In the state of Florida, the Department of Management Services, Division of State Purchasing administers all statewide contracts for use of state agencies, local governments, educational institutions and other entities. And with over $1 billion in purchases each year from over several agencies in 67 counties, the state of Florida offers plenty of government contracting opportunities to businesses of all sizes and from all industries.
Registering with MyFloridaMarketPlace and the Vendor Bid System
All vendors wanting to sell to the state of Florida must first register in Florida’s eProcurement system, MyFloridaMarketPlace. The system simplifies the process between vendors and state government agencies that purchase products and services. It’s basically and online exchange, where vendors can receive notifications of bid opportunities from purchasing agencies requesting any of the products or services they sell, advertise and post information on their products and services for potential buyers, and receive electronic purchase orders. Registration is fast and easy, requiring just a few steps and pieces of information, including business addresses, business contact information, tax information and product and service code identification numbers.
Vendors should also take time to register with the Vendor Bid System, which provides access to all bid solicitations in the state of Florida. Registered vendors can request email notifications of updates, new solicitation announcements and current advertisements. Where MyFloridaMarketPlace facilitates the award process between vendors and purchasing officers, the Vendor Bid System is a on stop portal where vendors can search for opportunities great for a wide range of products and services.
PRIDE, RESPECT and State/Agency Term Contracts: Choosing the Right Selling Opportunities
The state of Florida has several purchasing programs aimed at increasing competition and participation from all types of businesses in support of the various programs the government administers. All of these programs are worth looking into, since each caters towards purchasing processes that may be more beneficial to some vendors than others.
- PRIDE: PRIDE programs are designed to prepare inmate workers for eventual release by providing vocational training opportunities in correctional industry settings. These type of transition programs sustain a seamless shift into sustainable employment. PRIDE programs provide products and services for purchase by state agencies without competitive bidding, making it an excellent method of purchase for agencies who don’t want to go through all the red-tape of releasing an RFP.
- RESPECT: RESPECT is a central non-profit agency that works with other non-profits throughout the state to provide products and services available for purchase by state agencies produced by persons with varying degrees of disability. The program aims to decrease citizens with disabilities’ dependence on public assistance.
- State/Agency Term Contracts: Term contracts are used when a government purchasing agency at any level cannot determine with certainty the quantities of products and services it will likely require during a defined contract period. These agreements are usually consolidated small purchases that provide deep discounts for common requirements and often don’t exceed more than $25,000. Winning a state or agency term contract also exposes vendors to several potential customers at a time, since many agencies prefer to take the easier route of purchasing from approved vendors at heavily discounted prices.
These are just a few examples of the purchasing programs available in the state of Florida’s procurement process. To become successful and competitive in the government market, vendors should devote as much time and resource as possible researching all available opportunities to come to the best decision when it comes to contracting with any state agency. Doing the proper due diligence will certainly go a long way in the government sector and might just be the difference between winning or losing government business.
Check out this article to find out more about getting a leg up on the competition with effective and well-written bid proposals.