Streamlined Government Website Helps Businesses Compete
Want to do business with the State of New Jersey? According to Yehuda Abraham, the purchasing agent and risk manager for Lakewood Township, it’s not a mystery and it’s not difficult. The state has created NJSTART.gov., a streamlined website where vendors can easily and quickly sign up.
All vendors, including nonprofits and suppliers, have to register in order to do business with the State. NJSTART.gov (State of the Art Requisition Technology) was created to simplify the process for anyone who wants to do business with the State or compete for contracts with the State. You also need to be registered to be paid by the State for your goods or services.
Among other new features, the need to file duplicate forms every time you submit a proposal for a new contract has been eliminated. All State agencies seeking to buy your goods or services will have access to all registered vendors through NJSTART.
Elizabeth Mackay, assistant director of the Division of Purchase and Property for the N.J. Department of the Treasury, said, “During my work with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno on the Red Tape Review Commission, the most frequent complaint from businesses about contracting with the State was the necessity of repeatedly filling out the same forms with the same information. The ‘document vault’ feature of NJSTART should be welcomed by businesses as eliminating that piece of red tape.”
Abraham said, “A component that is probably very important to vendors is that
any time a municipality, school board, fire department or any public contracting agency governed by the Local Public Contracts Law is looking to purchase any goods or service, they will be able to access this website and get a list of vendors for this item. It is a way of advertising what your company offers to every such agency in the entire state.”
According to a press release from the N.J. Department of the Treasury, some other benefits include:
1. Be part of an online business directory that provides State and local agencies with unprecedented access to the universe of NJSTART vendors;
2. Have the ability to view all quotes, solicitations, and awarded contracts online, increasing transparency of the process;
3. Enjoy enhanced visibility as small businesses can submit proposals for contracts to compete with larger firms;
4. Have the capability to upload forms and certification to their vendor profile;
5. Experience improved customer service among State agencies, local governments and vendors.
Categories of products and services include administrative, financial, and management; agricultural equipment and products; arts, crafts, entertainment and theater; automotive products; building equipment, supplies; computers, software, supplies; food, equipment and related services; furnishings and furniture; hardware; janitorial and cleaning equipment; medical; office supplies; paper, printing, among many, many other categories of business.
Jignasa Desai-McCleary, director of the Division of Purchase and Property for the State, said, “This system will enhance the visibility of small- , minority- and veteran-owned businesses so they can gain exposure to additional contracting opportunities. It will offer a ‘one-stop shop’ for vendor management and allow suppliers to track submitted quotes or proposals, certifications, contracts and online invoice submissions.”