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DemandStar Procurement Network Enlists 102 Members in a Year

The e-bidding platform and online marketplace says it now includes about 78,000 small and minority-owned businesses in the United States competing for $3.4 billion in annual contract value.

An online network that connects government procurement officers with technology suppliers gained popularity over the past year, recruiting 102 local government members since it established itself as an independent company in July 2018.

Announced in a news release last month, the network’s growing popularity reinforces that state and local governments are interested in ways to streamline procurement — the process of finding and buying goods and services — which officials often describe as a long and arduous process.

Established in 1998 by government procurement professionals in Florida, DemandStar describes itself as an e-bidding platform, an online marketplace on which procurement officers can share their requests for proposals and quotes, post and receive bids, manage Americans with Disabilities Act compliance and otherwise communicate with suppliers on the network. The statement said DemandStar’s network also includes about 78,000 small and minority-owned businesses across the United States, competing for more than $3.4 billion in annual contract value from cities, counties, school districts, utilities and other public agencies.

“DemandStar helps communities grow by getting the right suppliers to the right government job. We give governments access to an average of three to five times more suppliers for every bid, bringing more businesses to the table and getting the best value for governments,” said DemandStar CEO Ben Vaught in a statement. “In signing over 100 agencies in a one-year period, we move toward this goal by giving government offices access to more and more suppliers so they complete projects while working with the best suppliers.”

For governments and tech companies alike, reducing the headaches associated with procurement has been a tough nut to crack. It’s the sole focus of Citymart, a startup in New York that helps governments design better RFPs and share them with a pool of more than 100,000 vendors; as well as ProcureNow, a San Francisco startup participating in the CivStart mentorship program announced in July. A few weeks prior to DemandStar’s news, software companies Agiloft and Periscope Holdings announced a partnership to put procurement and contract management together. The city of Aurora, Ill., is piloting a program for outsourcing technology procurement to a private online portal called Marketplace.city.

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