New Website Simplifies Contracting Process
Feb 18th, 2020
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
New Website to Improve Contracting Process
Mobile – 2/18/2020 The City of Mobile’s Office of Supplier Diversity has unveiled a new, mobile-friendly website to improve the contracting and certification process for women- and minority-owned firms.
The new website, workwith.cityofmobile.org, simultaneously promotes greater understanding of public sector contracting and removes many day-to-day contracting obstacles faced by local small business owners and City staff.
Mayor Stimpson, city officials and small business owners demonstrated the website to the media in the Atrium of Government Plaza, 205 Government Street.
Through the new system, businesses will:
- receive timely and relevant support as they prepare to do business with the city.
- connect with city agencies, choose their commodity codes, and understand how to assemble a bid.
- receive tailored information based on business needs and additional information as they professionalize, gain experience, and build capacity.
- gain training and education online that may be currently offered by agency or partner organization experts in-person.
“We want to change the perception of city contracting to something that is friendly, addressable, and manageable,” said Archnique Kidd, Supplier Diversity Manager. “This website makes it easier for small businesses to stay engaged with the City of Mobile by reducing the burden of research and document preparation.”
Over the course of a 16-week residency in Mobile, the technology firm Qwally conducted interviews with owners of women- and minority-owned firms in Mobile and attended events hosted by small business support organizations at the local, state, and federal levels. Across the country, the company performs a variety of professional services to help improve digital processes and increase the inclusion of more minority- and women-owned firms in local contracting.
“During our residency with the City of Mobile, we spoke to dozens of local small business owners, city staff members, and supportive services partners,” said Qwally Co-Founder Chris Offensend. “We learned about the urgent need for a centralized and easy-to-navigate repository of information for small businesses. Our team of designers, developers, and public policy experts worked with the Office of Supplier Diversity to build a prototype website that has now evolved to become the Qwally platform.”
Qwally is an intuitive, cloud-based software platform that helps small businesses navigate local government contracting and regulatory processes. Qwally promotes better engagement between cities and their local small business communities to make public spending more equitable and entrepreneurship more accessible.
Easy-to-use digital tools help small businesses navigate the process of establishing their business, getting a contract, or growing an established business. Qwally helps businesses identify and comply with requirements based on their objectives, size, industry, and stage. The Qwally platform provides these features for small businesses in four key areas.
- Get small businesses the information they need quickly and easily
- Make City outreach to small businesses more efficient
- Help small businesses maintain compliance with City, State, and Federal regulations
- Accelerate the application process for many types of licenses, registrations, permits, and certifications
In addition to supporting small businesses, Qwally has features that enhance outreach between city staff and the local small business community. Qwally enables city staff to find new and emerging vendors and connect them with the right opportunities or support resources.
- Manage small business information from one place
- Track the whole relationship between the city and every small business
- Easily find small businesses and connect them to support resources in your community
- Track key program metrics