Solidifying a Future-Ready Tolling Solution

The client, a state tolling authority, engaged North Highland to procure a new back-office solution that could scale to support volumes of up to 5 million transactions per day. Bringing expertise in procurement, project management, and tolling, North Highland delivered a high-quality RFP document and supporting processes that have elevated standards in the industry.

Public Sector Case Study

Client Situation

The client, a state tolling authority, processes over one billion transactions annually. It had operated on an 18-year-old back-office system that was initially designed when transaction volume was approximately 10 percent of what it is today. The authority had several critical needs, including:

  • The need for a high-performing solution to manage continually increasing transaction and account volumes
  • A back-office system that is easier to maintain and upgrade with more configuration and less customization
  • Delivering enhanced customer experiences that utilize both web and mobile platforms
  • A solution with industry-leading features that would ensure the authority’s continued resiliency and capacity over the next 20 years

In pursuing its future-ready platform initiative, the client engaged North Highland to bring project management, quality assurance, and toll authority and procurement expertise in developing a high-quality, on-time, and comprehensive RFP document and supporting procurement process.

Our Approach

In helping the client to select an ideal back-office platform solution, North Highland focused in two core areas: (1) defining procurement process and (2) RFP document development.

North Highland brought its procurement expertise to define a comprehensive set of process guidelines across key steps, scoring, and approach. The process was designed to ensure that the client rigorously vetted each of its solution options prior to choosing a vendor—while also building a process that was fair to all proposers. Key components of the procurement process included draft RFP industry review, vendor pre-qualification, vendor demo, proposal submission interview, vendor interview, and vendor short-listing. In addition, the firm introduced a new element to the vendor selection process: Proof Of Concept (POC). This additional, value-added step is uncommonly seen in comparable tolling industry procurements, and helped the client validate a positive user experience prior to vendor selection.

In developing the RFP, the project team provided strategic guidance and market insight to define requirements—combining vendor selection requirements from other RFPs, insight from vendor demos, and industry feedback on the draft RFP. With the draft in place, North Highland also conducted reviews with an operating committee that combined representation across IT, collections, customer service, finance, and audit, helping to instill a sense of cross-functional ownership of RFP and solution requirements. To keep stakeholders engaged, the project team held several meetings each week to review requirements, discuss feedback, and iterate on the RFP. Once finalized, the document contained business requirements, project management requirements, technical requirements, postimplementation requirements, a detailed procurement process, as well as the vendor contract.

Throughout the initiative, North Highland brought ERP knowledge, with expertise in finding vendors and implementing large IT projects. The firm also helped the client to adopt best practices beyond the tolling industry, and focused on instilling an appreciation for rigorous testing and evaluation throughout the vendor selection process.

Value Delivered

North Highland delivered a comprehensive and on-time RFP document. It contained over 2,000 pages and more than 6,000 business requirements that reflected collective ownership and required minimal revision via addendums following its release.

With a focus on building client capability, the project team also developed a strong, repeatable process that could be applied to the authority’s future procurement initiatives. By adding the POC as a new step to the procurement process, North Highland helped to ensure that the client selected a solution that was right-sized to the needs of its people, from day-to-day system users to the C-suite. Vendors have shared that the procurement innovations introduced during the initiative are being adopted by other tolling agencies and authorities. In addition, client leadership has expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of the procurement processes.

Ultimately, North Highland has helped the tolling authority build resiliency with a rigorous process for the selection of a solution that delivers industry-leading operational features, including dynamic tolling and scalability—as well as citizen-friendly front-end capabilities such as self-service, online payment, and ticket submission. The client has engaged North Highland to implement the solution that it has selected. Through this extended partnership, North Highland will continue to help the tolling authority build resiliency with a platform that meets constituents’ heightened demand for seamless experiences.