How Kings III Makes Purchasing Easy for Our Government Clients
Kings III values our government clients and recognizes their unique needs. In this blog post, Kings III’s VP of Client Relations explains what we do to provide a streamlined purchasing and contracting process for our government clients.
Kings III has worked with property management and ownership groups in the commercial office space and the multi-housing space for decades, so when I began fashioning contracts for government clients, I ran into some initial challenges. Naturally, the purchasing habits and even the languages used by government entities were much different than those of property managers outside of the government sector. Knowing what a natural fit our products and services are for these bodies, I knew that Kings III needed to design efficient contracting with these entities. Over time, I learned to overcome the technical bidding errors I was making.
Another challenge that I initially ran into was the effort involved in keeping government business. I don’t mean that there were unusual performance demands placed on Kings III. What I am referring to is the cycle of contract renewal or re-bidding every year or two. Many government awards are flat one or two-year terms. Sometimes there is an extension mechanism but often contracts go back out for competitive bid and the process starts all over again.
I thought that there had to be a better way. It turns out that there are at least three better ways.
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Run by the General Services Administration (GSA), this U.S. Federal Government program allows private business such as Kings III, to pre-negotiate a “deal” which is basically a best price/best value option for the Government. It is not easy to get “on Schedule,” but having one opens up an easier way for federal agencies to buy. This is because it bypasses the repetitive and cumbersome (for all involved) competition procurement rules since the “deal” has been pre-negotiated in that terms, conditions, delivery, options and price are already set. Therefore, federal buyers can simply place an order under the Kings III GSA Schedule Contract GS-07F-0420T and Kings III then delivers. This makes it painless and simple for both buyer and seller.
Some may describe what is known as “Cooperative Purchase” as “piggybacking” on another group’s contract. Cooperative Purchase can open the door for many state, county and municipal buyers to streamline their procurement processes. In its simplest form, Cooperative Purchase means that a government buyer can access an existing contract which was originally awarded to another government entity. That entity could be another city, county, state or, in some cases, Federal Government.
For instance, let’s say the City of Tampa had awarded Kings III a contract based on a competitive bid procurement process. Other cities in Florida could buy the same Kings III services on basically the same terms. Some states even allow procurement through a contract competitively awarded in a different state as long as the contract terms are adjusted to meet the new state’s legal requirements. Even GSA Schedules can be accessed by government agencies in many states as long as those states have approved the GSA Cooperative Purchase program. This program was authorized by the E-Government Act of 2002. Only two GSA Schedules are available for Cooperative Purchase. Those approved are Schedule 70 and Schedule 84. Kings III’s GSA schedule is on Schedule 84, so be sure to ask your procurement team if you can buy through the GSA Cooperative Purchase program.
This third way is a little more unusual, but most government procurement rules have a provision allowing purchasing from the, “Sole Source”. That is, the product, service or combination of features/unique deliverables is only available from a single source. Because there is only one source, there is no way to procure through the typical “Three Bid Competitive Procurement” process. If only one source can supply what you need, how can you get three bids? Whether it is a specific piece of hardware that only Kings III makes or the combination of features such as monitoring by AEMD certified operators and full maintenance of all installed equipment or real-time live language translation on monitored calls and back-up telephone line capability, there are a number of unique features that make Kings III a sole source for many government sites.
These are the three most common ways government, at any level, buys from Kings III. We have recognized the value of our government clients and have been diligent in ensuring that all three are quicker, simpler and easier for than the old fashion three bid competition process for our government buyers. With GSA Schedule and Cooperative Purchase, the most common hardware and feature sets are already specified and priced at below competition rates. With Sole Source, you get exactly the solution you needed, without having to water your specification down or make it more generic just so others can qualify to bid on a project that is not quite what you really needed or wanted.
All this being said, if you are any government entity who needs to acquire services from Kings III, ask your procurement team if you can get what you need through GSA Schedules, Cooperative Purchase or Sole Source Award. If the answer is yes, you’ll be accessing one of the most streamlined methods of getting the emergency communication solution you need. For more information, visit www.kingsiiii.com.
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