FROM THE AGILE PROCUREMENT BLOG

When a big strategic client says “thank you”

Announcements
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January 22, 2021



It’s always nice when clients say “thank you” and recently we got the best thank you a company could ever want - a mention in the client’s annual report.

Our client here is the State of California and each year the Dept. of Technology produces an annual report highlighting the hard work of its people in delivering new technology solutions to the residents of the Golden State

We are listed on page 31 of the report.  Repeated here for your reading pleasure.

“CalVax: CALIFORNIA'S COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM 

Late in 2020, with the approval of new anti-Covid vaccines, the state faced a new challenge: How to track, distribute, and manage the flow of these vaccines to the health care entities that would administer the vaccine to the state’s nearly 40 million residents. The solution was to create a new COVID-19 vaccine distribution system—CalVax—and to launch it as soon as possible. 

As time was a factor, the team decided to approach the project with a Request for Information (RFI) challenge based procurement. This allowed the team to better understand what preparations other states were making to receive and distribute the vaccine. Vendors responded to the RFI and their answers helped inform all three phases of the resulting procurement. 

The key benefit of the challenge-based procurement was its speed: The CalVax procurement process, from problem statement to contract execution, took only 35 days. Before the pandemic, procurement efforts of this scope could take as long as 12 months. 

Beyond speed, another benefit of this approach could be found in the quality of the solution. Vendors who participated in the proof-of-concept phase were encouraged to use off-the-shelf technology that could be customized quickly to meet the state’s needs. Ultimately, this design strategy would give the selected vendor a head start to deliver the solution for statewide vaccine delivery, storage and distribution. 

The final phase of the negotiations focused on what would it take to scale the system as well as to secure it, maintain it, and make it production ready. The team recognized that such considerations were important to include in a proof-of-concept discussions, and critical to delivering a robust solution to stakeholders quickly. The approach allowed the team to execute a vendor contract on December 14.”

What went unsaid? The unsung heroes here are the folks in procurement who have worked tirelessly - day and night, weekend or not - to make sure the people of California got the services they needed throughout this pandemic.














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