The Proposal Fell Short “We conducted a detailed assessment to identify the needs of the agencies that would use the system — sheriff's office, police, fire, public works — and then poured through the vendor's proposal and concluded that the proposed system would not meet user requirements and the contract should not be awarded as is," said Greg Munchrath, Regional Director for Black & Veatch's telecommunications business. He said that the sole-source proposal fell short in several ways. The proposed radio coverage throughout the county was inadequate, certain key pieces of equipment were missing, which would have to be added later at additional cost, and the project was overpriced. As part of the consulting engagement, Black & Veatch “spent quite a bit of time discussing the agencies' collective radio coverage requirements in detail. We developed system alternatives to help the county and participating cities better understand potential system replacement alternatives," Munchrath said. His team, in conjunction with the county and city participants, developed a request for proposals that received two competitive radio system responses. “Competition in the system procurement process is good for the county. System providers work harder, develop better system proposals and designs, and provide better pricing," Munchrath said. “The system providers compete intensely. It is important to utilize a thorough and objective evaluation process to select the best offering and protect the buyer from potential protests from firms who are not selected. The Solution To evaluate the proposals, Black & Veatch recommended that the county form a committee of representatives from the county government, its purchasing and legal departments, Black & Veatch, and the participating cities. Both system proposals were evaluated by the committee. The winning vendor offered better guaranteed radio coverage and higher-tier user radios, at $2 million less than the original sole-source proposal. Throughout implementation, Black & Veatch helped oversee the work, maintain the project schedule and resolved problems. In addition, Black & Veatch set up acceptance testing to ensure the system was installed correctly and functioned properly. The new radio system provides a single shared radio communications infrastructure that supports the county and all five cities. Each jurisdiction has its own dedicated radio channels, and has radio interoperability channels that provide excellent radio communications between all the users on the new system. “At the outset, Rockwall County commissioners’ court recognized that the county needed consulting assistance in this important procurement. With the help of Black & Veatch, the county and participating cities did it right," Munchrath said. Beyond the Rockwall County line, the new system incorporates a robust radio communications interoperability plan that facilitates communications with neighboring counties and municipal neighbors across the lake. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you. 0 Related Insights Five Steps to a Successful NERC-CIP Low-Impact Assessment Recognizing the growing threat that cyber-attacks pose to the national power grid, the U.S. federal government is working to strengthen its protection of our critical infrastructure. To support this effort, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a NERC-CIP reliability standard that increases protections of less-critical assets. Here are five steps to a successful NERC-CIP low-impact assessment. Smarter, Safer Cities: Improving Public Safety Smart cities also can be “Safe Cities” through the integration of smart city and public safety initiatives. An estimated 20 Safe City pilot programs are underway across the United States, in addition to programs on nearly every continent, in cities such as Dubai, Singapore and London. How to Obtain the Best Consulting Support for Your Radio System Upgrade or Replacement U.S. cities and counties strive to improve mission critical communications, but selecting a land mobile radio system that is cost-competitive and meets current and future operational requirements can be a formidable task. The LMR to LTE Odyssey: Preparing for the Transformation FirstNet will be the first nationwide wireless broadband network committed to America's first responders. It will transform the public safety industry and trigger advancement from narrowband Land Mobile Radio technology to broadband Long-term evolution technology. Electric Utilities: Preparing for New Roles in the Smart City Transformation Electric utilities are facing a need and opportunity to transform their business due to the bidirectional nature of distributed generation and energy storage. Related Project Stories Holistic Public Safety Radio and P25 System Upgrade Brings Long-Term Value Lake County, Illinois, partnered with Black & Veatch to assess, evaluate and develop their P25 radio system. Consolidated Network Improves Communications for Baltimore County Agencies Baltimore County, Maryland combined existing public safety and public works radio systems to improve communications capabilities for all County departments. Shared Land Mobile Radio Solution Saves $2 Million Rockwall County, Texas, deployed a shared solution when they upgraded their land mobile radio (LMR) system. Through proper planning and execution, the project saved the county $2 million. Statewide Radio Project Boosts Safety, Efficiency for Public Agencies in Oregon The Oregon State Radio Project integrated the existing Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon State Police and more than 40 local public safety agency radio systems for a consolidated statewide network. First Responder Radio Upgrades Increase Coverage and Interoperability in City of Arvada The City of Arvada in central Colorado is developing two new communications sites in support of the city’s first responder P25 land mobile radio (LMR) system to service City of Arvada Public Safety and Public Works and Arvada Fire.