Licita Mais Brasil reached Espresso Labs to dive in the brazilian bidding market transformation.
The bidding market in Brazil is full of opportunities. With a movement of approximately R$129 billion at the national level in 2021, the public market is today one of the major drivers of the Brazilian GDP with demands for services from all types of companies, from the large multinational to the small business.
In recent years, several innovative initiatives have emerged to capture a slice of this market. Considered by many to be a segment with archaic technologies, some companies have sought to bring solutions capable of transforming the bidding process into an intuitive and technological experience focused on the user.
One of these companies – Licita Mais Brasil – was looking for a partner to implement a solution capable of combining technical refinement with a highly efficient user experience. In this search, they arrived at Espresso Labs with a clear challenge: to create a solution capable of changing the way Brazilians interact with bids. For this, 3 clear objectives were defined for the platform:
- Make the participation of companies in bids an easy and fast experience;
- Make the bidding process more practical for auctioneers and support staff;
- Make the bidding process more transparent for ordinary citizens.
Right away, we encountered a challenge: platforms that require interactions between users in real time are highly complex. It’s not trivial, only companies specialized in software with specialized engineers manage to reach this level of expertise. Furthermore, as a central part of government functions, the platform could not fail, with each process involving millions taxpayer funds, which also made securing the site against fraud and other bad actors a central point of focus.
In addition, the system needed to be able to handle the journey of different types of users: individual bidders, legal entity bidders (SA, LTDA and ME), auctioneers, competent authorities, support staff and ordinary citizens. This level of technical demand made it clear that the project needed to be managed by a technology specialist, something that was done from the first day of work on the platform.
Having defined the responsible manager, work on the Espresso methodology began. In this case, however, Licita Mais Brasil had done extensive research and specification of what they were looking for and presented a 50-page document explaining each of the rules, in addition to several spreadsheets and flowcharts explaining how the system works. They also brought design references and a list of all the necessary features.
Essentially, the client itself had already performed the majority of the Research and Inception stages and our team only needed to filter the insights and confirm some details with the LMB board. This allowed the project to dramatically accelerate towards the Interface Design stage.
In the Interface Design stage (UI Design), the team made it a priority to make the platform as simple as possible. The central idea was to design a system that was capable of being intuitive for all types of users.
Home screen prototyped for Licita Mais Brasil
In this type of project, the notion of the process and the user’s journey as a whole are essential when designing an interface that is coherent with the system’s objectives. Below, we show the process of turning a flowchart into a screen for the end user:
Once the Interface Design stage was completed, the handoff process began for the programming team, which in parallel was already planning the entire architecture of the system.
Throughout every technology project, new variables and unforeseen circumstances arise. Initially, the plan was for the platform to be paid for using a credit card. In the middle of the project, it was discovered through conversations with clients that the payment via credit card would not completely meet the users’ needs, as Brasil’s PIX payment system was quickly becoming commonplace in the country. Based on the alignment between Espresso and LMB, we reached an agreement to exchange credit card billing for bills and PIX. As a result of this flexibility and customer-supplier integration, the platform was launched integrated into the newest Brazilian payment system. This integration was added to that of SintegraWS and the National Public Contracts Portal.
As the project evolved, the Espresso Labs’ testing team moved on to the last stage of the project: identifying and correcting bugs. The client followed the process closely and contributed with ideas for improvement throughout the approval journey. Given the complex nature of the system, this step received special attention from the entire team to ensure that the system operated at Espresso Labs’ level of quality.
Finally the project was completed and approved to go online. Within the first 6 months the client began to see results of the project such as:
- Operational break-even;
- Hundreds of registered processes;
- More than 500 unique users;
- Excellent feedback from users regarding the performance and ease of the platform;
- Stability even with high simultaneous data flow.
The Licita Mais Brasil system brings together the most complex technology: trading in real time, integration of multiple APIs from government systems and payment processing. In real-time trading, especially when millions of reals are at stake, every thousandth of a second makes a difference. The Espresso Labs team was able to ensure that, based on the idea of the LMB, one of the most modern systems for Brazilian bidding emerged capable of meeting these challenges.