Prince George businesses have a new tool to cash in on supply needs for the 2010 Olympics.
And learning how to use three online procurement sites will offer benefits long before and long after the Games have come and gone, says Brian Krieger.
“You will have the skills (to successfully bid on contacts,” Krieger, the general manager of the 2010 Commerce Centre, said Friday before speaking at the procurement conference portion of the Winter Opportunities Summit. “I’ve talked to companies who developed RFPs (requests for proposals) that were not successful, but made business contacts.”
The Commerce Centre web site allows businesses all over the province to bid on the billions of dollars worth of work being done to prepare for the Vancouver Games.
The centre also offers workshops – there was one in Prince George Friday – to help companies learn how to bid, and bid successfully.
“We want to help develop small and medium-sized business, and companies that don’t have much experience with bidding,” Krieger said. “It makes the process more competitive.
“And from an economic development perspective, it will spread the benefits of the Games throughout the whole province.”
Even if large contractors from Vancouver get the contract to upgrade the Sea to Sky highway, for example, those companies can in turn post their sub contracts on the site, and open up opportunities for smaller regional companies, he said.
“At the end of the day, we haven’t done a good job if businesses outside the Vancouver-Whistler corridor (aren’t involved),” he said. “And this is just the beginning.”
Once regional companies have developed the skills and experience to bid successfully, they will be in a better position to take advantage of the other two bidding sites: BC Bid and the local Regional Marketplace.
The latter was formed in 1996, with the University of Northern British Columbia, the College of New Caledonia, School District 57, the City of Prince George, and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George as its purchasing partners.
Tenders for supplies and services for the five groups are posted on the site so local businesses can take advantage.
Scott Bone, chair of the regional market place and the city’s supply services manager, said that work is expected to be worth $235 million this year.
But around $120 million of the $200 million in work last year was spent outside the community, he told the procurement conference.
“We may not have the local suppliers needed,” he said. “This is opportunity to determine where the goods and services are, and work to find local sources of supply.
This fall, the Regional marketplace will add a feature that will automatically e-mail supplier about relevant contracts, he said. The other web site is BC Bid, where over 600 public sector agencies post their RFPs.
Olympic opportunities posted on the Commerce Centre will also be posted on BC Bid, Krieger said, adding the commerce centre will also have automatic notification capability in the near future.
The web sites can be found at www.2010commercecentre.com, www.bcbid.gov.ca, and http://icn.city.pg.bc.ca for the Regional Marketplace.