Home to nearly 28 million people, Texas is the 2nd-largest state in the U.S. by area. To meet the needs of citizens and to develop and maintain the communications infrastructure needed to connect distant areas of the state, Texas - along with hundreds of Texan municipalities, counties and special districts – requires third-party vendors to provide goods and services in all areas of Information Technology (IT) procurement. State and local governments need reliable IT products and services in many different subsectors, including telecommunications, IT architecture and infrastructure, hardware and office equipment, software development, and audio/video systems, the majority of which must be sourced from private contractors.
As in any state, finding IT bids in Texas can be challenging: bid opportunities are published by hundreds of government agencies across many online procurement portals, newspapers and other sources, making it time-consuming and resource-intensive to research, identify and qualify bid opportunities. Below are some insights that can help vendors connect with IT contract opportunities in the Lone Star State.
Finding IT Contracts in Texas
For vendors who are interested in pursuing government contracts in Texas, a good place to start is the TxSmartBuy electronic procurement system, where state bid opportunities are published. Before getting started in government bidding, vendors are invited to first determine how Texas classifies the goods or services that they provide in order to better target their research efforts. In Texas, class and item codes are used to organize vendors in different industries and to categorize all types of products and services.
From there, vendors may want to consider registering with Texas’ Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL), the directory of registered vendors that the state uses to source goods and services. This allows government buyers to easily find the vendors they require for all types of opportunities.
City, County and Special District Bids
Every year, municipalities, counties and special districts across Texas publish hundreds of bid opportunities in the Information Technology sector. If you are an IT vendor, no matter what subsector you specialize in you can find public sector opportunities in Texas. To discover open bids in a particular area or division of government, vendors can search local procurement portals, such as those below:
Interested vendors can also register with the Texas Purchasing Group, which provides exclusive access to RFP’s, bids and awards.
Working With a Bid Service
Many vendors of IT services and equipment choose to work with a bid service company. These companies typically provide members with bid research and qualification services, saving vendors time and effort during the opportunity research process. Bid services are worthwhile investments in that they can provide detailed lists of perfectly targeted bid opportunities to vendors at a reasonable price, allowing vendors to spend more time preparing bid proposals, as opposed to searching for the open bids that are right for their business.
For vendors in the IT sector, contract opportunities with public agencies and government departments can be notoriously complex and specialized. Bid service companies have the expertise to separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’ when it comes to identifying opportunities that align with a vendor’s criteria and profile, simplifying the bidding process and proactively opening up new possibilities for vendors.
Nathan Munn | BidNet.com