Government business is a critical component of Bank of America's commercial-banking revenue stream. By finding out about upcoming government-contract opportunities, the bank is able to contact and build relationships with the decision makers before the RFP process begins.
"We need early visibility on new opportunities, plus we need to know what clients are doing in case they go out for bid," says Teresa Press, Assistant Vice President, Product Delivery Analyst for Treasury. "In some cases, we also want to be in a position to provide input on the RFP specifications and vendor qualifications.
"We can help local governments improve the quality of their RFPs by offering our industry knowledge on commercial banking matters. What we find is that sometimes governments are re-using RFPs meant for other purposes, such as construction, for example. At the same time, we will try to help governments identify the most relevant requirements possible."
Bank of America signed up for Onvia's procurement-database and business-intelligence services to help it identify, qualify and respond to government opportunities more quickly and efficiently. Though Onvia is not the only procurement-information service the bank uses, Press says that Onvia consistently delivers many more opportunities at the local-government level than the other services do. Otherwise, it would require an enormous effort by the bank's staff to stay current on local and state government needs.
Since Bank of America began its partnership with Onvia, information from Onvia's database has helped the bank efficiently increase its knowledge of possible opportunities.
With Onvia, Bank of America is now able to rapidly determine when it doesn't make sense to bid, based on the labor and production costs required to produce a 300-page proposal.
Proposal costs can easily exceed the bank's annual costs for Onvia information, which helps justify our Onvia subscription.Teresa Press, Assistant VP
When an agency recently released an unexpected bid, the bank used Onvia to locate the latest RFP and a copy of the pricing. "Based on the information Onvia provided, we decided not to consume our resources going through an unnecessary RFP process when the win likelihood was bleak," says Press.
Another value-add by Onvia is its ability to strengthen the bank's understanding of clients and prospect needs.
Says Press, "Onvia gives us broad visibility on upcoming banking service, card service, leasing and credit opportunities that fit Bank of America products and services."