DemandStar Corp. has an idea that some insurance agents could use to make money: Help vendors of goods and services “shop” for local government bidding opportunities.
The Seattle-based company has created a website, at DemandStar.com, that gives would-be suppliers a way to see local government agencies’ bidding opportunity notices.
- The DemandStar website is available here.
- The U.S. federal government’s System for Award Management website is available here.
- An article about an insurance regulator group’s bidding process for long-term care insurance rate analysis assistance services is available here.
The United States had about 90,075 local governments in 2017, according to the Census Bureau.
DemandStar has relationships with about 600 of those local governments’ procurement teams.
Those procurement teams have 679 active bids on their website. Most of the requests for bids are for goods and services that have nothing to do with insurance, such as road paving services.
But some of the bids are for goods or services that typical financial professionals do offer, or could offer:
- The city of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, posted a request for bids for group health and group pharmacy coverage on DemandStar Oct. 18.
- The Florida Virtual School posted a request for proposals for personal health account benefits administration services Oct. 21.
- The Virginia Beach City Public Schools, for example, posted a request for bids for health care administration consulting services Oct. 30.
For now, posting requests for bids is free for local governments, and seeing the request summaries is free for would-be suppliers. DemandStar is financing its operations by charging would-be bidders a fee to see the full bid solicitation notices.
Most local government procurement teams are already supposed to search for bids for large contracts. Many post bidding opportunity notices in local newspapers or on local websites.
DemandStar is trying to open the local government market to a wider range of would-be suppliers, by offering easy access to bidding opportunities posted by hundreds of procurement teams.
In effect, the website is trying to do for the local government market what the U.S. federal government’s System for Award Management procurement website has been doing for the federal government market.
DemandStar estimates local government are spending about $1.5 trillion on contracts with private vendors.