Pricing for Accountability in Local Government

Transparent Pricing Open Book

Purchasing should be an open book

When we founded Seneca Systems, we set out to unlock the tremendous human potential of 10.5 million local government employees. But we don’t want to just build a great business to serve government: we want to fundamentally change the way private sector sells to government. Accountability should not only be a value for civil servants, but for every business working to strengthen representative democracy.

The first step in making business accountable is transforming  the convoluted, expensive, and arduous process of purchasing. From the beginning, we’ve heard from investors that requests for proposal (RFPs) and legal fees would push our pricing out of the budget of small local governments—the very people who need our help the most. We don’t see this situation as an obstacle; we see an opportunity for dramatic change.

Contracts guarantee a business stable revenue, which is exactly the problem with the status quo. Once vendors win an RFP — which they often help to write — they have little incentive to deliver excellent service. The contract is signed and the cost, in time and money, of early termination means that money is all but guaranteed.

While government officials are guardians of tax dollars during negotiation, businesses are rarely held accountable for the services they provide after contracts are signed. Stewardship of our taxes ends at the dotted line.

That is wrong.

Companies selling into government should align their incentives with those of their customers. If we do not live up to our promises or if a better product becomes available, our customers should be free to switch. Rather than lock-in civil servants to long-term contracts, we should win your business every single month.

Today, we help local governments from Oakland to Chicago provide a better experience for hundreds of thousands of constituents. From their onboarding to their second, fifth, and twentieth month with us the product just gets better and better. Your first day with Romulus is the worst it will ever be, and we could not be prouder.

 

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