MoneyAs of April 1st the Federal Government Procurement process begins anew: stimulating $16 Billion dollars worth of Contracts.

The Federal Government is one of, or quite possibly the largest purchaser of goods and services in the entire country.

And, in the upcoming 2015 -2016 fiscal year, the Procurement process just got a whole lot more interesting for Canadian Companies.

The Feds have stepped up their game. Yes, many of these contracts will be awarded to long standing suppliers, however it also opens the door for new players to finally take the stage.

This is a very good time to get your company in on the action too.

Beginning April 1, 2015; every Federal Government contract with a purchase value over $25K, will be processed through Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

PWGSC helps the Government define all of their Procurement requirements. And together, they release these orders or ‘Tenders’ as they are known, as ‘Bids or Requests’ in the form of:

  • RFP – Request for Proposal
  • RFQ – Request for Quotation
  • RFI –   Request for Information
  • SOSA – Standing Offer Supply Arrangements

These Tenders are issued through a fair bidding and evaluation process, listed online at: BuyAndSell.GC.CA/Tenders.

This is excellent news for Canadian businesses (big and small) because any company that can comply with 100% of the mandatory requirements in a Tender, has a fair chance at winning that particular piece of Government business.

Incumbents Beware!

Every company that currently holds a Government contract (known as the Incumbant) should be worried. Even after long periods of successful delivery of Government contracts – going forward these companies will likely have to bid on these same contracts that were previously viewed as ‘their own piece of business’.

Contracts renewing in 2015 and beyond will become fair game, and will be awarded through the arduous bidding process.

New Contenders Prepare!

Although competition for government contracts is fierce and protective – the new rules have become much more inspiring for us mere mortal companies wanting (and being able) to bid on these desirable Procurement opportunities.

Winning a Government contract can mean much more than just Dollars. In many cases companies get the opportunity to grow and be innovative in their market segments, often gaining competitive advantage through securing and delivering the solutions required on many of these contracts.

The Bidding process itself, has numerous Business Development benefits:

– Allows for competitive intelligence gathering

– Creates buyer awareness of your Company’s name and expertise

– Opens opportunities for expanding existing markets and even entering new ones

– Helps you identify potential strategic partnerships.

If you are considering stepping into the Bidding/Tenders arena there is even more good news in 2015, in that the Feds are committed to become ‘fully online’ for all procurement and funding applications and responses.

Many of our Clients tell us that they are thrilled with this new feature – because in the past, too many companies were disqualified due to technicalities related to the printing and delivery of bids to either the wrong floor, department or person. This effectively removes that dreadful obstacle.

One important caveat when submitting a Solicitation Template online is, that you must change the heading from “In Progress” to “Complete”, the ‘Save’ it and THEN Click on “Submit”button. An email confirmation will be sent automatically to you.

The RFP process is not for the faint of heart. You must adhere to many details.  The changes to the Federal Procurement process this year should open new doors for service providers.

Many RFP responses take companies well over 50 hours of time to prepare a professional response. If you are considering this process, here are some helpful first steps to begin your approach:

Step 1: Gather a Summary of your Company: The Leadership Team, Bio’s, Winning Case Studies, Happy Customer Testimonials, Brochures etc – and bring all this information together.

Step 2: Seek help from a Writer or Marketing expert internally to help craft a compelling and articulate company value statement. If you do not have someone internally to help, then seek out a Professional RFP Writer or Marketing expert. Choose someone that can help you create and identify some powerful messages that clearly define and differentiate your company from the competition.

Step 3 : Don’t sound too salesy or gimmicky in your summary messages. Having the right amount of qualitative and quantitative material with substantiating proof for your statements is essential.

Step 3: Proposal responses are about Business Development. Keep an eye on websites like Merx, Biddingo, and Buy and Sell.GC.CA Canada to identify Tenders that are well-suited for your company.

Some of these sites offer membership privileges based on your own criteria, that will alert and email you when suitable bids are released.

Are you ready? April 1st is coming soon. Happy Bidding!