News from President Toni Preckwinkle

Everything a vendor needs to know about the Cook County ERP project

Where can I access all the information to date about the Cook County ERP project?

Click here to go to the Cook County ERP website


What is an Enterprise Resource Planning System, or ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems are unusually complex and are designed to improve what is referred to as back-office operations. This includes Finance, Budgeting, Revenue, Grants Management, Comptroller, Purchasing, Human Resources, Benefits, Capital Planning, etc. An ERP system consists of many technology layers like application software modules, databases, hardware, precise information security/data privileging, integration for time and attendance, and cashiering systems. A good ERP system enables more coordinated business operations, improves the ability to quickly access and share information, collaborate on business projects, as well as enhance performance reporting.

The Cook County ERP project will unlike any other IT project that Cook County has embarked upon. It will encompass every department, employee and vendor under the Office of the President, elected officials, the Cook County Health and Hospital System and the Cook County Forest Preserve.

We have established the ERP Center of Excellence to define the project standards/best practices, develop the tools/templates/document repositories needed to train and ready Cook County employees to assume leadership roles during the course of the project, facilitate efficient collaboration, user support, and create the business conditions for continuous quality improvement throughout each phase of the project.


How big is the contract?

The ERP RFQ has not been issued, so there is no contract. The dialogue around ERP stems from several important business needs that cannot be remedied unless Cook County integrates its back-office operations from end-to-end (i.e. across the entire enterprise).

It is estimated that over half of the Major Initiatives under the 2010 Transition Team Report could be addressed by implementing an integrated ERP system.


Why is it good for MVW/BE’s (minority, woman, or veteran owned business enterprises) to get involved?

ERP project represents an unusual business opportunity for ERP vendors and M/W/VBEs alike.

Because ERP projects consist of layered technologies and the operations which are most important to the business, they tend to be extremely complex and represent a significant capital investment.  Most companies competing for business of this kind understand that, like complex construction projects, it’s easier to manage for success by partnering with others who have expertise in specific sectors.  Being that expert is the opportunity for MVW/BE’s .


What is the process?

The Cook County ERP RFI process is designed to more transparent. All information related to the project has been made available to the public.

To date, the project has consisted of the following steps:

  1. ERP RFI was issued February 3, 2011 (click here to view RFI)
  2. Pre-Submittal Conference occurred on February 18, 2011
  3. Lead vendors began submitting responses March 4, 2011
  4. Responses of lead vendors posted to the web starting March 24, 2011 (click here to see all lead vendor responses to date)
  5. ERP Team selected to help analyze vendor responses, and GFOA on March 24, 2011
  6. RFI Review Team presented results on April 14, 2011 (click here to view)
  7. Related presentation posted to the web on April 18, 2011 (click here to view)
  8. Cook County IT MBE/WBE Meet & Greet coming on May 13, 2011 (click here to register)

The ERP RFI, related Addendums, Vendor Responses, etc. are posted at


Why is attending the May 13th Meet & Greet important?  What will be learned?

Building on the answer to Question #3, the Meet and Greet holds enormous potential because it allows vendors of all sizes and talents to meet each other. It give them the opportunity and to identify firms they could partner with on this ERP project, along with other Cook County IT projects.  The potential is there to make a connection and compete for non-County IT projects as well.

Just as important, attendees of the Meet and Greet places vendors and bidders in direct contact with each other before the ERP RFP is issued and it allows them time to perform the requisite due diligence.   Click here to register



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