by Joseph Myer
Business Development Manager
Public agencies are entrusted with money from citizens and are obligated to use it in the most efficient way possible. The amount of money is staggering. In 2014, the combined federal, state and local government spending in the US added up to around $6 trillion.
Whether or not the government should spend spend less is a debate on its own; however, we can all agree that helping governments procure goods and services more efficiently is a good idea.
One proven method that is increasing efficiency in how governments buy goods is adopting Internet bidding. This method replaces antiquated paper bidding and all of the effort and errors that go along with it. Here are three ways this technology leads to better prices for public agencies:
1. Receive last minute price cuts: Governments put items out for bid and then typically provide a window of several weeks for vendors to respond. When preparing a bid on paper, a vendor is required to print forms, complete them manually, print and insert necessary attachments and compute the math. What if half an hour before the bid is due, the price of a key item drops? It might be impossible or even risky for a paper bidder to make this change in time. An Internet bidder, however, can accommodate this change with just a few clicks. His price is lower and everyone wins. Simplifying bidding means all vendors have more time to perfect their bids and spend less time on paperwork and delivery hassles.
2. Minimize throwing out the low or ‘best value’ bid: Ask anyone in government procurement and this is sure to be a common theme. They sometimes need to throw away the low or best value bid due to a technicality, e.g. one critical form was not signed, an amendment was missing, the bidder arrived two minutes past the deadline, the bidder missed an addendum. This can literally cost millions. Internet bidding provides automatic checks for errors and omissions. Bidders can’t miss these overt notices or automatic addenda, therefore they don’t.
3. Increased number of bidders: More competition means better prices. Internet bidding services make it easier for more contractors to bid on more jobs. Submitting online is just plain easy compared to paper bidding and it doesn’t require the time and expense of hand/hired delivery. Maybe a contractor would not drive to a certain agency to pick up a bid packet thinking he was not interested in the work. Might that same contractor click a few links while on the Bid Express website to check it out? Yes. Public agencies benefit from a larger pool of bidders and therefore, more competitive bids.
If your agency is seeking out options for Internet bidding, be sure to check out the Bid Express service. With more than 18 years of experience in helping public agencies implement Internet bidding, the Bid Express team is ready to get your solicitations online.