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Problem Solver - August 2010

Simplify the Bidding Process for Your New Playground


W

ith budgets and staff stretched to the limit, you might be looking for ways to simplify as many tasks as possible. One place you might not have looked is your bidding process.

When you're ready to build a new playground, for example, you need to put together bid documents, manage the bidding process and then select your lowest or best bidder before you can get started on construction. The process can be time- and resource-intensive. But there are other ways to go about finding the best playground deal.

Q: We want to build a new playground, but we're short-staffed and don't have enough people on hand to help manage the bid process. Is there another option?

A: Yes. You can work with a government procurement agency to help find your playground equipment. These are government-sourcing programs that help public agencies lower the cost and streamline the process of purchasing goods. They do this by combining purchasing power from a number of agencies.

If you sign up as a member of one of these agencies, you will be legally allowed to forgo handling the bid process yourself. You get the playground equipment you need, while saving all the time of setting up bidding documents, going out for bids, and waiting for and analyzing the responses.


Q: We've cut back on staff and budgets, but we still need to update our playground with new equipment. How can we save time and resources to get it done for less?

A: Working with a government procurement agency can help mitigate the impact of staff reductions and budget cuts. You won't need staff members to manage the process. In addition, you will be saving money on your playground purchase because your purchase will be pooled with other agencies.

And if you're worried about costs, you can rest assured knowing that there is no cost to join or participate in a government procurement agency.

Q: How does it work?

A: The government procurement agency solicits bids for specific products or services, and then arranges contracts with vendors of products and services. You can work with these suppliers to get your playground ordered and constructed.

To take full advantage of everything these agencies can help you accomplish, you should first become a member. Then, you can contact vendors directly for specific products, services, ordering, delivery and billing information for a wide variety of goods and services.

The agency, meanwhile, works in the background to monitor vendors and their contract compliance. This helps guarantee that you and other participants in the program will be getting the level of service and quality that you deserve.



FOR MORE INFORMATION

Little Tikes Commercial: 800-325-8828
www.littletikescommercial.com

National Joint Powers Alliance: 218-894-5489
www.njpacoop.org


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