Update: Local government is ready for ELGL Connects.
By Kent Wyatt, ELGL Co-Founder
11,321 steps later, the Digital Work Group concluded their weekly meeting. I like to use these weekly meetings as an opportunity to add my two cents and add steps to my daily total by walking the streets of Tigard. (Humble brag: I surpassed 20,000 steps one day last weekend.)
If I bored you with the opening paragraph and you stopped reading, I feel sorry for you. Today I am writing about a top secret project – ELGL Connects – that has been developed over the last five years. ELGL is bringing a combination of Yelp and the Yellow Pages (minus the actual pages) to local government. We have created a tool that will allow public sector professionals to access a vendor directory which will include feedback from organizations who previously used a particular vendor.
Currently, local governments are making these decisions by spending hours emailing and calling peers to learn who they used on a specific project. This approach often leaves us relying on the same companies (some good, some not-so-good). Our limited knowledge increases the chance that we’ll make the wrong decision. The wrong decision ultimately costing taxpayer money and leaving us with an undesirable result or product.
My life goal (hand onto your seats) is to be able to select a vendor using the same type of information that I would use in buying a car or a computer, and I would be able to access this information in the same short time frame. I want to quickly know what the cities of Fairfax or Eugene considered before working with a company. What was the price quote? Was the vendor’s staff responsive? What were the implementation challenges? Would they use that company again? Who else did they receive proposals from?
Knowledge is power and we need to balance the scales in making this expensive decisions on behalf of taxpayers.
Here’s what to expect from ELGL Connects, if you are an ELGL member.
Let’s say that you are tasked with finding companies who redesign websites. You will log onto ELGL Connects and search for website vendors. In each company profile, you will find contact information, pricing, and reviews from ELGL members who have worked with the company. You can use this information to make a more educated decision in developing your RFP, soliciting for bids, and awarding a contract.
Vendors who are ELGL members will have an opportunity to maintain and update their company profile. ELGL will also be adding information, such as awards and articles written for ELGL, to company profiles.
We are in the beta testing phase of ELGL Connects until the ELGL Pop Up events. Our beta testing group is comprised of ELGL Pop Up sponsors, all-in members, Digital Work Group members, and you (maybe). If you are interested in joining the beta group for ELGL Connect, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, hat tip to ProudCity for guiding us through our digital upgrade.