienced an improved online experience, shorter in-person visits, faster processing of paper channels, smaller queues, and 24/7 support. In addition, employees and partners of the DMV have experienced optimized workflows, data-driven process efficiencies, paper reduction, and HR process improvements.

Using City Innovate's purpose-built modules, an acquisition can be managed, executed, and tracked from idea to solution. From business challenge intake and evaluation (for both internal programs or reporting agencies) with the Business/Stakeholder Analysis module. To vendor application submission and assessment of the Market Research module. Through procurement with the Solicitation Building, Contract Writing, and Contract Renewal modules. City Innovate's enterprise application digitizes and automates to provide time-saving and quality-improving benefits. The application's database structure also delivers valuable data insights for agency leaders to make better-informed decisions. Learn more about our Business/Stakeholder Analysis module and our work with the California Department of Technology’s Technology Modernization Fund.