State Government Contract Issuers, Vendors, and COVID-19
As the world continues to overcome COVID-19, state governments are adapting their contracting practices in subtle but important ways. Fortunately, state-issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) and other bidding opportunities are continuing.
These government contracts represent a valuable opportunity, especially given the high level of uncertainty in private-sector procurement. To maintain your business’s growth potential in the current environment, it’s important to know how state government contracts are reacting to the coronavirus.
New Methods of State Government Contract Delivery
For RFPs, the ongoing digitization trend has turned into a full-fledged transformation. With government employees around the country working from home, offices that previously required in-person and physical materials are adapting rapidly.
This is good news for state government contract bid applicants! Physical package requirements can often be quite burdensome, both financially and environmentally. Multiple copies, individually labeled flash drives and binding covers can add significant resource requirements to every bid. But now, more government contract bids than ever accept proposals via email or online portals.
However, while digital delivery methods are often easier, you must get your submission right. Ensure that you’re following all directions when submitting your bid. Check to make sure the file is in the desired format. Ensure the file name uses the bid issuer’s desired convention. Verify that you’re sending the bid to the correct contact, and if possible, request a confirmation of receipt of your proposal.
For online submission portals, creating an account before submitting is often necessary. Make sure you have your organization’s core information readily available. This includes your tax ID number, mailing address, business designation, contact person and other similar fields.
If possible, you must never wait until the last minute to submit your bid electronically. Online portals sometimes crash due to increased demand right before a deadline. There may also be issues with your connectivity, email or password. So, to avoid problems, it’s better to go ahead and send in your state government contract proposal as early in advance of the deadline as possible.
Most government procurement bids include some form of pre-proposal conference, question and answer period, or both. Many of them used to happen in person and were mandatory for interested parties. Given the situation with COVID-19, these opportunities for engagement are all moving online. This allows you to participate in meetings with prospective new clients all around the country.
Additionally, these remote conferences represent an excellent opportunity to refine your understanding of the bid you’re pursuing. They’re also a great way to begin a relationship with the RFP evaluators, which can further help your proposal stand out. By asking at least one question before your bid submission, you’re introducing your business name into the consciousness of the bid offeror early in the process. A thoughtful question with an enthusiastic attitude will create a positive impression for your organization. This is your opportunity to convey your firm’s confidence, dedication and competence. Make sure you’re making the most of it!
More Addenda Than Ever
Another significant change in state government contract RFPs is an increased number of released addenda. When a bid issuer needs to update their RFP, it can be because of a new deadline, answers to submitted questions, a refined scope of work or more. These changes require the release of an addenda. So, staying connected to the bids your company seeks to win is more important than ever.
If the RFP opportunity is posted on a portal, make sure to check that portal frequently for any updates. The same is true for state websites that list open procurement opportunities. It may be necessary to email the RFP’s contact person to express your interest as an applicant. That way, you’ll be on the list to receive any additional addenda.
New Digital Components Added to Scopes of Service
We’re seeing significant increases in digital practices regarding state government contract processes. These state contracts increasingly incorporate digital components into the services being acquired. For example, training previously scheduled in person must now be carried out online.
To place your business in the best possible position, you must demonstrate your firm’s ability to excel in an increasingly digital environment. Invest in your business’s ability to complete tasks online. Consider cloud-based storage, video conferencing, interactive presentations, real-time tracking and more.
In many instances, incorporating digital delivery of your service can be more efficient. Take the time to flesh out these plans fully, and be able to describe them in detail to your potential new government client. If possible, prepare online demonstrations and ensure your team is fully trained on the digital tools you’ll be using and promoting.
State Government Contract Opportunities Are Continuing
Understandably, it’s a scary time for many business owners. No sector of the economy will be completely untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. However, at The Bid Lab, we see a consistent stream of new business development opportunities, especially regarding state government bids. Some of these opportunities directly respond to COVID-19, while others represent essential services regardless of an economic downturn.
State government contracts may represent your business’s most secure bridge over the current uncertainty and into the future. At The Bid Lab, we help organizations on both sides of the proposal process manage every step along their bid journeys. If your organization wants to win government bids but needs support in getting your proposal exactly right, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.