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MBTA taps firm to improve procurement efficiency

The partnership is geared toward non-construction procurements under $50,000.
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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has formed a partnership with FairMarkIT to help modernize the agency's procurement processes.

The firm will assist the MBTA as it moves from a combination of electronic and paper systems to a web-based operation, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officials said in a blog post.

The venture is geared toward non-construction procurements under $50,000. The partnership is expected to increase procurement efficiencies by 15 percent, which, in turn, could result in millions of dollars in savings over the coming years, MassDOT officials said.

In fiscal-year 2017, 94 percent of MBTA purchase orders were less than $35,000, although they accounted for less than 2 percent of the total purchase order value. The agency's previous procure-to-pay process required multiple steps and was challenging to measure, monitor and control, according to MassDOT.

FairMarkIT stores quotes and vendor purchasing history in an electronic, centralized location, which makes them easier to retrieve.

"This transparent marketplace allows more vendors and businesses the opportunity to compete fairly for MBTA contracts while giving the MBTA's buyers the tools they need to make more informed decisions," MassDOT officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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