Preparing for Success

Should a City bid/proposal solicitation call for prequalified products, a vendor should make an attempt to have their product tested and qualified prior to issuance of a City bid/proposal solicitation. Testing of products and the determination as to acceptability can normally be performed before the issuance of a subsequent City bid/contract solicitation.

Once a business obtains a copy of a City bid/proposal solicitation, the next major step is to prepare an acceptable bid/proposal response to the City solicitation. There are no easy solutions to accomplish this task. However, there are several recommended actions, which may enhance a firm's opportunities for success.

Tips for Success

  • Give an incoming City bid/proposal solicitation an immediate and thorough review. Pay attention to any requirements (terms, conditions, instructions, specifications, pricing methods, etc.), which must be met to be responsive.
  • Contact the City Purchasing Agent identified in the City bid/proposal solicitation to answer any questions or to settle any points of confusion. Do not wait until the last moment and hope to accomplish this clarification. If a clarification may be material to the outcome of the bid/proposal, place questions in writing and obtain a written response from the City Purchasing Agent.
  • Present a clear, well organized, and well-prepared bid/proposal response. Follow any bid/proposal preparation instructions that are given within the City bid/proposal solicitation. Whenever possible, type a bid/proposal response and thoroughly proof read the prepared response. Double check pricing accuracy, ensure all required supporting documentation is enclosed with the bid/proposal response, answer any questionnaire information, provide any instructed information and sign the bid/proposal response.
  • Provide required an answer responses to any question asked by the City with an accurate and truthful statement. Failure to meet or exceed a mandatory requirement will result in a non-responsive bid/proposal response. Any alternate method used to obtain a performance equivalent to a mandatory requirement should be stated as an "alternate" in the bid/proposal response, fully explained and technical material submitted to substantiate the "alternate" method. The City will make the ultimate decision to accept or reject any alternate method.
  • Sign all required signature pages and return all required bid/proposal documents. An unsigned bid/proposal offer and/or substantially incomplete bid/proposal response will be non-responsive and not considered.
  • If a City bid/proposal solicitation requests multiple copies of a bid/proposal response for evaluation purposes, be sure to include these extra copies.
  • If a City bid/proposal solicitation requires that product technical literature or samples be included with a bid/proposal response, be sure that such materials are enclosed within your bid/proposal response package. Failure to include required technical literature and samples for evaluation purposes might cause your response to be rejected and not considered.
  • Unless specifically disallowed by language within a City bid/proposal solicitation, a vendor may present multiple products or proposals to the City within their bid/proposal response. However, each alternate response package is to be listed as such and contain all required forms, signature pages, technical literature, product samples, completed questionnaires and any other materials called for in the City's bid/proposal solicitation.
  • Be sure to clearly label each sealed bid/proposal response envelope/package with the City's bid/proposal solicitation number, description of the material, service and/or construction being bid/proposed and the bid/proposal due date.
  • Make sure that a bid/proposal response is received by the City Purchasing Division before the designated date and time scheduled for bid/proposal opening. Late bids/proposals are rejected and not considered.
Reviewing & Awarding the Bid
In determining the responsiveness of a bid/proposal response, the City Purchasing Division will review the bidder's/offeror's response as to its conformity with all stated requirements and evaluation criteria of the City bid/proposal solicitation. Once a bidder/offeror is determined to be responsive, bidders/offerors will be reviewed as to price and value considerations of their comparative products and/or services.

Vendor (bidder/offeror) capability to perform a contract in a quality and timely manner is also considered prior to any award recommendation. The likeliness as to whether a vendor can perform a contract is reviewed according to criteria established within the City's bid/proposal solicitation. Past performance, histories are considered and any requested bidder/offeror references are checked. The City (at its discretion) may not make an award recommendation to any vendor previously defaulting on a contract obligation with the City. Vendor financial stability is also checked if considered material to the longevity of a contract or to the supply of products and/or services which require an initial or start-up expense by the contracted vendor.

Quite often, a committee approach is used in the evaluation of bid/proposal responses. In such an approach, the City Purchasing Division works with the technical staff within City customer (using) department(s) to reach an award decision and recommendation.

After a contract award has been made, the City Purchasing Division may hold post award meetings to enable both supplier/service provider and City staff to reach a more complete understanding of each other's contract expectations, performance standards, and operating schedules. It is at these meetings that a professional, working relationship is often bound.

Authorized Contacts(s) For City Bid/Proposal Solicitations & Contracts
The only authorized contact for a City bid/proposal solicitation or resulting contract is with the City Purchasing Agent identified in the City's solicitation.

City Purchasing Agent Assignments
The procurement responsibilities for City purchasing agents may vary and a current list of buying and contract administration assignments may be obtained in person at the City Purchasing Division. The name and phone number for City purchasing agents are:
Information of an operational or policy nature concerning City procurement practices and policies may be addressed to Susan Sandhoff?, financial operations manager.