|:: Selling to the City from a Supplier's Perspective
||We actively encourage participation from all businesses, large
and small as it is our policy that everyone who comes to sell to
the City be given every opportunity to do so if the need arises.
We place high value on friendly, personal contact with our suppliers
and potential suppliers. It is our hope that a visit to our purchasing
office will be both informative and mutually beneficial.
|1) Examine Your Strategy
Here are some fundamental questions to ask yourself:
- Is there a NEED for what you offer?
- What is the LEVEL of demand within the City government?
- WHO can use your products or services in the City?
Can you identify them? Make sure there is a need, and an infrastructure
to support the solution which you are proposing or providing!
Do the users know about you? Do the right people in purchasing
know about you? Who are your competitors?
- What is your competitive advantage?
- Unique Technical Knowledge
- Unique skill
|2) Learn How the City Works
|There is someone somewhere in a department who takes the City’s
needs and converts these needs into specifications for buying the
goods or services which will satisfy the needs. Get to know the
departments who prepare the specifications. Go out of your way
to learn and to teach your people how the City works.
|3) Learn How The Process Works
|Most of the City’s Procurement is done through open bidding.
Learn how this process works as it relates to your products or
services. Get to know the buying department. Identify the key individuals,
as they relate to your business. Make sure they know you and have
current information about you, your business and your products
or services. The buying department is not necessarily the specifying
|4) Work With the Manufacturer
| The Manufacturer can afford to spend more time educating
the users because “all roads lead to Rome”. Regardless
of the reseller, the Manufacturer will eventually receive the order.
They should be willing to undertake or participate in the cost
of marketing with you.
|5) Know the City's Standards for Approved
vs. Non-Approved Products
|For example, if you sell Packard Bell computers and the City’s
standard is Compaq (which does similar work), make sure your promotional
effort has a fair chance of success and the potential returns of
your investment of time and money are worth it.
|6) Learn our Accounts Payable Process
|You must learn how the Accounts Payable process functions in
|7) Be Well-Informed & Comply With
|You must read every document, such as a purchase order, very
carefully and comply with its terms in order to get paid quickly.
Have a realistic expectation for receiving payment. You must have
the financial wherewithal to survive longer than the 30-day payments.
You must have adequate cash flow reserve.