Selling to the City from a Supplier's Perspective
As public employees and purchasing professionals, we owe the
We actively encourage participation from all businesses, large and small as it is our
policy that everyone who comes to sell to the City be given every opportunity to do so
if the need arises. We place high value on friendly, personal contact with our suppliers
and potential suppliers. It is our hope that a visit to our purchasing office will be
both informative and mutually beneficial
Examine Your Strategy
Here are some fundamental questions to ask yourself:
Can you identify them? Make sure there is a need, and an infrastructure to
support the solution which you are proposing or providing! Do the users know about
you? Do the right people in purchasing know about you? Who are your competitors?
- Is there a NEED for what you offer?
- What is the LEVEL of demand within the City government?
- WHO can use your products or services in the City?
- What is your competitive advantage?
- Unique Technical Knowledge
- Unique skill
Learn How the City Works
There is someone somewhere in a department who takes the City’s needs and converts
these needs into specifications for buying the goods or services which will satisfy
the needs. Get to know the departments who prepare the specifications. Go out of your
way to learn and to teach your people how the City works.
Learn How The Process Works
Most of the City’s Procurement is done through open bidding. Learn how this process
works as it relates to your products or services. Get to know the buying department.
Identify the key individuals, as they relate to your business. Make sure they know
you and have current information about you, your business and your products or
services. The buying department is not necessarily the specifying department.
Work With the Manufacturer
The Manufacturer can afford to spend more time educating the users because “all
roads lead to Rome”. Regardless of the reseller, the Manufacturer will eventually
receive the order. They should be willing to undertake or participate in the cost
of marketing with you.
Know the City's Standards for Approved vs. Non-Approved Products
For example, if you sell Packard Bell computers and the City’s standard is Compaq
(which does similar work), make sure your promotional effort has a fair chance of
success and the potential returns of your investment of time and money are worth
Learn our Accounts Payable Process
You must learn how the Accounts Payable process functions in the City.
Be Well-Informed & Comply With Terms
You must read every document, such as a purchase order, very carefully and comply
with its terms in order to get paid quickly. Have a realistic expectation for
receiving payment. You must have the financial wherewithal to survive longer than
the 30-day payments. You must have adequate cash flow reserve.
3900 Main St.
Riverside, CA 92522
Doing Business With the City
Bidding for City Business
Printed from: http://www.riversideca.gov/finance/purchase-sellto.asp