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BidPrime Research Blog

Bill Culhane
Wednesday, January 28 2015

Is Public Sector Business for Us?

In the sales world, as in most endeavors, if you don't know what you don't know, there are potentially negative repercussions. In 2014, federal, state, and local governments in the United States spent $1.6 trillion outside of government pensions, healthcare, education, national defense, and welfare.

In 2015, the projected spending is set to rise to $1.7 trillion. For a historical perspective, the number was "only" $0.9 trillion in 2000. In 2015, there is growth to be realized, sales to be made, and potential new markets to enter.

Why, why not, pursue public sector business?

At BidPrime, we work with a variety of businesses in terms of the importance of public sector business to their bottomlines. BidPrime's clients have a relatively equal mix of customers, both public and private. While other clients, public sector business is their only, sole source of revenue. There are also a number of clients whereby public sector business, while not to be ignored as a mere footnote, is a supplement to their revenue numbers.

I understand why some companies steer away from government work. For some businesses, either because, 1) their services and solutions are in no way a fit for public sector entities, and/or 2) public sector business is in no way a strategic match for the business. If you cannot respond to 1) and 2) with, "Yep, that is us. I can say "in no way" to both of those conditions", what is the hold up? Is it...

1. Too time consuming to learn how to pursue and win public sector opportunities and to setup a process to win.

You have a variety of resources available and BidPrime's clients have found that, once you learn and implement the protocol, you can streamline much of the process. By the way, there are additional resources being put in place and user-friendly tools being implemented.

Contact your local Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Center (APTAC). APTAC has over 300 local offices. They will go through the acquisition process in detail and this is worth noting, regardless if you use them or not, your tax dollars are already paying for their services!

Visit their websites and follow up by contacting your local government purchasing offices. The procurement professionals have a vested interest in ensuring that potential vendors know and follow their prescribed process(es).

Ask within your network. It is quite likely you already have friends, peers, colleagues who are already pursuing and winning public sector business. Somebody out there was growing their bottomline with the $1.6 trillion earned in 2014.

2. Opportunities are too difficult to find.

If I had a dollar for every minute I spent in my prior sales life networking, cold calling, researching, prospecting, asking for referrals, I would have a bunch of dollars. While some businesses use the time consuming and archaic process of manually researching government websites, most others use automated notification services for bid requests/RFPs. Simply, you setup your business profile and receive the rfp/bid request notifications in your email inbox. At that point, you can quickly review and determine if the bid request/RFP is of interest to your business.

3. Too labor intensive to prepare responses to bid requests/RFPs.

Of course, larger companies, and some small, have a person or team dedicated to reviewing the incoming bid requests/RFPs and preparing, submitting, and following up on the applicable responses. As noted above, you have resources available to direct you, many of the processes are now fully automated, it will not be long until you fine tune and implement the process for you and your business.

Do a quick evaluation of how much time you are currently spending on prospecting. Regardless of how insignificant the task(s) appear, account for all of your time. Now, envision a world in which decision makers, budget, authority, need, timeframe, all of that, are advertising that they need your widget, and want it now!

4. Opportunities are too limited.

At any given moment, BidPrime's technology works in real-time, there are 35-40k bid requests/RFPs spread throughout the below, and many, many other, industries. I encourage you to take a free, zero obligation look, try the service, and decide if public sector business should be a part of your strategy. BidPrime will send you the bid requests/RFPs of interest to you, and only the potentials of interest to you. Also, BidPrime will provide you with a Market Analysis to give you a historical perspective on the activity, within your scope of solutions and services offered.

* Aerospace and Defense
* Architecture and Engineering
* Automobile and Air Transport
* Building Maintenance
* Clothing, Textiles, Uniforms
* Computer and Network Hardware
* Building Construction
* Energy and Lighting
* Environmental
* Financial and Insurance
* Food and Food Service
* Heavy Machinery and Industrial
* Information Technology
* Medical and Healthcare
* Office Supplies and Imaging
* Park, Sports, Recreation
* Professional Services
* Public Works, Water, Sanitation
* Radio and Communication
* Rental and Leasing, Real Estate
* Security, Fire, Safety
* Software
* Transportation and Highway

As sales professionals work pipelines, network, negotiate, and navigate through the various tasks and "must do's" involved in development of new business, are valuable opportunities being overlooked and lost? In 2015, adding public sector business can be a game changer for you and your company.

For more information about your industry visit BidPrime or give us a call at 1.888.808.5356.

Appendix: Government spending statistics: US Government Spending
Jim Ward
Friday, January 2 2015

State & Local Law Enforcement Agencies Grappling With the Purchase of Body Worn Cameras

The term “body worn camera” is a recent addition to the US public lexicon, due in large part to their somewhat controversial use with local police departments. These cameras are battery powered devices worn by police officers on either their uniform or eyewear. The footage gleaned from the cameras are often used as evidence against suspected criminals with impressive results. The other primary objective is helping to monitor the behavior of each department’s officers, allowing greater transparency and public oversight leading to improved community relations.

The public’s initial reaction seems supportive of this technology and the oversight it inherently provides. The prevailing hope is their deployment will decrease the unnecessary use of force by police officers while improving their own safety and well being. The requests for more transparency in law enforcement have recently begun echoing across the U.S. This new application can become a vital cog in this pursuit.

There has been a steady rise in government agency bids for body worn cameras and this trend has steadily risen over the last three years.

BidPrime's data for the states issuing most bids and rfps
Certain states have spearheaded the the purchases of body-worn cameras as the technology has become more cost efficient to implement. According to BidPrime, a government bid database and research firm, Illinois and Ohio have released the largest number of bids or RFPs for the purchase of body-worn cameras over the last three years. California, Virginia, and Texas follow behind Ohio and Illinois in the overall number of government bids issued over the course of three years.

BidPrime's data for the states issuing most bids and rfps
In 2014, Texas had the highest number of government bids issued for body-worn cameras. Interestingly, most major metropolises in Texas issued bids in 2014, including Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio. The City of Austin has only issued a Request for Information, but appears poised to issue a larger scale bid in short time.

It is appearing that the public advocates the implementation of these measures. This view is not shared by all, though. Top law enforcement officials like Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), are urging prudence and that all facets be considered. He stated in a recent PERF letter to its members that “Once an agency goes down the road of deploying body-worn cameras—and once the public comes to expect the availability of video records—it will become increasingly difficult to have second thoughts or to scale back a body-worn camera program.” His assertion that data and opinions from multiple sectors be taken under consideration, before a blind implementation occurs is a pragmatic request.  Executive Director Werth, and the PERF membership, would be more supportive once all sides have been through trials, tests, and studies.

It is undeniable that the technology can be a very effective tool in the search for public transparency. Body worn cameras have many benefits for police departments, which is why so many municipal and state law enforcement agencies are already moving towards their purchase. These devices are seen as much more efficient than police car mounted cameras and when a police officer has a body worn camera on his or her person, there can be fewer difficulties or malfunctions.

In fact, the data culled from these cameras is seen as eye-witness worthy proof in a court of law.  That was a major step in the acceptance for departments to go live. It should lead to a higher prosecution rate for the police departments that enforce body worn cameras.

There are many aspects needing to be studied and understood such as when the cameras will be activated or what happens when a police officer does not activate the camera. A universally agreed upon series of procedures is not going to happen quickly.

The rise in the bids is quantifiable evidence that the technology is already in use and increasing rapidly. The technology itself raises little cause for concern -- it is safe, easy to procure, and durable. However, the implementation of the technology still remains controversial in some circles. The growth in bids and RFPs for body worn cameras portend their continued upward trajectory for the foreseeable future. In light of recent events in the news and public demand, this is an industry to keep an eye on for continued growth in 2015.

For more information, visit BidPrime or call us at 1.888.808.5356.