The University of Massachusetts System, in a true collaborative initiative, holistically combined the majority of the five campuses’ elevator maintenance requirements into a single Request for Proposal (RFP). The objectives were to develop an enhanced standard for maintenance across the system, drive associated costs down and improve quality of service. In addition to a Procurement department representative, each campus had at least one Facility Operational representative participating in the development of the specifications and the award selection. It was a joint partnership between the Procurement Council and campus Facility Operations.
In the first iteration of this RFP process back in 2011, a standard of preventative maintenance was developed and agreed to by all participating campuses. In many instances the detail and level of maintenance was increased in additional to the level of service. In one instance, a campus migrated from a “Time and Material” basis to a fixed cost based contract upon the standards developed. Across the board the individual campuses have improved the level of service, realized efficiencies in managing the contract, expanded what is covered by maintenance, and contained associated costs.
During the pre RFP review it was determined from previous experience, analysis, and discussion by the RFP team that the contract should end at a time when there is little activity in regards to state inspections and to allow enough time, if the incumbent is not awarded, for the awarded vendor to submit all documentation required for inspection and permitting to ensure continuity of operations. This changed the initial term from a 12 month term to a 20 month term in which pricing is locked.
PROCESS AND EFFICIENCIES
The RFP was done in accordance with the relevant sections within the Massachusetts General Laws, chapters 149 and 30 39M for approximately 305 elevators across the University System. UMass Dartmouth as the lead campus, utilized it’s on-line labor and construction solicitation solution, BidDocs, to administer the RFP. The RFP and addendum were distributed electronically, and proposals were received electronically. This web based bidding solution streamlined the bid process creating operational efficiency for the University and vendors. Three vendors responded with proposals, Otis Elevator Corp, Kone Inc. and Schindler Elevator Corp.
Otis Elevator Corporation was the lowest responsive and responsible bid at $3,534,580 over the 20-month initial term. Their response represents $965,086 in average cost avoidance from the other participants’ proposals. Annually (12 months) the average cost avoidance is $579,000 or 21.4%. Otis is the incumbent vendor, therefore there will be little disruption migrating from the old to the new contract. All the Facility representatives and the Procurement Council agreed that the best proposal was from Otis Elevator Corporation.
12 MONTH SUMMARY OF RESPONSES
PARTNERSHIP AND CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT
To enhance the effectiveness of this contract, a kick off meeting is planned with the appropriate individuals from each campus that are involved in managing the elevator maintenance contract for their campus. The meeting will be broken down into two parts. First, training on how to manage the contract in detail will be provided to ensure all campuses are acting and managing uniformly across the campuses. The second half of the meeting will be with our Elevator Maintenance Strategic Partner, Otis Elevator Corp, to map out our continued working relationship. Part of the discussion with Otis will be to see if both parties can realize additional cost savings through collaborative review. The training and combined meeting will ensure that we are working collaboratively, efficiently, and effectively to ensure the contract and relationship has the appropriate optimal strategic impact to the University System.