TRENTON – Suppliers will benefit from a new self-service website, NJSTART.gov, launching this year as part of an effort to reduce red tape and make it easier for vendors to compete for contracts with the State of New Jersey.
Registration began May 2 for vendors to sign up through the NJSTART website, which is designed to simplify the procurement process for suppliers doing business with New Jersey, according to Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “This will enhance the procurement process for vendors and make their lives much easier,” she said.
“This is yet another example of actions that our Administration is taking to reduce red tape and enhance the ability of the private sector to do business in New Jersey. And with this week’s announcement of a reconstituted Red Tape Review Commission, the State is well positioned to achieve even greater progress in the months and years ahead.”
The previous State procurement system was outdated and did not comply with Treasury’s “strategic goal of driving efficiency through our processes,” said State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff. “Ultimately, this will save taxpayers money in the long run by promoting more robust competition for contracts and improving productivity.”
The state-of-the-art eProcurement system, NJSTART or “State of The Art Requisition Technology,” which will be accessible by all State agencies, suppliers and local governments, will go live in October. Thousands of suppliers will be empowered to create their own vendor profiles through the portal, eliminating the need to file duplicate forms every time they submit a proposal for a new contract, said Jignasa Desai-McCleary, Director of the Division of Purchase and Property.
“This feature was procured in direct response to the chief request of New Jersey’s business community during a four-year dialogue with the Division,” she said. “This system will enhance the visibility of small- , minority- and veteran-owned businesses so they can gain exposure to additional contracting opportunities,” Desai-McCleary said. “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.”
NJSTART is an electronic procurement and purchasing system that replaces a nearly 25-year-old mainframe system. Vendors will be able to go online to manage forms and certifications, submit proposals, access training manuals and reference guides and receive email alerts on upcoming procurement opportunities.
Vendors will be able to update their profiles in real time, 24/7, Desai-McCleary said. State agencies seeking to procure goods or services will have access to all registered vendors through NJSTART. Suppliers will be able to add multiple user accounts to the same profile so more than one person can work on a proposal.
When the system is fully implemented in October 2014, vendors will realize the following benefits:
- Be part of an online business directory that provides State and local agencies with unprecedented access to the universe of NJSTART vendors;
- Have the ability to view all quotes, solicitations, and awarded contracts online, increasing transparency of the process;
- Enjoy enhanced visibility as small businesses can submit proposals for contracts to compete with larger firms;
- Have the capability to upload forms and certification to their vendor profile;
- Experience improved customer service among State agencies, local governments and vendors.
Vendors on existing contracts are strongly encouraged to register with NJSTART prior to October 2014. Once NJSTART has been launched, vendors will only be paid if they are registered in the system. Other states, such as Arizona and Michigan, have deployed similar eProcurement systems. Their systems, which can be found at Procure.AZ.gov and Buy4Michigan.com, have improved and streamlined their vendor experience.