Many Canadian businesses want to sell to the Government of Canada, which buys about $16 billion worth of goods and services annually, ranging from buying a spare part for an army helicopter to placing an ad on a TV station. The government does business with home-based entrepreneurs through to multinational corporations.
About 1 in 5 members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (www.cfib-fcei.ca) do business with the federal government and other public agencies, learning about opportunities through online portals such as MERX (www.merx.com).
Most small entrepreneurs turn to online providers such as MERX or BuyandSell.gc.ca for information on tender opportunities by different government and public sector agencies. For example, the coffee-shop contract for the newly renovated National Arts Centre in Ottawa was tendered through MERX and a recent contract to build a small remotely operated vehicle training simulator for the Government of Canada was tendered through BuyandSell.gc.ca.
While MERX is a privately owned website, BuyandSell.gc.ca is government-owned, free, and open-source, although both provide similar services: businesses can search and browse through current and upcoming government bid opportunities and submit their bids online. In addition, potential or existing suppliers can register online to receive email alerts about opportunities in their field and set up direct deposit information. The two platforms are designed to entice more businesses to bid on government tenders and make the process of bidding for government contracts more transparent and open to any potential contractor. At the same time they are intended to facilitate the procurement process for government agencies by defining a very structured procurement process. This means bidders will have less chance of missing information on a tender opportunity.
Sources: Compiled from “The Government of Canada Supports Canadian Businesses Through the Build in Canada Innovation Program,” www.benzinga.com, February 29, 2016; M. Taylor, “Ottawa Brings Contract Bidding Process In-house,” Globe and Mail, May 6, 2013; “National Arts Centre Seeks Coffee Shop Tenant in Renovated Space,” www.cbc.ca/news, March 16, 2016; www.merx.com, https://buyandsell.gc.ca/, accessed March 24, 2016.
- What type of B2B exchange website is MERX? And BuyandSell.gc.ca?
- What reasons lead government agencies to tender through MERX or BuyandSell.gc.ca?
questions 1: Rubic
- The difference between each of the B2B exchange is clear and correctly identified
- The type of functional exchange of each of the exchanges in question is identified (vertical, horizontal, etc) with supporting details from research
Questions 2: Rubic
- The reasons on why government agencies tender through the exchanges MERX and BuyandSell.gc.ca are correctly and clearly identified
- Great level of details support reasoning that shows a clear external research