After taking into account the 3 considerations for pursuing business with the State of Florida
You will want to know more about the tools you can use to pursue the opportunities with the state.
Florida has several public portals businesses can use to build a sales pipeline
Businesses can access agency contacts in Florida 411.
Agency email naming conventions are also available.
This can be a great tool to find contacts in your local area.
Be creative in how you leverage this portal. It can help you get to the right people.
Agencies are required to post All competitive solicitations (solicitations greater than $35k) electronically.
The current location is VBS. Agencies, Water Management Districts, Community Colleges and some universities post their bids here.
You can search by agency, the type of bid and/or commodity codes posted currently or in the past.
VBS has data in it dating back to 1997, but so much of how agencies buy has changed I would stick with the past 3-4 years when looking at previous bids.
Most contracts resulting from these bids are for a 4-5 year term.
Use that in factoring in when another bids may come up again.
You can also search by Agency Decisions.
The posting agency has to announce who the contract is awarded to.
Take that information to build a list of potential partners.
Reaching out to these awarded vendors may help you build relationships to partner, either now or in the future.
Did you know you can request the awarded vendor’s response?
The State of Florida has broad public record laws.
Use a public record request to get more information about previous informal bids, the winning vendor, etc.
The response will most likely be heavily redacted but can give you some information you didn’t have before.
The information in the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) gives you greater insight into what resulted from the bids found on VBS. Taking the bid information from VBS and using FACTS to see the resulting contract can give you a good idea of what is expected from agency to agency.
Using the public information the state offers can take you a long way when competing for their business.
How funds are appropriated are also public record.
Some businesses spend time going through these records to find what projects have funds allocated.
There will be procurements that result from those decisions.
Finding where funds are allocated will tell you there is money.
The next question is can you figure out how the agency will procure that product.
A public record request gets you some of this information but it will most likely be a canned response.
This response is based on the next section.
When it comes to upcoming procurements the agencies will most likely look to fulfill it through a state term contract purchase if that option is available.
We haven’t discussed it yet but there is a purchasing “hierarchy” agencies must follow.
Check back next time for more discussion on the purchasing hierarchy.
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