Procurement app hōrd gets an upgrade
08 Oct 2013
We check in with its founders to get a progress update and plans for the future.
What was the inspiration for creating hōrd?
The team at GovTribe created hōrd because we think finding and winning government contracts should be neither complicated, expensive, nor cumbersome. We worked for many years at a large government contractor. It always seemed odd to us that the pursuit process was so inefficient. Bloated processes, expensive technology, hearsay…you name it. It all seemed a bit broken. We knew that if we could bring together multiple data sources and give our users real time insight into the activity of the government, much of the process could be improved. Also, we felt that it was time for this level of insight to be democratized. By building and pricing hōrd for the individual, cost or organizational dysfunction are no longer barriers to basic understanding.
What are its key features?
hōrd is an iPhone app that lets users follow (or hōrd) the real time procurement activity of the things they care about within the world of government contracting. For example, let’s say you have a favorite contracting officer. Add her to your hōrd and every time she posts, amends, cancels, or awards a project, you’ll know immediately. Or perhaps you have a key competitor you would like to track. By adding them to your hōrd, you’ll see when they win or protest contracts. Last but not least, hōrd provides this same capability for new projects. Add a specific project to your hōrd and it will tell you when amendments are posted, who gets the award, and key contact information. hōrd provides this level of tracking for agencies, offices, people, projects, vendors, and categories or work. hōrd is free to download and comes with a one-month free subscription. From there forward, it is $5 a month.
What does the new update offer?
Our latest release is version 2.3. In addition to providing the aforementioned capability for 130 federal agencies, we spent a lot of time responding to feedback on the user interface. We overhauled search to give more context and added key information to the details of a project. Also, we added simple tweaks like the ability to call a contracting officer directly from their activity feed. We think hōrd has come a long way since our beta release in January. There is still much to be done and thanks to our highly engaged customers, we have a pretty clear picture of where we are headed.
What have you learned developing hōrd?
The most important thing we have learned is that the problem we attempt to solve is more widespread than we expected. Our customers come from all sorts of professional backgrounds and give us interesting perspectives we never considered early on. For example, journalists like yourself who cover a specific company can track their awards in real time. Or government agency leaders who would rather check their phone than sit through a briefing on the status of an important program. We really enjoy learning about the innovative uses of hōrd and hope to continue doing so.
What's next in the development queue?
We are currently working on building out hōrd beyond just the iPhone. One of the most frequent messages we get from our customers is the request to use hōrd via an iPad, browser, or Android device. We are hearing them loud and clear and steadily working toward platform expansion. Also, we are building more in-depth analytical reports, built on the same data that powers hōrd, to be distributed outside of the app.