Onvia’s latest quarterly procurement trends report shows a 5.4 percent uptick in state, local and education (SLED) bidding opportunities. The report, which covers Q2 2017, marks the highest growth quarter since 2014. This quarter’s growth rate is slightly faster than last quarter’s already robust growth rate. Onvia provides government sales intelligence in the business-to-government (B2G) marketplace.

Some highlights from the Q2 2017 report:

--Analysis by level of government reveals substantial growth in the volume of published solicitations among education agencies (up 7.5 percent) and local governments (up 7.2 percent); and

--Six of 12 major industries tracked in the series saw positive rates of bid and requests for proposal (RFP) growth of up to 6.1 percent over the last 6 months (Q2 '17 vs. Q1 '17); and

-- Educational services, architecture and engineering and technology were the top three industry sectors in Q2 growth in the SLED market. Seasonally adjusted, construction bids were slightly reduced vs. Q1 but are still 5 percent up over last year.

The report includes an historical trending analysis of SLED purchasing patterns to help vendors understand the cyclical nature of government purchasing.

"In Q2, the state, local and education government contracting market continued its recent uptick, resulting in the strongest quarter we've tracked since this series began in 2014," says Onvia B2G market analyst Paul Irby. "With this analysis, sales and marketing leaders with a strategic interest in the public sector will gain a better understanding of historical spending patterns to assist in sales planning, opportunity forecasting and understanding the mentality of government buyers."

Expert: What’s important as federal fiscal year 2017 draws to a close

The Q2 2017 report includes advice to vendors and contractors to help maximize win-rates ahead of the federal fiscal year-end. FY 2017 for federal agencies ends Sept. 30. Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners, offers a wealth of advice to contractors in the Q2 report.

Allen urges, for instance, that contractors continuously monitor GSA’s eBuy for selling opportunities. This is especially important, Allen says, for contractors who hold a GSA Schedule or a different GSA contract. Near the end of the federal fiscal year, says Allen, is when smart, resourceful companies monitor GSA eBuy several times a day. “If you see an open project in your wheelhouse, bid on it. Companies that weren’t originally selected by the customer do win business this way, especially at year-end,” Allen tells GPN.

Allen also urges contractors to hold in-person discussions with their key federal agency customers and top federal prospects before the end of the federal fiscal year. This, Allen says, should be at the top of vendors’ to-do lists. “Relationships matter just as much as process in federal acquisition, Allen says.

Go here for details from the Onvia Q2 report including end-of-federal-fiscal-year advice from Larry Allen.

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