Free Webinar: Maximizing Outreach for Your Procurement Office

Are you part of a procurement office, large or small, and you want to do more effective outreach to your local business community?  Or do you work with DBE-certified and state-certified firms, and you’d like to connect with more of them?

We’ve been helping agencies across the Pacific Northwest do just that since 2015, through our ProcurementSearch.com platform, through social media campaigns, and more.  And now, we’d like to start sharing what we’ve learned with you.

You can watch our free 30-minute webinar, with helpful tips and advice for getting your bids and opportunities in front of a wider and more engaged audience, in the player right on this page:

Questions?  Comments?  We’d love to hear from you!

Drop us a line at info @ procurementsearch.com, or give us a call at 503-395-5303.

Steve

Founder & CEO, ProcurementSearch.com

Procurement Search Overview for Public Agency Buyers

If you’re an agency buyer and you’re interested in evaluating how the Procurement Search platform can help you, we’ve like to invite you to review our trade brochures first.

These will give you a quick overview of our platform, and it’s something we invite you to download and share with any interested colleagues.

Click to download our brochure or read it here:

Procurement Search Overview for Public Agency Buyers - June 2018

 

Questions?  Comments?

Please feel free to give us a call at 503-395-5303 or send us an email at info@procurementsearch.com.

ANNOUNCING: Meet & Certify Beaverton, the first one of 2018!

Hello, small business owners!

If you’ve been wondering about working with your local government agencies, but weren’t sure how to get started, then read on.  And if you’ve been wondering about getting your business COBID-certified, you won’t want to miss this!  We’re having the first Meet & Certify event of 2018, out in Beaverton!

What’s Meet & Certify?

Simply put, it’s an event where you can talk to government buyers and agency representatives from a wide variety of local and regional government agencies, nonprofits, and small business support groups (like me!).

We’ll have representatives from Metro, the City of Beaverton, ODOT, ORPIN, Business Oregon, Adalante Mujeres, the SBA, and more.  If you have questions or concerns about working with any of them, or what resources they can offer your business, well, now you can just ask.

Meet & Certify events are a great place to start building relationships, start getting your business COBID-certified, and meet the people you need to thrive.

I’m in!  Where and when is it?

This first Meet & Certify event is going to be on January 30th, from 3pm to 5pm.

It’s going to be held at BestHQ:  12745 SW Beaverton Rd, Beaverton OR 97005.

Be sure to register online:  https://meetandcertifybeaverton.eventbrite.com

Questions?

If you have more questions, email csr@besthq.net.

Hope to see you there!

Steve

Founder & CEO, Procurement Search LLC

And, the flyer:

Meet & Certify Event Flyer
Meet & Certify Event Flyer

Meet & Certify Event Flyer in Spanish
Meet & Certify Event Flyer in Spanish

 

Testimonial: TriMet

Monika Johnson, TriMet

“We have been working with Procurement Search for over a year and find the services beneficial to small businesses in our transit region.  Contractor outreach is an important part of the work we do, to ensure we work with DBEs and state-certified firms around the region.  Procurement Search is an important conduit to our work.”

Monika Johnson,
Business Equity Representative

Click to see full letter.

TriMet Logo
TriMet: A Procurement Search Member Agency

Testimonial: Port of Portland

Kimberly Mitchell-Phillips, Port of Portland. (Provided photo)

“I am happy to say that Procurement Search saved us time on our outreach, and has expanded our outreach activities, giving us the results we were seeking.”

– Kimberly Mitchell-Phillips,
Small Business Development Program Manager,
Port of Portland

Click to see full letter.

Port of Portland: A Procurement Search Member Agency

City of Portland NOW lets primes advertise sub opportunities using PDXProcurementSearch

city of portland icon

Incredible news!

City of Portland has revised its legal requirements in Section 3 of its procurement guidelines to include PDXProcurementSearch as a way for primes to advertise sub contracting opportunities to certified firms.

This means that if you’re a prime, like Skanska, Turner, Howard S. Wright or other primes, your advertising requirements for certified sub contractors can partially be met by advertising with PDXProcurementSearch.com.

This will make you more competitive for winning big bidding contracts with the City of Portland!

If you are a prime now is the perfect time to start listing your sub contracting opportunities with PDXProcurementSearch.com

Just call 503-395-5303 to get started.

 

Welcome to Portland Public Schools!

ProcurementSearch.com is pleased and proud to announce that Portland Public Schools has joined as our latest member agency!

Thank you so much, Portland Public Schools, for helping small businesses find and bid on your contracts!

On July 16, 2012 the PPS Board of Education adopted the Equity in Public Purchasing and Contracting (EPPC) Policy.

The EPPC Policy has three primary goals:

  • Provide greater professional, supplier, construction, and personal service opportunities to minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and emerging small businesses.
  • Increase the numbers of women and minorities in the construction trades through apprenticeship opportunities on District construction contracts.
  • Leverage our public contracting activity to expand the number of young people of color and young women participating in a wide variety of career learning programs.

The EPPC policy is adopted as part of the District’s larger Racial Education Equity Policy.  You can read more about the PPS EPPC here:  http://www.pps.net/Page/1582

And, as part of their efforts, PPS has now joined with ProcurementSearch.com!  I’m so excited they’re a part of our family.  You can now find every new PPS contract and RFP on ProcurementSearch.com.

PPS Purchasing & Contracting is now on social media, too!

Use the Twitter?  Then you’ll want to follow PPS Purchasing & Contracting on Twitter!  You can find them at @PPS_Purchasing.

And if you’d just like to browse all of the current contracts with PPS, just use this link: http://procurementsearch.com/search/?source=16

Still have questions?

If you still have questions about the PPS EPPC policy, please call Aidan Gronauer, the Equity in Public Purchasing & Contracting Manager:  503.916.3113

Once again, welcome aboard PPS!

10/20: Go find out how to get a contract with Legacy

happy-girl-jumpAre you a small business?

Want to become a Legacy Supplier?

Check out the Legacy Diversity Supplier event!

Thursday October 20th, 2016

At 5:30-7:30PM

Suite 1075-1077 at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, 2801 N. Gantenbein Avenue, {97227

Refreshments will be served.

Before you attend, you MUST register. Go to http://legacyhealth.org/supplier to register now.

You’ll need your business license, insurance and state diversity certification.

 

Questions? Contact:
Pamela Weatherspoon, MBA | Diversity & Community Engagement Program Manager | Legacy Health  | paweathe@lhs.org | phone (503) 415-5421|

How get a contract with Metro: Interview with Gabriele Schuster

Hello, everyone. This is Steve Havelka and I am talking with Gabriele Schuster, procurement manager at Metro. We’re talking about how Metro likes to do business with small businesses. So my first question is,

What is the number one mistake small businesses make in doing business with you?

Gabriele Schuster MetroGabi Schuster: I would say the number one mistake businesses make is not reading the solicitation document thoroughly enough. So what we often see is that businesses are qualified to do business with us, but when they turn in their bid or proposal, they sometimes don’t answer the questions off the request for bid or request for proposal document. Then don’t provide the right answers for certain sections of the document. So it is really important to thoroughly read the solicitation document and make sure that all questions and sections of the document are addressed.

We know that the businesses are qualified, but sometimes they don’t promote themselves or sell themselves well enough in their submission document. This is what we’re trying to teach businesses when we teach our workshops, to really read the document and respond in a way so that we can get a good picture of how qualified and skilled they are in doing business with us.

SH: Do you have any winning proposals that small businesses can come and look at before submitting their own proposal?

GS: Yes, we certainly do. So we are a government agency and all of the documents, even the proposals and bids that we receive, are actually considered public documents. People can actually send either an email or call us. There’s a small form that they need to fill out. They can also come on site and review or get copies. But they can certainly review winning proposals. Sometimes we have to maybe block out confidential information like financial or trade secret information off businesses that have submitted information to us, which is just fair. So we don’t want to reveal any trade secrets. But we can certainly share winning proposals with small businesses in order to learn, and we have actually looked at some of those in technical assistance sessions that we provide on a monthly basis.

SH: Do you have a minority evaluator program?

GS: We actually don’t have a minority evaluator program. I know that the City of Portland has one. It requires a lot of resources that we currently don’t have in place. It is really a great program that lets people of color participate. People who own businesses, it lets them participate in evaluating proposals.

SH: Are there any characteristics of winning proposals that you see over and over again?

GS: Yes definitely.

Number one: I first want to mention that the content of the proposal is the most important part. We know that a lot of businesses don’t have the resources to send in a fancy proposal that is – for example, we once received a treasure box from a marketing company that had all kinds of little knick knacks, fun stuff in there, that requires a lot of resources. So we don’t focus on that. We focus on the content. So it can simply be just a paper proposal or some electronic document, and we have trained our staff and evaluators here on just paying attention to the content.

Number two: Companies who are successful thoroughly read the request for proposal or request for bid document, section by section. They usually break it out into sections and then answer in their proposal or bid those different sections that need to be addressed. They’re very strategic about providing those answers.

Number three: A lot of companies make the mistake of only providing their qualification and experience, and while that is very important, there are a lot of other questions that we have.

For example, questions about diversity within the company, or what the company provides to the community. There’s also questions about sustainability, and we provide points for that. We also provide points for being a certified business, state certified business, COBID certified, formerly known as MWESB.

Bottom line: The key is to thoroughly read the solicitation document and be very strategic about answering and addressing each section in the order that the solicitation document is organized. So that’s what we typically see, that those companies are more successful if they really spend time reading and responding directly to those questions.

SH: What are some of the most common things that you buy?

GS: We buy a lot. We are an agency that is in charge of many different venues, visitors venues, the zoo. We do urban planning. We have cemeteries, parks. So most of our purchases are actually professional services, architects, engineers, consultants. Really a whole variety of professional services. We hire a lot of consultants, actually. Then one third is probably construction and trader services. But it’s really across the board, and we also purchase goods, of course. Like anything that the agency needs, office supplies, janitorial supplies, furniture. We have many buildings. We have commercial buildings. We also have residential buildings. So I would say it’s really across the board. But most of what we need is professional services.

SH: Are there any typical opportunities that you often have a harder time getting enough small businesses to apply to?

GS: Yes. It is construction. So we are having a really hard time in the current economy, which is getting better, which is great. Construction businesses are very busy, and we’re having a really hard time finding in particular, smaller construction firms and smaller trade firms that can provide electrical services, plumbing, drywall, smaller general contractors. Especially smaller construction projects, because most of our projects are under $150,000, and we only have larger construction projects in the zoo bond, and typically we would hire a larger company that subcontracts out to smaller firms. Then again, our larger prime contractors have a problem finding smaller businesses to subcontract to.

This is not unusual in this type of market. I know that other agencies have the same issue. There are simply not enough small construction trade companies in our metro region at the moment, and I would encourage anyone who has construction trade skills to open a business. This is the time to do it, and we have resources to help with that. The Metropolitan Contract Improvement Partnership is a nonprofit organization that we profit with and can help small firms to get started and help them with business administration, payroll, growing, hiring people, everything. So another good organization is NAMC Oregon, the National Association of Minority Contractors, who we also partner with. So this is the time to start a small business in the construction trade.

SH: Wow. That’s really encouraging. I talk to a lot of people who are in that trade, and I’m really looking forward to passing this information onto them because they need to know about this. I would love to connect them with Metro too.

GS: Yeah, Steve. We definitely need more construction firms. We’re a bit desperate in finding people at the moment.

SH: Would you be open to having small businesses call you with questions? Can I include your contact information in the interview?

GS: Certainly, Steve. I would be happy to. This is what we do in procurement services here at Metro. I have a staff of six and there’s myself, and we are here to answer questions. We also like to invite people in once a month for a two hour technical assistance session, in which we tell people all about public procurement processes, Metro procurement processes, and we can provide resources and again provide successful proposals and bids, winning proposals and bids. You can contact me at gabriele.schuster@oregonmetro.gov or call me at:  503-797-1577

I’m always happy to talk to small business owners and help them succeed in this process.

Thank you so much Gabi for telling us how to succeed in getting a contract with Metro Regional Government! Small construction companies, take note! They want to hear from you!

Welcome and Thank You Multnomah County!

PDXProcurementSearch is pleased to announce that Multnomah County is our next customer! Thank you so much Multnomah County for helping more small businesses find and bid on your contracts!

Multnomah County Logo

How do you get a contract with Multnomah County?

For Formal ITBs,  RFPs, RFQs (above $150,000);

Step 1. Search for bids and proposals on our website, http://multco.us/purchasing or www.pdxprocurementsearch.com
Step 2. Register for notifications about an opportunity.
Step 3. Review requirements and instructions.
Step 4. Submit your bid or proposal on time.

For Intermediate Procurements ($10,000-$150,000);
Step 1. Be registered as a state certified firm, if applicable.
Step 2. Respond to quote requests from County.

For Small Procurements (Below $10,000);
Step 1. Be registered as a state certified firm, if applicable.
Step 2. Respond to quote requests from County.

The good news is, if you go below the purchasing threshold, you have very simple steps to succeed.

What firms should go for contracts with Multnomah County?

Multnomah County buys EVERYTHING, including:

  • Alcohol and Drug treatment
  • Medication for Health Clinics
  • Books and Periodicals for Libraries
  • Trainers, Facilitators and Consultants
  • Architects and Engineers
  • Veterinary services
  • Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Pharmacists and Therapists
  • Homeless, Domestic Violence and Youth Advocacy
  • Pest Control
  • Roads and Bridges
Thank you Lee Fleming
Thank you Lee Fleming of Multnomah County

We would like to especially thank Lee Fleming, Supplier Diversity Officer for Multnomah County, for shepherding this process through and supporting an emerging small business. His efforts will help more minority owned, women owned, veteran owned and emerging small businesses succeed in finding government contract opportunities in a one-stop place.

Lee Fleming is a sterling example of procurement professionalism and he truly wants to help small businesses succeed.

You can read more about Multnomah County Purchasing at www.multcopurch.org

If you would like to contact the County, here are some ways to get in touch with them.

Main Purchasing Phone:   503-988-5111
Supplier Diversity Officer: 503-988-7540
Sustainable Purchasing Coordinator:503-988-7995
MWESB Program Specialist: 503-988-7551
Cooperative Contracts & QRF Specialist: 503-988-8376

Hours: 8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. M-F

501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Ste 125 Portland, OR 97214

Here are 14 tips to help you do business with Multnomah County:

1. Check the website on Fridays. They post new bid and proposal opportunities on Fridays.

2. If you are a minority owned, woman owned, service disabled veteran owned or emerging small business, you should get certified. Get information at the COBID website.

3. Read all of the specifications and instructions.

4. Register for specific solicitations that you may have an interest in responding to.

5. Attend any scheduled pre-bid/proposal meetings.

6. Check the website frequently for and acknowledge addenda.

7. Bid all lines as required.

8. Check your math.

9. Never copy paste from past bids/proposals.

10. Ask yourself how you can give taxpayers the best value and describe in your offer.

11. Do your homework- be familiar with our requirements and the population Multnomah County serves.

12. Make sure to answer all the questions and give specific details or examples.

13. Come in and look at the proposals from previous solicitations, especially the winning proposal.

14. Submit on time.