AFSME Local 602 - MSU Moorhead

An Inside Contact for Outside Vendors

Aric Wilson

If taxpayers want to know how their money is being spent, Aric Wilson can give them some answers. Part of his job is tracking paperwork from vendors who bid on state contracts. “We do major procurement and construction worth six and seven figures,” he says. “At the bid openings, I’m reading exactly what everybody’s bidding. I know where money’s going, and I know where money’s being saved.”

Wilson keeps track of every state contract in his division. Whether it’s in a file cabinet or a box, on site or in a warehouse, he hangs onto contracts for at least 7 years. Some are on file for as long as 14 years. “And we purchase everything,” he says, “road salt to computer stuff, telecom stuff to body bags.”

Helping vendors land business

Wilson is also the link between agencies and vendors. “I work a lot with vendors, especially new vendors. We try to encourage more vendors to participate. They come in blind. They have no idea what this is all about.”

Wilson helps vendors research all the public information that’s available, understand the specifics of the contract, and understand how to assemble a bid. If it’s a contract that will be awarded to several bidders, Wilson helps vendors figure out if there’s a piece that works for them.

“We try to give them as much information as possible to help them be successful,” he says. “The private sector is money-driven, profit-driven. What we do is service-driven.”

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