Onvia recently released its Q4 2014 State & Local Procurement Snapshot, an analysis of the quarter’s areas of opportunity growth and decline by industry and level of government. Included in the report is a special feature on a topic of growing popularity in the state and local government contracting universe - cooperative purchasing. Looking back at Q4 2014, we wanted to summarize a few highlights that vendors who sell products and/or services into the state and local government market will learn when downloading the free report. Year over Year Decline in Bids & RFPs for the Quarter, 2014 Flat Overall In the fourth quarter of 2014, opportunities (bids and RFPs) issued by SLED (state, local and education) government agencies declined when compared to Q3 2013. Nationwide, the volume of state and local bids and RFPs decreased -4.9% in Q4 2014 vs Q4 2013. However, the volume of opportunities for the entire year was basically flat, up only 0.2% when compared to 2013. Total Number of Opportunities (Bids & RFPs) Q4 2014 96,166 Q4 2013 101,077 Q4 2014 by Industry Highlights In every edition of our quarterly SLED snapshot we take a deeper look into SLED opportunity volumes for the quarter by drilling down into the data by industry segment. The Q4 2014 edition of the report examines four main vertical industries: IT/telecom, business services, architecture/engineering/construction (A/E/C) and operations/maintenance/transportation (OMT). Interesting findings include: The wireless/telecom and IT hardware sub-categories led the decline in the IT/telecom vertical at -14.2%. IT consulting showed minimal decline. The A/E/C vertical showed the smallest decline at -3.2%. The greatest contributor to the decrease was in water supply construction projects. Q4 2014 by Agency Type Highlights For vendors selling products or services into the SLED market, it’s important to track opportunity volume by level of government. The Q4 2014 edition of the report examines three levels of government: State, local and education. Interesting findings include: Local government showed the smallest decline in opportunity volume at -3.6%. This decline was led by a slowdown in business services opportunities. Education agencies experienced the steepest decline in published opportunities at -11.1%, with IT/telecom opportunities being the greatest contributor. Special Feature: Spotlight on Cooperative Purchasing A common theme throughout our quarterly SLED market snapshots for 2014 was a slowing in the growth of bid & RFP volumes, including a net decline in Q3 2014. With the decrease in growth reported in Q4 2014, we continued our investigation into this reduction in overall opportunity volumes with a special feature on cooperative purchasing. In the feature, Voight Shealy, Director of Marketing, Education and Outreach for WSCA-NASPO, a leading cooperative purchasing association explains how cooperative purchasing helps both vendors and agencies reduce costs associated with government contracting and procurement. Shealy also adds perspective on WSCA-NASPO’s current and future growth rates. For those government contractors and vendors interested in learning more, download the free report.