City of Chino
CA

Staff Report

Award a Professional Services Agreement to InfoSend Inc. for utility billing and online payment services.

Information

Department:Finance DepartmentSponsors:
Category:Report

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. InfoSend

Budget String

Revenue: Expenditure: 5203100-43650, 5303110-43650, 5403120-43650, 5503130-43650 Transfer In: Transfer Out:

Body

BACKGROUND

The City of Chino has utilized InfoSend, Inc. (InfoSend), located in Anaheim, CA since 2005. InfoSend performs the weekly printing and mailing service for Chino’s utility billing function. InfoSend also provides a number of important on-line features for Chino utility customers. One of these features is the City’s secure website. This website allows Chino customers to view and process account information and transactions 24 hours a day. Customers can set up payments on-line that fit their personal preferences, such as making one-time payments or establish reoccurring payment arrangements. Additionally, customers can elect to go paperless and receive email notifications with an electronic version of their monthly statement. This option saves resources such as paper and postage. The City entered into a contract with InfoSend which expires June 30, 2017.

 

ISSUES/ANALYSIS

Finance staff compiled a comprehensive list of utility billing service requirements and prepared an RFP for these services. Upon completion, the RFP was distributed via PlanetBids. The City received two responses to the RFP. The RFP’s were reviewed by Finance staff and results are as follows:

Company

Location

Bill Printing

Third Party Bill Payment Services

Total Annual Cost

Dataprose

Coppell, TX

$25,559

$70,291

$95,850

InfoSend, Inc.

Anaheim, CA

$42,048

$55,971

$98,019

 

The RFP required the company to provide bill printing and online payment services to the City of Chino. Because Dataprose does not offer an in-house solution for bill payment services, their bid proposed the use of a third party for these services. Therefore, the table above represents the total cost for bill printing and on-line payment services. InfoSend’s bill printing costs are more because InfoSend performs some the services that would be provided by the third party under the Dataprose proposal.

Based on an annualized estimated volume of transactions, Dataprose presented the lowest cost at $2,169 less than InfoSend for bill printing, and on-line payment services.

In addition to cost, several other important features were analyzed to determine which company could provide the best overall services to Chino’s customers. As the annual cost for bill printing and on-line payment services was essentially the same for each company, staff focused on the bill payment services offered by each company. Staff evaluated the bill payment systems of each company noting that each company has similar features, except that only InfoSend could fully integrate with the City’s web page.

Staff also considered the impact to the customers as a result of switching to a new utility billing provider. Changing to Dataprose would require that customers with online accounts (approximately 10,200) would need to re-establish their accounts via the new third party online payment system. This process would be very disruptive to customers and staff during a transition process. 

Based on a review of the overall proposals of both Dataprose and InfoSend, it is staff’s recommendation that InfoSend be selected to continue providing utility billing and payment services for the City of Chino. While Dataprose has a slightly lower cost, this cost difference is not enough to offset InfoSend’s current expertise and experience in providing this service, and the impact to existing customers in switching to a new service provider.

Finally, the City incurs the cost of postage for mailing all utility bills. InfoSend pays this expense when the bills are mailed and then passes this cost on to the City, with no mark-up, during the invoicing process. Therefore, the contract with InfoSend will include an additional $90,000 for the postage pass-through expenses. 

Based on the above, staff recommends that the City Council approve a one year contract with InfoSend, Inc. with two additional one-year extension options, which includes the pass-through postage costs. 

 

RB:hm

 

 

 

Meeting History

Jun 20, 2017 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Tom Haughey, Mayor Pro Tem
SECONDER:Gary George, Council Member
AYES:Gary George, Eunice M. Ulloa, Tom Haughey, Earl C. Elrod