The solution enables compliance monitoring by providing an easy way for contractors to submit periodic invoices/reports to compliance checking officials.
Jurisdictions can use this information to produce compliance reports and act more proactively on compliance issues (e.g., hiring members of minority groups). Public organizations can use the solution to search for certified vendors, partner with them, and manage projects.
Vendors can leverage the system to participate in tenders, negotiate contracts, invoice, bill, and report the progress when working on a project. The solution features web-based timesheets that enable employers to track the time contractors spent on each activity of the project.
The solution also provides a vendor certification system, user-defined search system, mail merging, and other sophisticated features.
The customer turned to Altoros to develop a system that will enable public organizations and state administrations to find vendors for certain projects, negotiate contracts, check the compliance of contracts with state laws and regulations, and manage projects.
The system should help public organizations reduce the paperwork by providing an easy way to monitor contract compliance and project execution, involving online reporting and e-mail notifying. The solution has to provide powerful search capabilities to look for vendors, contracts, concession agreements, certification applications, and certificates.
The solution also needed to have the functionality to import data from different sources, including the customer clients' specific accounting system.
Under the project, the team at Altoros had to address the following issues:
- The first challenge the team faced was to provide accurate information on contract compliance for every state, as there are law differences across the states.
- The database of vendors included 450,000 companies and was constantly growing. Great data levels could affect the performance of the solution, which was another issue for the team.
- Implementing the mail merge function was also difficult, as the growing database did not allow for the production of multiple documents from a single template and data source.
- It was also challenging to develop the search module. Tables in the database are constantly growing and changing, which implies the necessity to change and customize searching criteria.
To solve the problem with law differences across the states, the team decided to implement customization of queries. The same page will look and work differently if you specify the different state.
As this was a long-term project that lasted for 6 years, the team could not change the structure of the database and had to look for another way to improve the performance of the solution. Altoros optimized the database by editing tables and their content.
The team created the plug-in that allowed using the standard mail merge function of MS Word. The system monitors execution of contracts and automatically sends e-mail notifications to those contactors who deliver contracts on time and within budget.
The team developed a sophisticated solution based on the dynamic SQL technology for the search center. The feature allows searching the solution by user-defined criteria. The search request is formed in the user-friendly fashion—e.g., the user can choose values from drop-down menus.
It took one year to develop the first version of the system. For the past two years Altoros delivered six new versions. Today, the project is growing and attracting more new customers.
System users now include many cities and universities across the US.