Project Case Studies

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Streamlining Efficiency of Utility Delivery


Best Value Impact:
  • 0% contractor-generated change orders
  • 9.7 / 10.0 overall contractor satisfaction rating
Type: Construction
Contractor: Doublejack, Inc.

Location: Phoenix, AZ


Start Date: June 2013
Completion Date: January 2014

Bulk Civil Cable Replacement Project

srpIn May 2013, Salt River Project (SRP) successfully applied the Best Value process to select a contractor to perform electrical utility line installations and upgrades throughout the Phoenix Metro Area.  This project would provide needed electrical line replacement and ensure continuous uninterrupted power service to customers.  The work consisted of three smaller jobs that required boring, trenching, and rough set of various electrical support equipment.

Five SRP pre-qualified contractors submitted proposals on the project. The best-valued contractor selected was:

  • 2% under budget
  • 13% below the average cost proposals
  • Had a high-rated Proposal
  • Had the highest Interview Rating

SRP awarded the project to the best-valued contractor in June 2013.  The project had 0% contractor-generated cost increases and schedule delays.  Upon completion of the project, SRP personnel rated the overall satisfaction with the vendor a 9.7 (out of 10) and satisfaction with the best-value Process a 10.0 (out of 10).

The best-valued contractor reported spending less time in administrative and management effort (compared to traditional processes).  Overall, Best Value Process allowed the contractor to utilize their expertise and be more efficient in their overall delivery of the project (saving time and effort).

“We found the Best Value Process helpful in the way we managed this project as well how we will manage future projects. The communications aspect was definitely better than on past projects. Everyone was kept informed on all issues… We found the WRR useful as a tool to schedule ongoing projects as well as future projects.  As the contractor, we are pleased with the Best Value Process.” - Dave Anderson, Project Manager, Doublejack, Inc.

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Optimization of Construction Delivery


Type: Construction
Contractor: Mettler-Toledo, LLC

Location: Ashton, ID


Budget: $420,000


Start Date: September 2012
Completion Date: December 2012

Weigh In Motion Sensor System Project


Project Site (Pre-Construction)

In July 2012, the Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) successfully applied the Best Value process to select a contractor to construct a Weigh In Motion (WIM) system. This project would provide ITD with the ability to capture video images and weigh vehicles while they are traveling along the highway. This information would enable traffic to be screened for static weighing and to transmit and store data for immediate retrieval by both ITD and the Montana DOT.

Two vendors submitted proposals on the project, and both were within the $420,000 budget. The best-valued contractor that was selected was approximately $26K higher in price, but had:

  • 114% higher-rated Risk Assessment Plan
  • 82% higher-rated Value Assessment Plan
  • 2% higher-scored Past Performance Information (on the firm, project manager, and supplier)
  • 150% higher-rated Interview

ITD awarded the project to the best-valued contractor in September 2012. ITD’s goal was to have the system up and running prior to the harsh winter weather in north-eastern Idaho. Despite having to stop work for 2 days due to unsafe working conditions on the highway, the contractor was still able to complete the project in December 2012, 3-days ahead of schedule. There were no contractor initiated change orders. Upon completion of the project, ITD personnel rated the overall satisfaction with the vendor a 10 (out of 10), and rated the Best Value process a 10 (out of 10).

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Value in Procurement of Large Scale Services


Cost Impact: increased to $80M net revenues

Value Added Impact: $2.3M capital improvements


Type: Services
Vendor: ReCommunity

Location: Phoenix, Arizona


Contract: $48,707,806


Start Date: December 2012
Duration: 10 years

Material Recovery Facility (MRF) Services

The City of Phoenix Public Works Department owns two facilities used to produce single stream recyclable material. The City partnered with ASU to re-compete the contract for facility operation services with the intent of improving performance and increasing revenues.

The City found the Best Value interview process to be highly successful in identifying the expertise of bidders. Each team brought operations personnel for individual interviews and answered questions regarding their planned operation approach and risk minimization strategies.

The Value Added portion of the RFP process allowed the bidders to propose additional scope and services that would benefit the City. Due to this process, the awarded vendor was able to offer capital improvements valued at $2.3 million to upgrade certain processing equipment.

REFERENCE:  Chuck Hamstra, City of Phoenix |

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Optimization of the Design Process


Best Value Impact:

  • Quicker response time for client and designer interactions
  • Improved interactive agreement for design direction
  • Real time risk tracking during design development


Type: Design

Architect: Stantec

Location: Edmonton, Canada


Contract: $3,550,000


Start Date: March 2012

Completion Date: February 2013

Design for Redevelopment of an Iconic Building on Campus

The Best Value Procurement Model was used to select a design team for redevelopment of a 330k SF historical building. A Phased Selection process was used to assemble design team in 3 components to achieve the most advantageous team:

  • Architectural, Structural, Envelop
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical

The Owner and Vendor have seen Best Value optimize the design process in many ways:

  • Increased efficiency has been achieved via a faster response time for interactions between Client and Vendor.
  • Risk-focused performance measurement has aided the team in identifying key risks, collaboratively establishing mitigation strategies, and transparently tracking progress throughout design development.
  • Design Reports have been on time, met requirements, and had high Client satisfaction.
REFERENCE: Hugh Warren, Executive Director of Operations & Maintenance | | 780-492-6405

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Risk Management Process Reduces Costs


Schedule Delay: 0%
Cost Impacts: 1%

Contractor Change Orders: 0%

Satisfaction: 10 out of 10 vendor

risk rating by Client PM


Type: Construction (CMAR)

Contractor: Mortenson


Location: Minneapolis, MN


Contract: $51,000,000


Start Date: November 2011

Completion Date: November 2013

Physics & Nanotechnology Building (CMAR)

The experimental physics and nanotechnology advancement building will provide modern and highly flexible physics laboratory and laboratory support space, and nanotechnology space (including a 5,000-square-foot clean room). All told, the facility will contain 40 new research laboratories.

ASU helped implement the Best Value Model for risk management during project planning and delivery with successful; results. Adhering to this model has allowed the awarded contractor to limit overall cost increases to less than 1% of their planned cost, which was well below the allotted contingency budget. The Best Value performance measurement system has facilitated the ability of the project to stay on schedule for a planned completion date of November 2013, even though the project has seen a down economy and a State Government shutdown in 2011.

REFERENCE:  Mike Perkins, Associate VP of Capital Planning (Retired) | |612-877-0430

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Pre-Planning Enables Facility Optimization


Cost Savings: 35%
Schedule: 60% reduction

Contractor Change Orders: 0%

Type: Design Build Construction

Contractor: Stuart Olson Dominion Construction, LLC

Location: Edmonton, Canada


Contract: $21,000,000


Start Date: October 2011

Completion Date: December 2012

Design Build for High Tech Research Space

The University of Alberta redeveloped existing research space into a hot lab with a cyclotron particle accelerator. For this extremely complex project, the University used the Best Value Model for selection, pre-planning, and performance measurement.

The Best Value pre-planning process resulted in significant savings and optimization of facility operation.  As a result of the pre-planning process, the contractor identified & minimized unforeseen design and constructability risks before the project began.

“Best Value saved 14-18 months in schedule and $8-12M in cost when compared with traditional processes that would have resulted in change orders during construction” – Hugh Warren, Dir. Facilities & Operations

Using Best Value IPD, the project will be completed in approximately 18 months at $28M, whereas owner estimates of using a traditional delivery model would place the project at 48 months and $44 – 48M.

REFERENCE: Hugh Warren, Executive Director of Operations & Maintenance | | 780-492-6405

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Best Value Minimizes Cost in Services


Cost Savings:

  • $500,000 per year in upfront costs
  • $400,000 additional internal savings
  • Reassigned 3 FTEs to different work


Type: Custodial Services

Vendor: Bee-Clean Building

Location: Edmonton, Canada


Contract: $18,000,000


Start Date:  August 2011

Campus-Wide Custodial Services

The owner used ASU to apply Best Value to deliver custodial services for its main campus. The risk and value focused procurement approach realized an initial contract savings of $500,000 annually.

ASU provided pre-planning support to the selected vendor to address client concerns and facilitate risk identification, mitigation and documentation.


  • $400k internal savings during the initial year of implementation.
  • Vendor adoption of full QA/QC responsibilities, allowing the Client to internally reassign 3 FTEs to different work on a full time basis (indirect savings of $180k)
  • Satisfaction Rating: 10 out of 10 Rating of Vendor Performance by Client PM

“This process gave Bee-Clean the freedom to find solutions that work for them as well as us, rather than us dictating…they are now coming to us with solutions rather than problems” – George Thomlison, Client PM.

REFERENCE: Brian Stewart, Director of Procurement | | 780-492-2775

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Vendor-Generated Solution Maximizes Cost Model


Schedule: 0% Transition Delays
Cost Impact: $3.5M guaranteed revenue generation per year


Type: Services

Vendor:  Follett Higher Education

Location: Tempe, AZ


Contract: $35,000,000


Start Date:  May 2011

Duration: 10 Years

Campus Book Stores

The University turned to our group to outsource campus book store services. Although satisfied with their in-house operations, the University felt pressure to seek vendor expertise for long-term solutions due to rapidly evolving market conditions in the book industry.

Our group facilitated an RFI process to define market capabilities and identify current performance levels of in-house book store operations. A Best Value RFP was released, including an option for vendor-created cost model proposals. This innovative RFP approach resulted in an awarded contract which guaranteed the University minimum commissions of $3.5M per year, $2M in capital improvements, plus additional percent commissions. This was a huge financial success, especially when compared to the cost-based in-house model being utilized prior to outsourcing.

As the awarded vendor participated in the Best Value pre-planning process to seamlessly transition into full operation and management responsibilities before the start of the ensuing semester, all with 0% schedule impacts.

REFERENCE:  Sam Wheeler,  Executive Director of Business Services |

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Selecting the Best Value for the Lowest Cost


Contractor Change Orders: 0%
Cost Impacts: 2.8%
Satisfaction: 10 out of 10 vendor risk rating by Client PM


Type: Best Value (PIPS)


Contractor: J.E. Dunn Construction

Designer: TSP, Inc.

Location: New Hope, MN

Contract: $26,000,000

Start Date:  March 2011

Completion Date: August 2012

North Education Center, New Hope MN

Intermediate School District 287 partnered with our group to implement the Best Value Model on the construction of a new classroom facility. Best Value procurement identified the selected contractor as being both the most qualified proposer and the lowest cost.

The risk- and value-focused procurement model clearly identified the best value contractor among the nine competing contractors. Best Value evaluations demonstrated that the awarded contractor understood the project needs and risks, as their Risk Assessment submittal and project team interviews both received the highest score.

North Education Center was completed with an overall 2.8% cost increase (0% contractor change orders) in August, 2012. The project was awarded the 2013 Minnesota Construction Association Choice Award, which honors one project that was completed through resourceful blending of construction techniques and professionalism.

District 287’s Facilities Director, Tom Shultz, identified the Best Value method for their success:
“If I’m the owner, I’m not the expert [in construction],” Shultz said. “I’m asking the experts to tell me how much it’s going to cost, and where the risks are in the building. The process doesn’t focus solely on price: it focuses on finding the best contractor to give you the best building.”

REFERENCE:  Tom Shultz,  Director of Facilities | | 763-550-7120

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Best Value Paradigms


Cost Savings: 20%
Schedule Delays: 0%
Contractor Change Orders: 0%
Satisfaction: 10 out of 10 vendor risk rating by Client PM 

Type: Software Design & Integration

Vendor: Agate

Location: State of Idaho


Contract: $979,500


Start Date: November 2010

Finish Date: June 2012

Mobility Management & Administration Software System

The owner used ASU to apply Best Value to deliver a software system to improve the ability of ITD to effectively plan, implement, administer, and evaluate programs and grants to improve public transit, community transportation, ADA Paratransit, bicycling, and pedestrian programs across Idaho. This includes administration of Federal grant programs (e.g. Federal Transit Administration) and state programs.

During the Pre-planning and clarification phase of the best value process, the software vendor identified (1) what critical information they didn’t have, (2) when they would be able to acquire the information throughout the life of the project and (3) what they would do to gather necessary data along with a plan to address the risk of not being able to the required data. The vendor clearly explained their plan in conjunction with their milestone schedule. Additionally, because of the contractor’s high level of efficiency in terms of design, scheduling, and implementation, the owner was able to afford approximately 10% more in additional scope (reporting database and functionality).

REFERENCE:  Kathy Chase, Manager, Business Services | | 208-334-8752

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Best Value Optimizes Delivery of Health Insurance Services


Total number of colleges involved: 4
Increase in financial performance: 27%
Increase in client satisfaction: 18%
Reduction in client effort: 22%
Reduction in vendor effort: 9%

Premium rates decreased while coverage increased


Type: Health Care


Contract: $36 M


Renaissance Insurance Agency


Start Date: August 2010
Completion Date: August 2013

Student Health Insurance Consortium (SHIP)

health-careIn 2009, the State of Idaho partnered with the PBSRG to test the Best Value process on the provision of a student health insurance consortium (SHIP) between Boise State University, Idaho State University, and Lewis-Clark State College. In 2010, Eastern Idaho Technical College joined the consortium. The performance of the SHIP program is being measured in terms of student satisfaction, university satisfaction, and program financials, and there have been significant improvements in each criterion since 2009 when the new program began.

Testimonial: "Best Value is simplistic, systematic, and it holds everybody accountable. And it shifts risk to the right place…the vendor." - Mark Little, State Purchasing Manager, State of Idaho

REFERENCE: Mark Little, State Purchasing Manager | | 208-332-1611

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Risk Management Used in Commodity Contracts

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Cost Savings: 15%
Contractor Change Orders: 0%

Schedule Delays: reduced to 5%

Satisfaction: 40% increase

Total # of projects: 1,115


Type: Furnishing services

Manufacturers: Knoll, Herman Miller, Steelcase

Location: Statewide in Arizona


Contract: $7,700,000 / annually


Start Date: July 2009

Finish Date: July 2012

Tri-University Furniture Consortium

The Tri-University Furniture Consortium of ASU, U of A, and NAU was experiencing unsatisfactory performance from their furniture providers. The consortium turned to our group to apply the Best Value Model for dealer selection, contract development, and contract management support for risk and performance measurement.

The results have been impressive. The Best Value approach challenged the traditional process of commodities contract procurement by evaluating the suppliers on their ability to identify and minimize risk. Dealers now monitor their project delivery performance on a weekly basis, in terms of cost and schedule deviations. The contract has saved the Universities approximately $2.9M, with 0% cost increases, and an overall 5% schedule delay over the past three years.

REFERENCE: John Riley, Executive Director of Purchasing at Arizona State University | | 480-965-6532

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Cost Savings on School Renovations


Percent Awards Below Budget: 20%
Contractor Change Orders: 0%

Contractor Schedule Delays: 0%

Satisfaction: 10 out of 10

Total # of projects: 18


Type: School Renovation / IAQ

Location: Rochester, MN


Contract: $18,003,000 (total)


Start Date: April 2009

Finish Date: August 2013

School Upgrades for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Rochester Public Schools ISD #535 serves approximately 16,400 students in 16 elementary schools, four middle schools, and three comprehensive high schools. In April 2009, the first Best Value tests were conducted on John Adams Middle School for general renovation and air quality control upgrade project.

The District was very satisfied with the performance, and continued with 17 additional projects utilizing the Best Value delivery system. All of the projects were completed during the schools’ very limited summer construction timeframe (approximately three months). The client stated, “Using best value allowed us to see solutions from the contractors before the projects begin, which saves time in our tight schedule.”

REFERENCE:  Jim Kelly, Design & Construction Services | | 507-328-4506

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Best Value Reduces Effort and Increases Savings


Project: Wastewater Treatment / Buildings

Type: Design Build

Owner: Arizona State Parks

Design Builder: Fann Environmental

Designer: Environmental Engineering Consultants


Contract: $1.7 Million


Start Date: June 2008

Completion Date:  February 2010


Team Members:             

Jeff Sawyer, DB Project Manager

Robert Upton, PE, Const. PM

Carrie Cote’, PE, Project Engineer

Design Build–Wastewater Treatment Facilities

The project included the design and construction of a 0.015MGD MBR Wastewater Treatment Facility, a maintenance building, a new restroom, and remodel of the existing restroom. This sustainable system was designed and constructed for zero net water loss.

Using the Best Value system’s Pre-Award Phase and the Weekly Risk Report, the owner reduced its oversight efforts, eliminated contractor generated change orders, and increased their satisfaction as compared to conventionally managed projects. During the 2 plus years of design and construction there were less than 4 official project meetings and only met with the DB on site every 5-6 weeks during construction. The Design Builder (DB) was able to provide additional quality items, including project landscaping, to a project based on savings by using the BV procurement system.

Paul Govino, Chief of Development | | 602- 542-6944
Jeff T. Sawyer, DB Project Manager | | 928-713-0501

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Best Value Vendor Executes Risk Management Plan


Type: Services
Vendor: Aramark

Location: Tempe, Arizona


Contract: $800 Million over 16 years


Start Date: July 2007
End Date: July 2023

University Dining Services

Dining ServicesIn 2006, Arizona State University utilized the Best Value process on an $800 Million procurement for campus wide food service. This not only was the largest project procured using the Best Value process, but was one of the largest food service contracts in University history.
The success of the contract has far exceeded expectations.

"The Best Value method literally took us through the process [of procuring the dining service contract] much more rapidly than we ever have done in the past. We’re talking weeks to do things that took months, and a couple months to do things that sometimes would've taken up to a year... I’m very grateful for the work that we're doing with Dr. Kashiwagi and the PBSRG." - Ray Jensen, Associate Vice President of Business Services [Retired]

The true value of the PBSRG's vendor selection process and risk management planning was put on display in 2007, when a fire broke out ASU's Memorial Union building, which houses the majority of the universities dining venues and student lounge and entertainment areas.

Criteria Year 1
(From Incumbent)
Year 2
(From Year 1)
Year 3
(From Year 2)
Year 4
(From Year 3)
Year 5
(From Year 4)
Sales 14% Increase 11% Increase 24% Increase 13.5% Increase 8.3% Increase
Commission 23% Increase 6% Increase 20% Increase 22% Increase 10.8% Increase
ASU Management Requirement Reduced 79% arrow-line
Student Satisfaction 37% Increase 1% Decrease 9% Increase 3% Increase 0.2% Increase


REFERENCE: John Riley, Associate VP of Business Services | | 480.727.0894

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