Trice Construction was frustrated. For years, the Chicago contractor for sidewalks, curbs, gutters, foundations and pavement had been dealing with the procurement process in the city and its six independent agencies: the housing authority, the park district, public schools, the transit authority, city colleges and the public building commission.
Among the procurement problems that had troubled Trice, as well as other companies, had been the separate and inconsistent procurement systems for each agency. The challenges consisted of distinct dollar thresholds for various bids; a variety of definitions for emergency procurements that don’t go through the regular bidding process; and variations in the number of hours that make up a standard working day. “Each agency had its own set of standards,” says Stephanie Hickman, Trice’s president and CEO.