While an obvious source for contracting work is in newly issued RFPs and bids, don't overlook renewing contracts, also known as term contracts. Although harder to uncover than new procurements, term contract sales leads are a revenue opportunity not to be missed.

Determining the Dates of the Term Contract

Unfortunately, the title of the bid or project usually doesn't tell you enough to determine whether it involves a term contract. For some projects, you'll see the word "maintenance" or "maintenance renewal" in the project title. That’s a great clue that you’ve uncovered a term-contract sales lead. In most cases, you'll have to read through the bid documents to find out if the contract will be up for renewal. Here's an example of annual term-contract information from a waste and refuse removal bid document:

The period of performance for services received subject to this solicitation and any resulting contract shall be from award through June 30, 2008, to include, at the option of TPS, three (3) additional annual renewal periods for the 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 school years.

If the bid document is extensive, you may want to press the 'control' and 'F' keys on your keyboard to search for term-contract information within the document. Keywords like 'renewal' or 'annual' will help speed your research.

Researching the Term Contract Competition and Buyer

If you're interested in pursuing term-contract sales leads, it's critical to know your competition. You'll need to look up the term-contract award information for the current vendor and the competitive term-contract price. You should also find out who the buyer is so you can investigate whether you want to pursue the contract or not. Don't be afraid to talk openly with the buyer about the agency's option to go with a different vendor for the term-contract renewal – see what worked for the agency's staff with the past vendor and what they'd like to improve on. This will give you an significant competitive advantage to pursue the term-contract lead as the renewal date approaches.

Because term-contract information is found within procurement documents and award data, you'll need to be able to access procurement information from past years, which can be very hard to locate. Procurement offices don't archive term-contract information where the public can access it easily. If you're looking for the fastest way to stay on top of term contract information for on-call services contracts, BPAs, or IDIQ contracts, consider a term-contracts report. In one report, you'll get important contact names, phone numbers, contract term dates, current provider name, renewal options and other items of information to help you make early contact with the agency, size up your market and be more competitive.