State and local entities, from cities, special districts, to universities, often provide electronic copies of solicitations on the procurement/purchasing section of their website. It’s a best practice for vendors to familiarize themselves with these sites as they contain valuable procurement information such as upcoming contract opportunities, current bids, and awarded contracts.
Vendors can also benefit from these resources by registering with the website to receive emails whenever new solicitations are issued. These notifications offer an efficient way for vendors to stay up to date on projects released versus checking websites on a daily basis or making phone calls to government officials regarding potential bids. Registration is also vital because agencies will often only accept bids from vendors registered to do business with them.
Most sites follow a similar registration format and require basic vendor information, including: email address, account name, password, name of point of contact, phone number, fax number, and mailing address. Some entities require more specific company details, such as federal tax ID, number of employees, date company was established, description of company, and/or a W-2 form. Upon creating an account, many websites allow you to identify commodity codes that apply to your company so you can receive email alerts regarding related projects. While most five-digit commodity/services codes cover a broad scale of projects, choosing several helps ensure no projects are missed.
Vendors should also keep an eye out for entities that offer prequalified vendors with professional services opportunities at a dollar threshold. Guidelines for prequalification vary per agency, so it is important for vendors to go directly to entity websites for complete details on what forms to submit and further qualification steps.
Submittal deadlines also differ per agency. While certain entities accept vendors submittals year round, others only a accept vendor forms during a specific period. For example, the state of Washington requires architect-engineer qualifications (Form 330) to be submitted. Meanwhile, the state of Hawaii has an annual invitation to submit beginning March 2015 for statements of qualifications and expressions of interest.
Moreover, entities often have different levels of qualification, such as the state of Florida, which has an unlimited level (vendors can bid on any projects they qualify for), and a minor level (project with fees below $500,000).
Registering for procurement sites allows businesses to save time and properly allocate their resources. Projects that fit your company’s commodity codes can be emailed directly, which allows you to dedicate time to building proposals rather than seeking out projects. Registering also helps architecture, engineering, and construction firms better understand qualification rules for certain entities they are interested in doing business with, and can help them access solicitations not open to the public.
While individual site registration is a vital key to keeping on top of procurement opportunities, utilizing Deltek’s GovWin IQ further maximizes potential business. Deltek also monitors these purchasing sites nationwide, and captures projects in a robust database of bid notifications. This provides a direct, one-stop shop for vendors to view projects they are interested in and retrieve solicitation documents. From here, vendors can proceed to register with respective sites and begin building a relationship one entity at a time.
You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.