For many vendors, government business is a safe harbor in the storm
According to the research firm Global Insight and Government Product News, government agencies (at the local, state, federal and special-district levels) in the United States will spend $2.84 trillion on goods and services in 2008—up from $2.74 trillion in 2007.
Businesses seeking to land government contracts can turn to procurement technical assistance centers (PTACs) for assistance. PTACs help businesses sell products and services to federal, state and local governments.
“In addition, we help clients find subcontracting opportunities with large commercial entities,” said Meredith Threatt, who is interim state program manager for the state of Ohio’s PTAC program.
There’s so much interest in selling to governments that the Northeast Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Center is presenting a training session titled “The Government Marketplace: A Great Place to Expand Your Business.” The session is scheduled for May 23 on the campus of Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio.
“The PTACs are a pretty good network, and we are not territorial,” Threatt explained. “So if you are unable to reach someone at one center, you can call another center, and somebody will get back to you and make sure that you get answers to your questions.”
‘A very discerning buyer’
According to Bob Fenn, program director for the Northeast Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Center, “an excellent commercial reputation” for product quality and on-time delivery is a prerequisite for vendors seeking government business.
“The government is a very discerning buyer,” Fenn explained. “[Vendors] also need to ask themselves if they can devote sufficient resources (people, money, capacity) to selling to the government. If they review all of that, and still want to pursue government sales, I recommend they contact their local PTAC.”
An example of an upcoming training session is the Sixth Annual Queens Business and Procurement Expo 2008, which will take place June 6 at the Con Edison Learning Center in Long Island City, N.Y. The expo will provide an opportunity for small-business owners to meet with federal, state and local government representatives to discuss upcoming procurement opportunities. It also will allow small-business owners to network with one another for possible teaming or joint venture arrangements.
Powerful government buying audience at the NIGP Forum
Vendors seeking government business should consider exhibiting at the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing’s (NIGP) Annual Forum and Products Exposition. The event, which will take place July 26-30 in Charlotte, N.C., is the largest North American educational conference exclusively for individuals in public purchasing.
Exhibitors at the NIGP products exposition have the opportunity to get their products and services in front of an audience of key government buyers. More than 92 percent of delegates to the NIGP Annual Forum and Products Exposition have principal buying-decision roles in their government agencies.
Last year NIGP’s Annual Forum and Products Exposition attracted more than 1,200 representatives from all levels of government.
- Seattle-based Onvia specializes in gathering government business intelligence, and provides businesses with daily notification and on-demand access to fresh sales leads, including a variety of bid documents from governments, including bids, RFPs, award announcements and RFQs. Onvia’s Dominion database tracks government sales information that companies can consult to discover sales opportunities. The company’s 9,000 clients represent a variety of industries.
- Albany, N.Y.-based BidNet is a government-market data source that tracks government purchases of a variety of products and services. For more than 25 years, BidNet has provided its clients with targeted government contract and RFP opportunities from thousands of state, local and federal procurement agencies.
- For more information on the NIGP Annual Forum and Products Exposition, click here.
- To learn more about PTAC training classes for doing business with the government, click here.
- There are more than 200 PTAC offices around the United States. To find one near you, click here.
- For more information on the Northeast Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Center’s May 23 training session on selling to the government, click here.
- For information on the Queens Business and Procurement Expo 2008, click here.