SoPro

FAQ

Ask us Anything.

 

WHAT IS YOUR SCOPE OF WORK? 

We work with Government, Education, Healthcare, and Private Sector.  We can help clients save money in multiple areas, including but certainly not limited to: heavy equipment, trash trucks, office supplies, furniture, transportation services, service contracts, chemicals, janitorial supplies ... even power. The list goes on! If you can specify it and there are multiple vendors for it, we can save you money and time on it.


Do you only operate in Mississippi? 

No.  Although we are based in Mississippi, we can service clients in any market.


How does this process Affect smaller local vendors?

Our process places everyone on the same level playing field.  A local vendor will likely have a low cost of operation compared to a larger, more top-heavy supplier, and probably runs a leaner, smaller organization and may actually end up with an advantage over a larger company with a larger organization.  


Is the buyer required to accept any bid? 

Not at all.  If, after we run a bid for you and you don't like the result, send us down the road.  We'll still come and say hello the next time we're in town.


Are vendors required to lower their bids during the bidding event?

No.  A vendor can always log in, place a bid, and log off.  That's a pretty risky approach to an online competitive bid, and we always advise bidders against doing just that during our pre-bid training, but we do not force any bidder to lower his or her price.


How are vendors identified and qualified? 

Southern Procurement works with our clients to determine exactly what they need.  Once we sit down with your road manager, your office manager, or your department head, we can then take your own requirements and identify suppliers who meet those requirements.  Vendors qualify themselves by responding to our in-house created Specification Response Form.


How long does a typical bid event last?

Our typical bid event lasts 45 minutes to two hours.  Most bids fall into the one hour range. 


Can buyers be present during the bid event?

Yes.  Always.  We run all of our bids at the client office, in front of a Purchasing Agent, Chancery Clerk, Board Members, Mayors, Superintendents - anyone with a vested interest in the results of a bid.


Are buyers obligated to pick the lowest bidder? 

Not at all.  There are frequently more variables than cost that can come into play during the award decision.  Southern Procurement is not, however, part of the award decision.  We don't make recommendations to our clients as to whom they should award business.


Is there a minimum spend require to utilize your services?

Yes and no.   In general, $50,000 or more is a good number to start with, although we have achieved very significant savings on spends as little as $2,100.  If you need us to assist you with a purchase, we'll be glad to work with you.  


Is the reverse auction software secure? 

Absolutely. We utilize SSL encryption and our provider uses double redundant servers for our software.

If a vendor has a technical issue during a bidding event, bidders are asked to contact us immediately.  We have multiple solutions that can deal with anything that may happen.


Can you compete with state contracts?

On most things, yes.  While police cars, ambulances, and passenger trucks are not a good fit, most everything else can be an excellent candidate for a reverse auction.


What's the deal with you guys and Trash Trucks? 

Years ago, after we purchased trucks for the City of Starkville, we ended up selling their surplus trucks through a process we developed that made sense to us that was somewhat different from a marketing perspective than what is generally done for a surplus bid.  We'd never done it before, and frankly weren't too sure we wanted to do it at all.  But we were allowed the latitude to get creative with it, and not only did it end up being a lot of fun, we beat the local auction house by 16%, which was a solid win for the City of Starkville and for us.  We've been doing it ever since, and today we're the only company in the country who has identified itself as specializing in selling used trash trucks and related equipment.  Go read the story here.

 
Creativity is intelligence having fun.
— Albert Einstein