Civic Futures Awards

A new forum for connecting vendors with opportunities

City of Austin

Purchasing Office

The problem

Our office wanted to attract more vendor interest in our solicitations and to increase contracts with small and minority and women-owned businesses. We wanted to increase our visibility in the community and demystify the City’s procurement process.

Solution / Approach

We participated and presented in outreach events to inform about the City’s procurement process. We also reported how much COA departments spend, breaking down information into commodities, helping vendors understand where to focus.

Core team
  • James Scarboro
  • Yolanda Miller
  • Allison Orton
  • Cathy Jackson
  • Kristin Treviño
  • Tim Dombeck
  • Todd Czaplicki
Key advisors
  • Purchasing Office Staff
  • Blender Hill, Small and Minority Business Resources Department
  • Joy Miller, Economic Development Department
  • Amelie Gonzalez, Austin Energy
What can make it sustainable?

Continued outreach is required to educate small businesses about the City’s evolving processes. Also, providing vendors with updated information about past procurements will help them better understand how to plan for the future.

Advice to others

Ensure you have a team that is willing to try new things, engage your entire office, begin planning early, and always strive to improve beyond previous efforts. Also, surveying attendees for ideas and focused marketing will provide guidance.