In a recent webinar hosted by GovSpend Relationship Manager and SLED expert Paige Mockler, procurement professionals were shown how to leverage GovSpend’s public sector intelligence to meet their procurement goals. The agenda promised insights into vendor verification, sourcing new vendors, validating pricing against historical purchase orders, market research, and tailoring bids and RFQs for success.

Verifying Vendors for Credibility and Reliability:

The first topic covered was the crucial process of vendor verification. Paige emphasized the importance of assessing a vendor’s credibility and reliability using historical data, including which government agencies they’ve worked with and whether they deliver goods and services on time. Using the GovSpend platform, she demonstrated how to leverage Spending & POs, one of our most powerful search modules with spending data back to 2015, to conduct vendor research. In her example, she reviewed different tire suppliers and demonstrated how historical PO data showed that one supplier had a long history of working with over 100 agencies, making that the clear winner of her business.

Sourcing New Vendors for Goods and Services:

Next, Paige highlighted how GovSpend can streamline the process of sourcing new vendors, particularly for niche purchases or special projects. To set the stage, she suggested that an agency might need promotional items for a community fundraiser. After inputting search terms like “t-shirts” and “totebags,” she narrowed the agency radius to see if sister agencies nearby had purchased similar goods from local vendors, resulting in little to no shipping costs. Using this information, she was able to identify potential vendors, check their history with other agencies, and assess pricing based on factors like similar quantities.

Validating Pricing Against Historical Purchase Orders:

The webinar then shifted focus to the critical task of validating pricing against historical purchase orders, which is what inspired GovSpend’s founder to build a platform for public sector intelligence. After purchasing defibrillators for the police department he worked for, he discovered that his corresponding fire department had purchased the same defibrillators for a lower price. This revelation motivated him to bring more transparency to government purchasing.

To further illustrate the importance of price validation, Paige then walked the audience through a spending search for Chromebooks. By narrowing her results to the exact model of Chromebook and a similar quantity, she was able to deduce what price was fair and was even able to pinpoint some piggyback opportunities that could lower the price even more.

Market Research for New Projects:

The discussion continued with a review of how GovSpend can strengthen market research for new government projects. Highlighting initiatives like clean schools, green transportation, the Critical Infrastructure Information Act, and Alyssa’s Law, Paige demonstrated how GovSpend can help agencies stay informed on purchasing trends in technology, sustainability, and security.

In one example, she was able to see who was the preferred vendor for EV charging stations and which agencies they were doing business with, enabling her to identify agencies focused on green projects. In another example prompted by the audience, she was able to see which agencies were likely preparing for the FIFA World Cup with crowd control equipment like barricades.

Tailoring Bids and RFQs for Success:

The final topic explored how GovSpend can help agencies tailor their bids and RFQs so they are more likely to attract quality vendors. Looking at past Bids & RFPs, Paige demonstrated how this information can help agencies include all relevant information and ensure a comprehensive and competitive proposal. Going back to the barricade example, she reviewed the RFP put out by the City of Los Angeles, which is clearly experienced in crowd control. By reviewing all the details of the RFP, including requirements for delivery, installation, and removal (often missed!), another agency would have a template for requesting similar goods and ensuring favorable contract terms.

Paige concluded by reiterating the importance of public sector intelligence when navigating the complexities of government procurement. Attendees gained practical insights into how the GovSpend platform can help SLED agencies source and verify new vendors, validate pricing, conduct market research, and tailor their bids.

For those who missed the webinar, the recording is here along with other new and on-demand webinars.

About the Author: GovSpend

Govspend’s vision is to be the leading trusted source of data, analytics, and insight for organizations buying and selling in the public sector marketplace. Our SLED and Federal solutions enable better decisions, cultivate colllaboration, and build a greater sense of community in the government procurement ecosystem.

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