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Business intelligence firm Onvia has released the results of its first annual survey of government procurement practitioners, polling more than 500 pros from city, count and state governments, as well as school districts across the US. For each insight gained through the survey, the report actually separates what each lesson means for both buyers and suppliers.

For instance, 42% of respondents said that on average, their requests for proposal (RFPs) don’t receive enough bidders. According to the report, a big reason for the lack of competition was “cumbersome” or difficult regulations that scare off potential bidders, and that the largest agencies face more trouble in this area. On the supplier side, the problem is often a market intelligence one:

“First of all, vendors have to find out about bids with enough lead time to respond, and secondly, the decision to respond requires collecting and weighing additional information about the opportunity to judge its merits and justify the marketing expense of that effort. As one vendor in the survey explained, ‘Our biggest issue is retrieving the bid and then researching to find out who won it before and what products had been awarded,’ said one food services vendor.”

The report dives deeper into other questions, such as trends in growth in government spending and bidding activity, and best practices to help agencies achieve their outcomes and businesses win more contracts. One interesting insight to come out of the report is the growth of cooperative purchasing, both as an actual trend in how often it’s being used, but also in how it’s increasingly being seen as a solution to some of the problems facing smaller governments. Some 93% of respondents said they used “non-traditional” procurement methods, which include things like cooperative purchasing, piggyback contracts, statewide contracts, etc.

Visit Onvia’s site to download the report for free.

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