Q: I'm always hearing how E-commerce is going to streamline my purchasing processes. What does that mean?
A: Streamlining a process is simplifying that process. Depending on your purchasing guidelines, you most likely have to post RFQ's or RFP's through one method (legal news, newspapers, on-line etc), and analyze the information. There's probably a second method for receiving the information and then another method for awarding the business. Our marketplace will allow you to do all three, simply and easily, without having to get up from your desk.
Q: Law defines my purchasing guidelines. How can I use your marketplace?
A: This marketplace follows HUD procurement guidelines. It will be a great training tool to a new person just starting in procurement as well as being an up to date guide for more experienced buyers.
Q: How can your marketplace save us money on our purchases?
A: There are five main ways our marketplace saves our agencies money on purchases. The first way is to reduce the administrative costs printing, copying, mailing, and handling of each bid request. The second way to save money is by reducing advertising costs in the long run. You need to follow your local, state or federal laws regarding advertising bids, however as the internet becomes more acceptable to your lawmakers, that may change the way you have to advertise or the consistency. The third is the actual communication between buyers and vendors once the bid has been published. The software allows for communication and evaluation processes that cuts a buyers time on any one bid by a minimum of 25%. A fourth is direct purchase price savings. By sending out your requests to a larger and more diverse vendor pool, increased competition helps drive down bid prices and results in lower direct product and services costs. Finally, by utilizing the marketplace, you can free up your IT people to do other necessary work that doesn't relate to posting bid information on your website.
Q: I work for a small agency in Arkansas. How would I benefit from using your marketplace?
A: You will have access to a wider and more diverse vendor database that may drive your costs down through increased competition, along with getting that extra bid you may need. You will also have online tools that will allow you to help expedite the way you now purchase.
Q: My Agency chooses vendors on a service and quality basis a lot of the time. How can your marketplace possibly help?
A: The Housing Agency Marketplace will give you a larger and more diverse pool of vendors than you can contact on your own. They will see your request and respond based upon your request requirements. A greater pool of vendors allows you to pick the firm that best fits your needs.
Q: Who pays for the use of the marketplace?
A: You as the buyer may elect to pay an annual unlimited usage fee based on the number of Public Housing Units you manage/own (less HCV). The marketplace is designed to allow all agencies and their vendors to save money whether it is through speed of bid information, marketing dollars, or evaluation time on both sides. It will be easy for you to document the time savings and potential hard dollar savings by using the marketplace properly. If you don't realize a savings in time and money during your "test period", then you have the choice to not use the marketplace in the future, but still take advantage of having access to over 12,000 vendors with their up-to-date at no cost.