How Vendors Should Approach Procurement (From a Former Government CIO)

Dustin Haisler, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at e.Republic and Joe Morris, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer at e.Republic, sat down with Todd Sander, VP at e.Republic and former CIO of the Lower Colorado River Authority, to discuss the evolving government purchasing practices and staying ahead of the RFP.

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You can watch the full interview here.

Here's a quick recap from the discussion:

Sander shared his advice to vendors when it comes to working with agencies and getting ahead of deals.

“My favorite vendors are the ones who … ”
  • Do their “homework.”
    • Review budgets, adhere to procurement rules and understand who the key players are.
  • Put their best foot forward.
    •  Commit fully and completely to demos and proposals and attend question and answer sessions.
  • Take the procurement process seriously.
    • It means a lot to the decision makers.
Vendors who follow these guidelines and who have helped Sander by pointing him to references or recommending changes have historically helped him to make more informed decisions and convey a better internal story.

How to get ahead of the RFP:

To stay ahead of deals, Sander recommends watching out for governing boards or technology authorization committees. Additionally, monitoring developing budgets a couple months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year is crucial, as they will mature into a proposed budget that will include important technology initiatives. Sander also mentions leveraging procurement sites can help industry partners keep abreast of what the current needs are within government agencies.

The ideal approach, however, is “for people to know their customers” and engage with them, says Sander.

Let us do the homework for you.

Industry Navigator tracks developing opportunities, so you don’t have to. Our researchers and analysts track the boards, committees, budgets and procurement sites that Sander mentions above to give you what we call “developing opportunities,” before the formal RFP hits the street.

You can also find the contact, procurement and budget information you need before heading into a meeting with a potential buyer in Industry Navigator. Set alerts to get notified when a Developing Opportunity, Pre-RFP or RFP is created in your target agency (or location).

See Industry Navigator in action here.