A few years ago we started to see opportunities to bid on government projects but we had no clue how to establish ourselves as an approved vendor with government agencies, how to identify the right opportunities, and how to stay on top of all the opportunities available.
Lucky for us that we found PTAC – the Procurement Technical Assistance Center of Ohio which has a series of offices throughout the state of Ohio. The one closest to us is Northeast Ohio PTAC and part of the Port and Economic Development Authority. A map is provided by the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to find the closest PTAC office to your business.
There are nearly 100 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) nationally with more than 300 local offices helping local businesses compete and win government contracts. Funded by the US government to help increase the number of companies available to provide products and services to government agencies, PTAC centers benefit both the suppliers and the government agencies. Further, services are provided for free to any business wishing to utilize their services.
If you are considering expanding into government markets you can undoubtedly benefit from working with your local PTAC agency. Not only will they help get you listed on the General Services Administration (GSA) Approved Vendor List and System for Award Management (SAM) they can also monitor national, state, and local bids and notify you when an opportunity is available that you may be interested in. Again, this is free. Simply pick the keywords you want them to monitor and they’ll let you know when opportunities are available.
Our local PTAC helped a manufacturer secure a multi-million dollar contract with the US military that doubled in subsequent years making them one of the leading providers of mobile air conditioning units for our military.
PTAC works with companies across industries. While they tend to specialize in manufacturing, they also work with service providers who want to provide services to government agencies. These span a broad range of services from consulting to software development and calibration (to name just a few).
One word of caution – there are several websites out there that charge a substantial fee to monitor government bids. We personally don’t see any difference in the services they charge for and the free services available through PTAC so make sure that you do your homework if you’re considering paying anyone to assist you with the GSA process or for bid monitoring services.