The Commonwealth of Virginia spends billions on several central areas. In fiscal year 2016, Virginia spent $2.88 billion on transportation, fixing roadways and infrastructure, $2.01 billion on teaching its children, and $527.4 million on health and people-focused services. There is ample opportunity to do business with Virginia.
The trick to taking advantage, and winning some Virginia state government contracts for your business, is to find the right solicitations. State agencies, colleges, universities and many local governments use the Virginia business portal, eVA, to conduct all purchasing and sourcing their goods and services. The right searches can help your company capitalize.
Searching for Virginia Bids Through the Virginia eProcurement Portal (eVA)
The vendor community now has more opportunity to present comprehensive solutions to Virginia’s statewide needs. State agencies and local governments post their solicitations on the eVA website, as a way for them to stay transparent and get access to as many qualified suppliers as possible. Once you have registered your company as a supplier, you’ll be able to search for bids relevant to your business.
On the eVA site, click on “Solicitations, Quick Quotes & Awards.” A grid-style page will appear that lists details on each procurement. Type in your keyword in the search field and you will find a list of related solicitations. You can scan through the short title of a solicitation, the request for proposal numbers, the buyer, and when the solicitation was published and when it closes.
Each search result has a summary for a quick review or includes a link to the solicitation’s further details. Clicking on the details often includes attachments that give requirements, project details and special instructions.
As you review the solicitations for Virginia government contracts, the type of procurement is important. The RFP is more open while the invitation for bids (IFB) are more specific as laid out in its “statement of needs.” The RFP is based on evaluation criteria that includes price and other factors, while the IFB is based on the lowest technically acceptable bid price. The differences can change your approach to responding to a solicitation.
Taking Advantage of eVA Quick Quote Requests
At times, you may receive an email request from an agency to respond to a Virginia bid for a product or service through eVA. It’s called a Quick Quote.
When you get the invitation email, log into your eVA account, click on business opportunities and then click Quick Quote. A list will show the current requests. If you want to proceed, choose to create a new response and type in a response title. It can be any description you decide; Virginia does not require a specific template.
A drop-down menu will give you the option to bid on various items on the solicitation. Fill in the required fields, such as the part number, brand name, price, quantity and lead time. You need to offer your proposals on each item you’re interested in. Review your responses and then submit them.
Having the knowledge to search for Virginia government contracts puts you in the position to earn new business and grow. And to take the next step, to actually win some of that business, there are more resources you can utilize.
To learn how to explore the most comprehensive set of public sector spending data in all 50 states, including federal government contracts, request a free demo of GovWin+Onvia today. Or to get all the information you need to win contracts in Virginia, download our complimentary guide, How to do Business with the Government in Virginia.