Procurement Pointers

Public Sector Procurement Pointers

Tips on how to respond to government RFPs and what to include in public sector procurement debriefs

Two recent articles on public sector procurement by Tom Lovering, director of client engagement at GovWebworks, published by GovWebworks and Mainebiz.

How to respond to RFPs and build business in the public sector

By Tom Lovering
Published by Mainebiz
February 7, 2022

As the post-pandemic economy revs its engines, you may be looking for new and innovative ways to expand your business. For B2B companies, one option involves B2G, or government sales. Many government clients hold large accounts that offer significant potential for revenue generation.

However, the bar to government awards can seem prohibitively high, or tinged with negative sentiments about intensive competition and an unfamiliar sales process. For many, the formal Request for Proposals (RFPs) process, the gateway to government business, may be difficult to understand. RFPs can be challenging to locate, and when you do find them, they can seem bureaucratic and burdensome. Add the fact that government contracts often require prior government experience, and you won’t be alone in thinking that gaining entry into the government market is something of a mysterious process.

Having successfully served government clients for nearly two decades, we’re here to suggest that this seemingly complicated process can be demystified. Most vendors will find that government procurements are, in fact, a highly organized mode of bidding.

Seven tips to get you started…

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How an effective RFP debrief process leads to more engaged vendors and better bids

By Tom Lovering
Published by GovWebworks
February 8, 2022

As an information technology company that works routinely with government customers, we spend a lot of time and energy on Requests for Proposals (RFPs). It is a constant, day-after-day, year-after-year labor of love. This work includes:
  • Surveying the anticipated business opportunities
  • Analyzing the probabilities of win
  • Choosing which projects to pursue
  • Putting together bid proposals
Undeniably, the most time consuming part of the exercise is putting together proposals. Whether we’re dealing with an integrated eligibility project, a child support application, or a department/agency website, the preparation of a custom response to any given RFP can consume days, often weeks. It’s just part of doing business. In the best case scenario, we receive the award, and we get to do the work. We welcome the opportunity to build and solidify relationships, and exercise our software development skills in interesting ways. That’s exactly why we’re here. In the scenario where we lose, we still try to make the best of the situation and learn some lessons so that we can do better the next time. This is where debriefs come into the picture. Ideally, the debrief feedback tells you what you did right, what you did wrong, how you compared with other bidders, and where you might have gone off the rails. It’s the information that enables you to improve for the future.  After any bidder takes all that time to carefully prepare a compliant and meaningful bid response, the debrief is a reasonable and modest expectation in return. To the extent that routine debriefs still continue to vary quite widely in terms of scope and quality, we wanted to share, from the bidders perspective, the precise scope of information we hope to receive after working arduously on a public bid. Here are the top nine items we like to see in a debrief… Read article

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