Efficiency Redefined: How ESUHSD Automated Procurement and Contract Management

Written by Sample Hubspot User

East Side Highschool



The East Side Union High School District (District), located in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, administers 19 high schools with a combined enrollment of approximately 24,500 students.

The schools include 11 traditional, 7 alternative high school programs, and the Adult Education Program serves 26,000 students. Janice Unger has been with the district for over nine years, serving as the Director of Bond Purchasing & Contracts with a six-member team. Historically, the department’s role has been responsible for all construction and bonding projects within the district. Unger states, “Our department handles all design-build projects, as well as RFQ’s, RFPs and bids. Originally, this work was done manually, and bids had to be submitted in person by contractors, with a public bid opening. In 2015, PlanetBids, an eProcurement SaaS solution, was brought into the district, moving our team away from the spreadsheets, bid tracking whiteboard, and manual processes. Today, contractors submit all their documents online and no longer need to travel to the district offices to deliver those submissions.”

A few years later, the district expanded its use of the system by moving online to Insurance Certificate Management. Paired with My Insurance, the District and vendors can conduct all insurance-related tasks within the PB System™. The system automatically generates expiration notices, and vendors update the information directly by submitting their newest insurance certificates. According to District personnel, this automation has resulted in considerable time savings and up-to-date insurance certificate tracking; thus, limiting liability for the district. Key benefits are realized by automating this part of contract management with the PB System™ Insurance Certificate module.


When the COVID-19 pandemic began, school district offices, campuses closed to students and employees. Yet, for the Bond Purchasing and Contracts team, the transition was seamless. Since the procurement processes were already online, the team continued their work virtually from home. With bid submissions done online, contractors appreciated that they could complete and submit a bid from the safety and convenience of their own homes. During the first half of 2020, the district awarded 77 contracts, with 19 pending Board ratifications and 15 still open in the system.

Results Using the PB System™

COVID-19 impacted the entire nation, resulting in the closure of the district’s administrative offices and classrooms. Having just moved to use the PB System™ online prequalification management process, the district was further able to continue business processes.

PlanetBids’ Business Certification and Prequalification module allows any organization to manage its certification programs such as Small Business Enterprise, Minority, or Diversity as well as Contractor Prequalification, as required by the State of California. An important feature is the Contractor Prequalification program is integrated directly with the State Dept of Industrialization’s registration system. Since contractors cannot apply for District projects unless they are already prequalified by the state, it is imperative the system performs these checks.

According to Unger, “the timing was fortuitous. State offices were closed, yet the two systems could still communicate directly to ensure only prequalified contractors bid on District projects.”

Power in Numbers

“Our team can quickly find what is happening with any bid or contract - we live in this system!”

Janice Unger Director of Bond Purchasing & Contracts

Chosen PB System™ Solutions

  • Vendor Management is the core of the PB System™ modular suite. It offers a configurable registration process to ensure vendor registrations are complete and unique. Instantly gain access to vendor records, run advanced searches on multiple sets of vendor data, perform real-time verification of provided information (ie. certifications and licenses) against third party databases, generate comprehensive reports with visual charts, and broadcast messages to selected vendors.
  • Bid Management is the most complete web-based system on the market today. Procurement agents can quickly manage the process of issuing, monitoring, conducting evaluations, and awarding formal and informal bids. More importantly, the PB System™ can handle construction and public works projects, a feature unique to the eProcurement industry. Vendors can interactively search, view, and respond to bid opportunities securely over the Internet.
  • Insurance Certificate Management enables risk, procurement, public works, and contract administrators to automate, maintain, and retrieve up-to-date relevant information regarding vendor or contractor insurance certificates. Paired with My Insurance, agencies and vendors can conduct all insurance related tasks virtually within the PB System™.
  • Business Certification/Prequalification Management allows an organization to manage their certification programs such as Small Business Enterprise, Minority, or Diversity as well as Contractor Prequalification(s). Agencies can manage, maintain, and retrieve up-to-date information on vendor certifications and prequalifications. Registered vendors have access to viewing certified/prequalified vendors for potential subcontracting opportunities.

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