How Vendors can Find Buyers in the Public Sector
Public and government entities are required to send out bids or requests for proposals (RFPs) when these entities need to purchase a mass amount of equipment. Government entities also go through the RFP process when needing to find an en masse service provider (e.g. Help Desk services to support information technology) when it no longer makes fiscal sense to provide those services in-house. The RFP process is meant to publicly advertise the need for the equipment or services to the largest amount of potential vendors. This is meant to ensure that vendors with existing contracts or established relationships with government entities are not favored over vendors that do not. RFPs are also meant to ensure that government entities receive fair and competitive pricing.
A common frustration for companies and established vendors is knowing when government entities initiate RFPs. This is where monitoring companies can come into play. These companies help other organizations monitor government tenders or public entity request for proposals. Since the response windows on RFPs can be tight, a common complaint amongst companies is missing out on government bids due to lack of awareness. In fact, since financial stipulations are often restrictive, if a potential vendor becomes aware of available public tenders after the fact, these vendors have to wait for the next opportunity to bid.
An example of a company that provides these monitoring services is RFP Alert Services Global Launch. Besides being able to alert vendors of multiple bid opportunities, monitoring services can establish specific alert parameters according to the products/services the vendors provide. Let's say a vendor specializes in the sale of projectors and document cameras. It wouldn't make sense for that vendor to receive alerts on available bids for desktop computers. Search parameters can also do the opposite in ensuring that vendors that sell a wide variety of equipment (e.g. computers, projectors, document cameras, mobile device charging carts) receive alerts on all of the bids these vendors have the capability of servicing.
The RFP process can be intimidating for vendors that wish to expand or establish market reach. Some that are used to dealing exclusively with the private sector may find the public sector's process confusing or difficult to adhere to. Vendors may also not be aware of the process or the proper channels to ensure products and services meet the right decision makers. Those decision makers within public entities have a desire to receive bids from a more diverse range of suppliers. Monitoring services are an excellent way to bridge the gap between the buyers and vendors that are wanting to establish a presence in the public market.