Vendor Guide to Doing BusinesswithMiami Dade County Prepared By
What We Will Cover… • 1. Introduction • 2. Getting Started • 3. Vendor Enrollment • 4. Vendor Registration • 5. BidSync • 6. Procurement Processes • 7. Getting Paid • 8. Marketing Your Contract • 9. Frequently Asked Questions and Myths • 10. Getting More Help
1. Introduction • State and local governments in the United States spent close to $3 trillion on goods and services last year, the U.S. Federal government spent about $250 billion. Miami Dade County manages in excess of 1,300 active contracts valued at approximately $4.9 billion. Each year they negotiate and award new contracts that exceed $900 million. • Miami Dade County currently has approximately 70 annual contracts in place for uniforms, apparel and textiles, such as sheets, blankets, towels and other related items. These have an estimated value of $45,000,000. The largest contract value is $12,900,000 and the smallest is valued at $7,600. • With such wide ranges in mind, there is a large opportunity for bidders of all sizes to meet the financial, technical, and production capabilities necessary to perform these contracts, on a case by case basis. • Miami Dade County is always looking for qualified new vendors to compete for County business This guide will take you through the steps of how to do business, assist you with finding bid opportunities and get you on the way to becoming a successful vendor with Miami Dade County. • The Procurement Management Services Division is a Division of the Internal Services Department of Miami Dade County. They are located at 111 NW 1st Street, 13th Floor, Miami, Florida, 33128. Their main phone number is # 305-375-5289. DPMdept@miamidade.gov. Miriam Singer, Director. • The information contained in this manual is provided for general informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to modify, amend, override, or nullify any statute, policy, or procedure of Miami Dade County or the State of Florida, or any specific provision of any given solicitation used in any competitive procurement.
2. Getting Started • Understanding how to successfully become a supplier/vendor for local governments in the United States can be quite confusing. There are a lot of rules and regulations, and understanding why and how decisions are made is important to your success. • This guide is designed to encourage potential supplier/vendors to form profitable partnerships with Miami Dade County. • What is Procurement? Procurement is simply government’s word for purchasing or buying goods and services. While textbooks have been written on the subject, the bottom line is, governments have been charged with the responsibility to get the best value, when spending public money, in a way that is fair and transparent for everybody. There are state, federal and local rules, laws and standards of practice that all need to apply to each purchase. Higher dollar values create more complex processes in order to purchase. Lower dollar values can sometimes be purchased by getting three quotes from vendors.
3. Vendor Enrollmentwww.miamidade.gov/dpmww/enroll.aspx • In order for Miami Dade County to know that your company is interested in doing business with them, you need to enroll first. • Enroll online as a County vendor today for immediate notification of business opportunities in the area(s) that you have identified in your enrollment application. Go to the website above and the following form will appear. • Note: *Fields marked with an asterisk are required. There is a slight problem with this requirement on the application that Miami Dade is aware of…if you Are selecting a Country from the drop down menu, you will still only be able to select states in the United States. While they are working on correcting that, you should select Florida from the States and enter 12345 as the zip code.
Adding Commodity Codes… • You must select at least one (1) commodity code, but you can select as many as you want. Remember that for everyone that you select, Miami Dade County will notify you about bidding opportunities, so while it seems like a good idea to select all possible commodities, remember that you will get many more emails than you may want. • To Add a New CommodityEnter your search criteria which will best describe the products and/or services you provide. You can enter more than one word and even the Commodity Codes, if you are familiar with them. By selecting "Matches on any word", those commodities that have at least one of your words/codes in their description will be displayed for you in a selection box. If you select "Matches on all words", those commodities which contain all the words/codes you provide will be displayed for you.
Adding Commodity Codes Continued: • By clicking on the "Find Commodities" button, you will be provided with a list of commodities which match your request. When you see a commodity that you want to select, double click on it and it will be added to your commodity code list. If you click on the "Display All Commodities" button, you will be provided with the entire list of commodities, regardless of your request. By clicking the "Return/Done" button, you will exit this page and return to your form.
Adding Commodity Codes Continued: • If you have already added a specific commodity to your list and you select it again, a note will pop up to say, “this commodity is already selected.” Remember, you can always add or delete commodities at any time. • It’s time to click “submit” at the bottom of the page. It will ask you to verify your information. If the information is correct, click “Submit” at the bottom, if you still want to make changes, click “return.”
After you click the “submit” button, you will get the following message: • You will be receiving an email with your system generated Enrollment Number and Password. This will confirm your enrollment, so please keep this information in a safe place. • If you do not receive an email with your system generated Enrollment Number and Password please contact the Vendor Information Center (VIC) at 305-375-5773.
Within a very short time you will then receive the following email: • Thank you for enrolling with Miami-Dade County! Enrollment functions as a "mailing list" that allows us to send you announcements via e-mail for possible business that coincides with the products and services your company provides. Please see note below regarding registration, which is the next step in the process.If you would like to change any of your Enrollment information, you must use the enrollment number and password below and log onto: https://www.miamidade.gov/DPMww/Inter_Logon.aspx Your enrollment number is: XXXXX Your password is: XXXXXXX
IMPORTANT NOTE: • Registration is a separate process that must be completed prior to a contract being awarded to you. Registration requires the submittal of several documents, including notarized affidavits. • While Enrollment only allows you to be notified of bid opportunities, Registration is required prior to a contract being awarded, so that Miami Dade County has the ability to pay you for the goods or services you provide. So, that’s a good thing! • We’ll talk about Registration in the following section.
4. Vendor Registrationhttp://www.miamidade.gov/procurement/vendor-registration.asp • What is Vendor Registration? • Vendor Registration is the next step in doing business with Miami Dade County and the most important step if you want to be awarded a contract and get paid after winning a contract with the County. It also adds your company name to computerized listings of vendors available to the Procurement Management staff and other County departments when they are looking to acquire quotes under $10,000.
Vendor Registration Continued: • The Vendor Registration package consists 26 pages in the following four sections: • Section 1. General Business Information (Page 1-4) • Section 2. Vendor Affidavits Form (Requires Notarized Signatures) (Page 5-8) • Section 3. Vendor Commodity Code Checklist (Page 9-23) • Section 4. Vendor Documents and Additional Forms (Pages 24-25)
Vendor Registration Continued: • Completed Vendor Registration Packages can be mailed or hand delivered to: • MIAMI-DADE COUNTY • VENDOR SERVICES SECTION • 111 NW 1st Street • Suite 1300 • Miami, FL 33128 • (305) 375-5773
Vendor Registration Continued: • Let’s take a look at the application by Section and page. • Page 1. • At the top right it asks for your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) • Chances are you will not have a U.S. FEIN Number. In that case, you should • submit the appropriate W-8 form and the County Finance Department will provide you with a number (created by Finance) that identifies you as a foreign firm. • There are several W-8 forms to choose from. Each one is a Certificate of Foreign Status of for United States Tax Withholding and is used by foreign persons (including corporations) to certify their non-U.S. status.
Vendor Registration Continued: • The forms establish that one is a non-resident or a foreign Corporation to avoid or reduce tax withholding from a U.S. source of income, such as sale of products to the U.S. These forms and the instructions for completing them are found online or can be obtained by calling the County Finance Department for help in determining, obtaining and completing the appropriate form for your company. Call the Finance office at 305-375-5111 • The selection of the correct form will depend on the type of business/relationship your company will have with the US.
Vendor Registration Continued: • Below are the links to the IRS site with the W-8 instructions for each form. These are also found in the printed Guide book. • http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw8.pdf - W-8 • http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf - W-8BEN • http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ce.pdf - W-8CE • http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8exp.pdf - W-8EXP • http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8eci.pdf - W-8ECI • http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8imy.pdf - W-8IMY
Vendor Registration Continued: • Directly under the FEIN Number they ask for your NAICS Code. NAICS stands for North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). There are hundreds of codes for every industry and for every facet of an industry. You can search key words for a specific code at www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naicsrch or you can enter the following high level codes: • 313210 - Textiles (Except Apparel) • 315210 - Uniforms and Apparel • The balance of page 1 is general information regarding your address.
Vendor Registration Continued: • Page 2. • This page asks about your contact information, type of business organization and years in business. When entering the firm’s telephone and email address, do not put a general phone number and/or email address. Make sure it goes to a key person in the firm and that it will be accessible if that key person is no longer at the company. Many times companies put a general phone number and email address on a form, and when that person changes jobs the company never receives another call or email from the County.
Vendor Registration Continued: • Page 3. • This page asks for the type of business, specifically what commodity or service you can provide. It also explains the County conflict of interest ordinance and asks if any owner, principle or family members are County employees. To the right of 9a and 9b, select no and go to the next page. If you need to answer yes, you will need to follow the instructions in 9.
Vendor Registration Continued: • Page 4. • This page asks you to affirm that the information in pages 1-3 are true and correct. Make sure that someone who is authorized to sign contracts for the company is the one who signs this page. • Page 5. • Again, as on page 1 at the top right it asks for your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Directly under the FEIN Number they ask for your NAICS Code. • This page has to do with the ownership of the business, the legal names, titles and % of ownership.
Vendor Registration Continued: • Page 6. and Page 7. • The top section of this page is interested in the employees of the company, their race, national origin, gender and their employee benefits. Section 3. through Section 10 explains several County Ordinances that all vendors must comply with, even if they are a foreign company. While this seems odd, the County Attorney’s Office has ruled that when these affidavits were established, the County did not differentiate between companies that were in the United States or located somewhere else.
Vendor Registration Continued: • Page 8. • This page requires you to affirm that the information in pages 6 and 7 are true and correct. Again, make sure that someone who is authorized to sign contracts for the company is the one who signs this page. • Page 9-15. • These pages ask you to select the commodities and services that your firm is interested in providing to the County. • Pay particular attention to page 11, section 5 entitled, Apparel, Uniforms, Gloves, Shoes, Etc. and page 16, section 34, entitled, Leather Goods, Luggage, Purses, Fabric, Notions and Accessories.
Vendor Registration Continued: • Page 17. • This is a checklist of documents that need to be submitted as part of the Vendor registration package. • Again, as on page 1 and 5 at the top right you are asked for your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Directly under the FEIN Number you are asked for your NAICS Code. Except for the W-8, these documents will probably not apply to your company.
Vendor Registration Continued: • Page 18 - 25. • This is a notice concerning the use of Social Security numbers and/or FEIN numbers in order to have a “County Vendor Number.” Remember, in the case of a non-US company case, after you submit the W-8 form, the County Finance Department will provide you with a number (created by Finance) that identifies you as a foreign firm and that will serve as your County Vendor Number. • NOTE: Please refer to the printed Guide book for a copy of the Vendor Registration Form.
5. BidSync • www.BidSync.comwww.miamidade.gov/procurement/electronic-bidding-solution.asp (Select “Free Registration) • Now that you have enrolled as a vendor and you’ve completed the Vendor Registration Application, it’s time to register with BidSync. Note: You can actually register with BidSync before you complete the Vendor Registration Application, whichever you want to do first.
BidSync Continued: • Miami-Dade County is now issuing all competitive solicitations for goods and services issued by the Procurement Management Division of the Internal Services Department, through the BidSync Electronic Bidding System. You will be able to view and submit your bid/proposal responses electronically through the BidSync system. Paper proposals will not be accepted for solicitations issued/advertised after January 21, 2014.
BidSync Continued: • If you have not already done so, register with BidSync by choosing the “Please Register with BidSync” option from Miami-Dade County website http://www.miamidade.gov/procurement/.If you prefer, you can also register directly through www.BidSync.comby choosing the “Free Registration” option on their website. The use of the BidSync System for Miami-Dade-County solicitations does not require your firm to participate in any of the BidSync subscription services or options. Miami-Dade County does not endorse BidSync subscription services besides the FREE service provided by BidSync for Miami-Dade County business.
BidSync Continued: • When you click on the link to register with BidSync you will get this message… • You are now leaving the official website of Miami-Dade County government. Please be aware that when you exit this site, you are no longer protected by our privacy or security policies. Miami-Dade County is not responsible for the content provided on linked sites. The provision of links to these external sites does not constitute an endorsement.
BidSync Continued: • Please click 'OK' to be sent to the new site, or Click 'Cancel' to go back. • Once you are on BidSync’s webpage a form will appear asking for your contact information. It will also ask you to create a user name and a password. The password needs to be at least 8 characters long and have at least one letter and one number in it. This user name and password is very important for future use of this website…write it down and keep it in a safe place. Complete step #2 and then click “next step.”
BidSync Continued: • The next page will ask what your primary industry is from a drop down list. Select “Clothing, Textiles.” It will also ask for keywords that describe what you can provide. Enter words such as; apparel, uniforms, fabric, etc. and click the tab button. When you do that it will automatically suggest additional keywords that you may or may not want to use. It will then ask where you do business. Feel free to select any of the choices. You can then click “next step” to move forward or “previous step” if you want to go back and make any changes.
BidSync Continued: • The next page will give you a selection of commodity codes based on the keywords you selected on the previous page. It will also give you the option to look at other codes that companies like yours have selected. Select as many as you want. You can then click “next step” to move forward or “previous step” if you want to go back and make any changes.
BidSync Continued: • You will then get the following message on the screen: • Thank you for registering with BidSync! • You can now log in and view bid information. Please allow one business day for us to review and confirm your registration. You will have “read only” access and will not be able to place offer, ask questions, etc., until we have confirmed your account. If you need immediate assistance and would like to have your account confirmed immediately, please contact Bidsync Support at 800-990-9339. Thank you for joining and we hope you enjoy your experience with BidSync!
BidSync Continued: • Within a very short time you will get the following email message: • Welcome to BidSync! Your FREE account is now active. Please go to www.bidsync.com and login using the username and password you created. You will need to accept the terms and conditions and review your "Account Profile Setup". This should only take a few minutes. IMPORTANT: Please review the following sections of the Account Profile Setup. Pay extra attention to the Classification section to ensure that you receive all relevant bid notifications: • Regions (areas in which you do business) • Classifications (codes that describe your products and/or services) • Notification Types (how you would like to be notified of bid opportunities, fax/email) • Agency Types (the type of agencies you are most interested in doing business with) Your username is: _____________ • If you cannot remember your password, please click on the following link: • http://www.bidsync.com/DPX?ac=loginexception&src=dpx&pwdhint=y
BidSync Continued: • All of the information that you submitted during registration including your username and password can be edited under the "Tools" tab in your account. You must be logged in to view this tab. If you need assistance with your account or have questions about the functionality of our system, please contact Vendor Support at 800-990-9339 toll free, or 801-765-9245 locally, Monday through Friday during normal business hours.Cordially,Vendor Support800firstname.lastname@example.orgBIDSYNC • Congratulations…your Company is now registered with BidSync
6. Procurement Processes • The Procurement Management Services Division uses a variety of competitive methods to acquire goods and services for the County. They work closely with user departments to get what they need at the best value. Here are some of the key methods they use to acquire goods and services for the County.
The Procurement Process Continued: • Small Purchase Orders • Purchases of less than $25,000.00 are considered small purchase orders and these purchases may be made without a formal bidding process by the user department directly with the vendor. This is another excellent reason to complete the Vendor Registration package. When a department has a need for goods and/or services in an amount less than $25,000 they will go to the registered vendors list and select a minimum of three vendors who can supply them with the item(s) and only contact them for quotes. The department will then issue a purchase order directly without the need to contact the Procurement Management Division staff.
The Procurement Process Continued: • Invitation to Bid (ITB) • The standard method Miami-Dade County uses to acquire goods or services is the Invitation to Bid (ITB) process. Here, they look for the lowest price on specified goods and services. Price is the primary basis for award. • Below is a brief description of a typical Invitation to Bid process: • The user department has a need for goods and/or services and notifies the Procurement Division. • The Procurement Division drafts the bid for publication and sets a bid opening date • A “cone of silence” goes into effect when the bid is advertised and all communication regarding the bid solicitation must now be in writing only until an award recommendation is made. • Bids are reviewed and evaluated and an award recommendation is made • Award notifications of $250,000 or more are sent in the mail. Award notifications of less than $250,000 are posted on the County website.
The Procurement Process Continued: • Important: General Terms and Conditions are a part of each bid document and you should familiarize yourself with them. To review the standard terms and conditions, click on the following link: • http://www.miamidade.gov/procurement/library/general-terms-and-conditions.pdf • NOTE: Alternate or Equivalent Bids • Whenever the specifications of an article or material are defined by trade name, brand name, or model and catalog number, the term “or equal,” if not written, is implied. Any such reference to a particular manufacturer’s product is for the purpose of item identification and to establish standards of performance, quality and features. Bids on equivalent items are invited. Alternate bids may be submitted and, if they meet and/or exceed the specifications or scope of work in the bid document, shall be given equal consideration during the evaluation process.
The Procurement Process Continued: • Request for Proposals (RFP) • The RFP process may be used when the scope of work cannot be completely defined by the County. Contract award for Request for Proposals and Request for Qualifications is not based solely upon price. • Other factors, such as: • Qualifications and experience of principals and staff; • Methodology and management approach; • Understanding of the project and the County's objective; • Technical superiority; • Financial stability; • Experience and history of the firm, among others, are taken into consideration.
The Procurement Process Continued: • Request for Qualifications (RFQ) • A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process may be used to determine the qualifications from proposers when the County cannot or has not completely established the scope of services. An RFQ may be used, for example, when creating a pool of qualified vendors to be used on a rotational basis, or in a two-step competitive basis where the scope of services is incomplete and only those firms selected in the qualification phase compete when a particular work order is established.
The Procurement Process Continued: • Here is a brief description of the Request for Proposals/Qualifications (RFP/RFQ) process. • 1. The User Department Requests RFP/RFQ.2. Procurement Management prepares solicitations in conjunction with user department. • 3.RFP/RFQ is advertised. • 4.Procurement Management holds pre-proposal conference. • 5.Proposals are received and evaluated • 6.Negotiations take place. • 7. Award Recommendation Issued
The Procurement Process Continued: • Prepare your solicitation with great care. • Solicitation requirements vary from contract to contract. Make sure all required information is included. A contract awarded on erroneous information may result in financial loss or other difficulties for your business, so it’s important you pay attention to every detail and make sure you can meet all of the deliverables listed in the document. Thoroughly understand the stipulations regarding purchase, delivery of goods and payments.You should clearly define the items and services you can provide, your delivery schedule, and your best price.
The Procurement Process Continued: • It’s also very important to keep track of your proposal after you submit it. Once all proposals have been submitted the process of evaluation will begin and you may be contacted for a pre-award questionnaire and a chance for you to demonstrate that you can deliver the items in your proposal. • Once the contract has been awarded the awarded vendor and contract price become public information. Whether or not you win the bid, keeping a record of this information is vital as you move forward and submit future proposals. • The biggest lesson is to stay proactive: Research the needs and show that you can provide the best solution. Making sure you bid wisely will increase your chances of winning contracts.
Checklist for Submitting a Successful Bid • _____ Did you type all entries or make them in ink only? • _____ Did you read the bid thoroughly before you starting to write? • _____ Did you include transportation costs in you bid price? • _____ Did you bid on all items if required? • _____ Did you bid an alternate item that is not equal or better? • _____ Did you double check all mathematical calculations? • _____ Did you attend any mandatory pre-bid or walk-thru? • _____ Did you provide all necessary contact information?
Checklist for Submitting a Successful Bid Continued: • _____ Did you attach all required forms? • _____ Did you submit the requested number of copies? • _____ Did you provide references if requested? • _____ Did you include any signed addendums if addenda was issued? • _____ Will your bid arrive before the time and date required? • _____ Will your bid arrive at the right location? • _____ Did a person who is authorized sign the bid?
7. Getting Paid • www.miamidade.gov/finance/vendor-payment.asp • Vendor Payments • Miami-Dade County now offers a payment option that will expedite County payments to your organization via Automated Clearing House transfers directly to your bank account, instead of the issuance and mailing of a County check. • The new Vendor Payment Inquiry application provides vendors and County departments alike access to invoice check and payment information literally at your fingertips. This reduces the need for time consuming phone calls, and expediting invoice follow-ups. • You can sign up for this payment option by filling out an Automated Clearing House (ACH) Authorization Agreement by following the link to the website above and clicking on “Direct Deposit.”
Getting Paid Continued: • Vendor Inquiry Regarding Payment Status • The Vendor Payment Inquiry page is designed to present invoice and payment information to Miami-Dade County vendors to assist in expediting payment inquiry resolution. • Invoice and check payment information is available on this page; the day payment is due, the amount paid, any deductions taken, date check was processed or cleared by the bank, and whether payment was made by check or direct deposit are some of the fields of information that are presented.
Getting Paid Continued: • The Vendor Payment Inquiry pages are provided and maintained by the County Finance Department. Any questions or concerns about the application should be addressed by calling the Finance Department at 305-375-5080. • After you have registered as a vendor and the Finance Department has assigned a FEIN number to your company, follow the link above and select “Vendor Payment Inquiry.”
Getting Paid Continued: • You will receive the following message: • Welcome to the Vendor Payment Inquiry Website • To start - In the Login box on your left, please enter your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) assigned by the Federal Government or Social Security Number (SSN) if you do not have an FEIN number, remember Finance will assign you a number. Press enter or click login. For your protection, this number will not show up again once you have typed it in and it is validated by the system. • Of course the County still can issue paper checks if you prefer, however this is a much faster method of getting paid promptly…it’s your choice.