Because U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals serve millions of veterans and their families, they require an array of products and services, such as pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, construction and maintenance supplies, and food. The federal government purchases some of these supplies, while others are procured at the state and local levels. If you are interested in having a VA hospital as a customer, you will need to engage in sealed bidding or negotiations.
Items you will need
- DUNS number provided by Dun and Bradstreet
Obtain a listing of all federal business opportunities by visiting FedBizOpps.gov. Click on the link "Getting Started" and select "User Guides" and then "Vendors." The download should start automatically as a PDF document. You can also do a search specific to your needs at the top of the website's home page.
Register as a vendor by clicking the Vendor/Citizen link. Enter all of the required information, including your DUNS number, company name and personal information.The federal government requires all of its vendors to have a DUNS number, which is provided by Dun and Bradstreet, a company that provides credit and marketing services nationwide. DUNS stands for "data universal numbering system." If you don't have one, the FedOpps website offers easy instructions to get one during your registration process.
Click "Submit" after filling in the registration form. You will be asked to create a user name and password. When your registration is approved, you will be given access to all of the federally funded vendor opportunities as well as important documents that will help you understand how the system works. To target opportunities within a VA hospital simply, enter this as your search criteria when perusing jobs.
Obtain state and local opportunities by visiting Va.gov. Select the link labeled “Business.” Under the heading “Doing Business with the VA,” click on the link “Acquisitions.” Read the paragraph labeled “Doing Business with Medical Centers.” In this paragraph you will find the link “Facility.” Click on this link. You will be taken to the Facility Locator.
Select the facility type, state and zip code or browse the available facilities by pointing and clicking your state on the map included. A complete list of all the hospital facilities in your chosen area will appear, along with links to their individual websites. Visit the website where you would like to do business and retrieve the contact information.
Call the hospital's main telephone number and ask for the Acquisition and Material Management Office. Tell the representative you would like to take part in the sealed bidding process to become a vendor and ask for a list of available opportunities. You will then be given specific instructions on how to submit a proposal and supply your bid.
Sealed bidding means the hospital acquisition manager will accept cost quotes for a specified period of time without looking at them. Once the bidding period ends, the bids will be reviewed and the job will be awarded to the vendor with the best bid. Procedures vary from hospital to hospital, so if you are inquiring at more than one location, be sure to get the individual requirements. Write down and follow all instructions for preparing your proposal bid carefully.
Be sure to write down and precisely follow all instructions given to you by the acquisition manager when dealing at the state level.
- sales office sign image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com