Three apps are helping Pittsburgh engage businesses interested in working with the city, increase internal communication between staff, and open purchasing data.
Many businesses were interested in working with the City of Pittsburgh, but had trouble finding information about opportunities. Beacon is a free service that notifies businesses about city contract opportunities and provides information about how to apply for them. A business can see the opportunities by visiting the site and signing up for a free email newsletter. Beacon collects businesses' contact information, minority certification status, and categories for goods and services they provide. There's even a FAQ section that explains city procurement processes and requirements. See the tool in action here.
The contract renewal process is lengthy, difficult, and non-transparent. Two purchasing agents managed 300+ contracts through a 13-stage, five department renewal process that could take up to four months to complete. Conductor is a contract management tool for purchasing agents to keep track of contracts through renewal, bidding, and extension processes. The tool also connects previously separate databases, to improve communication throughout the procurement process. Learn more here.
It was hard for city staff to find information about existing contracts, and inventory management was a problem across the city. Scout makes it easier for City purchasers to look up information about a contract and stay in the loop about when it’s going to change or expire. Learn more here.