Realestate Contracting

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					This training module was developed to help educate Michigan businesses on
the process of contracting with the State of Michigan.

For your convenience, we have divided this presentation into 3 sections: an
Introduction to State Purchasing, the Steps in the Bidding Process, and
Supplemental Programs and Resources. This is Section 1: An Introduction to
State Purchasing. Let‟s begin by reviewing the various state contracting

State purchasing is handled through multiple organizations. The
Department of Technology, Management and Budget‟s (DTMB)
Purchasing Operations serves as the state‟s central purchasing office.
Purchasing Operations acts on behalf of state agencies, handling every
aspect of the bidding process for most goods and services in amounts
over $25,000. We will go into more detail about Purchasing Operations
in a moment.
DTMB Real Estate and Design and Construction Divisions are
responsible for making purchases related to design and construction,
land, and leases.
Individual state agencies have delegated authority to buy their own
goods and services if they are valued at less than $25,000. If you wish
to contact state agencies directly about these smaller purchases, a
directory of agency buyers can be found on this website.
Michigan State Industries, which is part of the Department of
Corrections, has delegated authority to make purchases to support
prison factories in amounts up to $1,000,000. These facilities purchase
goods to support a variety of activities, from dairy and meat processing
to furniture making.
Lastly, the Michigan Department of Transportation contracts with
vendors directly for products and services related to highway and bridge
maintenance and construction.

Altogether, the state has a portfolio of approximately 1,100 contracts,
worth billions of dollars. Roughly 300 - 400 hundred projects within the
portfolio are put out to bid each year. Most contract periods average
three base years and have two additional one year renewal options,
though it varies by bid. Read the beginning of Article 2 of the bid for the
specific contract term and options.
As mentioned earlier, Purchasing Operations is responsible for the bulk
of these purchases, which are made by three divisions: information
technology, commodities and services.
For more insight, we will now examine each area‟s responsibilities,
starting with Information Technology.

Information Technology covers contracts for telecommunications
(including cell phones, land lines, LANs, WANs, etc.), hardware and
software, copiers, and network infrastructure - both enterprise and
The Re:START program is a prequalification program for limited term IT
staff augmentation. It was created to provide fast turn-around bids for
various hourly IT services. Re:START bid opportunities are only
available to those vendors who have pre-qualified by following the
registration process. You can lean more by reviewing the program
documents posted on this website. Please note that the State is
currently looking at replacing the Re:START program with a fully
automated software tool to decrease administrative costs.
Now that we‟ve covered IT, we are going to take a look at another
primary procurement area, Commodities.

The Commodities area is responsible for purchasing a wide variety of
products, ranging from office furniture to janitorial supplies. The list in
front of you covers only a small fraction of the many categories of
products handled by this group. Some of you may be wondering what
falls under the “Energy” category. For our purposes, “Energy” refers to
the acquisition of natural gas, fuel oil, and propane, as well as
alternative energy and energy conservation consultants.

The Commodities area is also responsible for purchasing MRO
Services. MRO stands for Maintenance Repair Operations and includes
services such as lawn care and snow removal.
Moving on, let‟s take a look at our final primary area of procurement,

The Services area handles contacts related to the procurement of
professional services such as advertising and consulting. This division
is also responsible for the State‟s health care contracts and, because of
that expertise, also handles pharmaceuticals and related services.

Aside from the three aforementioned areas, there is also a Design and
Construction division and a Real Estate division within DTMB. Design
and Construction not only deals with engineering and architectural
services, but also bids out painting, plumbing, HVAC, and other similar
contracts. Furthermore, this group is in charge of implementing the state
capital improvement program. Current bids, as well as projected future
construction contracts, may be accessed through this website.
The state leases a considerable amount of office and warehouse space
across the state. If you are interested in leasing space to the state,
please go to the website address shown on the slide to receive bid
This concludes Section 1 of this training module. Be sure to check out
Section 2, which will outline the steps in the bidding process.

This training module was developed to help educate Michigan businesses on
the process of contracting with the State of Michigan.

For your convenience, we have divided this presentation into 3 sections: an
Introduction to State Purchasing, the Steps in the Bidding Process, and
Supplemental Programs and Resources. Welcome to the second section of
this training module: Steps in the Bidding Process.

The previous segment explained the structure of various purchasing areas as well as
what types of products and services the State is interested in buying. Now that you‟ve
determined you would like to pursue state contracting, you‟re probably asking yourself,
“What steps should I take to get started? This section is designed to guide you from
start to finish and help simplify the process.
The single most important thing to remember from this presentation is to register your
business on This site is the central hub for the majority of the
State's bid opportunities. Michigan‟s 28 community colleges and over 100 K-12
schools post some of their bids on this site as well.
Registration is simple, and it only takes about 15 minutes. When you‟re ready to start,
make sure you have your basic business and financial information handy. In the event
the you need help or have any questions, you can contact the Bid4michigan Helpdesk
or view our vendor registration walkthrough presentation which is posted on this
To make sure the system will recognize you as an eligible bidder, it is necessary to
respond to the questions in the Certifications and Representations section. We also
highly encourage you to answer the optional demographic questions; this is important
information that helps the State assess the effectiveness of its outreach programs.
Vendors must also register contact and payables information and be set up to receive
EFT payments before being awarded a contract, and can do so through this website.

Now that you‟re registered, it‟s time for the second step in the bidding
process: preparation and research. Fortunately, there are many
resources available to help accomplish this.
One of the first things you should do is examine what kinds of products
and services the Purchasing Operations currently buys. To do so,
review the complete list of current contracts for goods, services and
information technology valued at over $25,000. It is posted on this
website and updated weekly.
This list provides useful information including specifications, pricing,
contract expiration date and contract buyer. If you are interested in sub-
contract opportunities, you will also have access to the current vendor‟s
contact information.
If you have a unique product or service you think the State should know
about, submit your information through the Vendor Gateway program.
Details can be found on this website.
For more extensive research, vendors can make use of the Freedom of
Information Act, but more on that in a moment.
Let‟s take a look at the Complete Contract List we mentioned earlier.

Here is a snap shot of the Complete Contract List . By clicking on “Open Contract”
under the “Links to Contracts” red circle on the left, you can download a PDF version of
the contract. You‟ll be able to review the entire contract, including current
specifications, change notices, and pricing. On the contract‟s cover sheet you can find
other important information such as the buyer‟s name and phone number, the
department day-to-day contact name and phone number, and the vendor sales
representative‟s name and phone number.

The red circle on the right refers to the current expiration date of a contract, not
including any potential option years. Read the contract or talk to the buyer to
determine the timing of the next bid.

“Amount”, the red circle in the middle, is the estimated spend at the time of contract
award for all the base years, and is not reflective of actual spend, which is less.

On average, bids go out about 3-6 months before the expiration date, depending on
complexity and dollar amount. If there is an existing contract for your product or
service already in place, don‟t be discouraged. Studying the Complete Contract List
provides an excellent opportunity to look at specifications and pricing, ask questions,
and be more prepared when the contract is put out to bid again.

Another research opportunity is provided by the Freedom of
Information Act or FOIA. Contract documents are public records.
This doesn‟t apply to just contracts though - bid responses, winning
responses, and the bid evaluation synopsis, which can be thought
of as a “bid report card”, - are all available.
We are required to respond to your FOIA request within five
business days. If the cost to the state for labor, duplication and
postage charges is less than $10 altogether, there is no charge. If
it does exceed $10, the state requires that you prepay your invoice.
Be sure to look online before requesting information. As we
discussed on the previous slide, some documents, like the current
contract and its change notices, have already been made available
to you at no charge.

To make this process a little easier, let‟s take a look at an actual FOIA
request form, which is on this website. At the top of the form, you‟ll
notice that you‟ll need a contract number, which can be found on the
Current Contract List.
When requesting information, we recommend that you ask for the
awarded proposal as well as the approved evaluation synopsis. These
two documents provide a great learning opportunity and may help you
prepare for your next bid. You aren‟t limited to just these two documents,
however. You can request as many or as few documents as you wish,
ranging from the proposals of all competing parties to that of a specific
company - such as the proposal submitted by your main competitor.
Just make sure you type in your customized request in the “other”

Please include all of your information as the requestor, before submitting
your FOIA request. If we have questions about your request, it will be
helpful to have multiple ways of contacting you. In the „Instructions‟
section, you will notice that we provide contact information for our FOIA
coordinator, should you happen to have any questions or concerns
either before or after submitting your request.

The third step in the bidding process is finding opportunities. As mentioned earlier, it is
important that you register your business on, as the State
posts its current bids for $10,000 and over on this site.
Two options are available upon registration. The first option is to manually monitor the
system by logging in periodically to search for new solicitations. Alternatively, you may
pay an annual fee of $49.95 and sign up for email notifications, which will
automatically inform you when new bids have been posted based on specific product
codes that you associate with your profile.
There are also opportunities to get involved in smaller projects, which are not
necessarily posted on Bid4Michigan. Individual state agencies may obtain bids
informally by phone, email and fax for projects less than $10,000. To learn more about
these opportunities, use the directory of agency buyers on this site to contact state
agencies directly, and see what opportunities they may have.
Aside from reviewing current bids, vendors can also research future opportunities that
fit their business model and prepare themselves to bid by examining projected future
bid lists. There are separate lists for Design and Construction and Purchasing
Operations, and both of them are posted on this site.
Some bids, such as those for the Real Estate division, are posted on this website. As
for other state agencies, the Michigan Department of Transportation handles its own
purchasing for road and bridge maintenance and construction and posts bids on its
own website. To view these bids, go to and click on „Doing
To get you familiar with where to find contract opportunities, let‟s take a look at
Bid4Michigan and the projected future bid lists.

Shown here is an example screen shot of the Bid4Michigan bid posting
site. If you look in the upper-left-hand corner, you‟ll notice that we are in
the bid opportunities section, which is a tab on the Bid4Michigan
homepage. This section presents us with a list of all current open
solicitations. Before you are registered as a vendor on the site, this is
the extent of the information you will see. However, after registration is
complete, all bid documentation, such as the Request for Proposal and
any applicable attachments, will be available to you.

Pictured here is the Projected Future Contacts List for Design and
Construction projects, which, as we mentioned earlier, is posted on this
website. After the initial design work has been completed for a project,
Design and Construction solicits bids for a general contactor. Use this
list to contact the lead design firms for any available information
regarding the status of a particular project. For those wanting to learn
more about the Design and Construction contracting process, there is a
separate Contracting 101 presentation dedicated specifically to this topic
that can be found on this site.
Now that we‟ve examined where to find some of the state‟s contracting
opportunities, that brings us to our fourth step: placing a bid.

Once you’ve discovered a particular bid that interests you, one of the first things to do is review
the bid documents to determine if there’s a pre-bid meeting, and if there is one, whether it’s
optional or mandatory. Presence at mandatory meetings is only required of prime contractors,
however sub-contractors should consider attending as well - not only to understand the
requirements of a project, but to take advantage of networking opportunities. For meetings that
are mandatory, make sure to sign the attendance sheet to prove you were there!

Let’s take a moment now to review the Question and Answer phase of the bid process. The Q&A
period is a great opportunity to exchange information with the buyer. Ask ANYTHING – this is
your chance to obtain information to help submit your best proposal. Bidders who wish to submit
an alternate proposal for bid specifications or time line should ask in the Q&A if bid requirements
can be changed to allow for alternate proposals, otherwise an alternate bid submitted may not
conform to bid requirements. The due date for forwarding questions is specified in the

It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is to follow the bid’s posted communication rules.
Once a bid is posted, all communication must be with the assigned buyer only. Any
communication outside of this process may result in disqualification. In addition, bid information
not received from the assigned buyer may not be reliable. Protect your investment in preparing
your bid by obtaining information from the proper source.

Make sure that your bids are thorough. Government bids require a high level of detail. With that
in mind, write your proposal understanding that you will not meet with the buyer face-to-face, and
that any clarifications or negotiations will be via email. This will help you focus your proposal and
ensure that you include all pertinent information.

Be sure to keep up with any changes to the bid. Continue checking the bid posting for new
attachments and addendums until the bid due date. We will post online Q&A responses and any
notices like an extension of the bid due date, any additional historical information, etc.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t be late! If a bid is even 1 minute late, it is late,
regardless of the reason for its delay. The only time late bids will be considered is when no other
bids have been received.

So, what happens after you submit your bid?
Submitted bids are evaluated by the assigned buyer or an Evaluation
Committee, with the written portion of the bid being scored on a hundred
point scale. As an example, 80 points out of the possible 100 might be
considered a passing technical score. Receipt of a passing technical
score means that your bid pricing will be evaluated.
An Evaluation Committee consists of a blend of members – those who
have a day-to-day interaction with the program, and independent
reviewers who do not. This is an important fact to remember for new
vendors and incumbents alike. You will be evaluated on the written
content of your bid, and since there may not be any face to face
meetings as part of the evaluation process, including negotiations, it‟s all
the more important that your bid is thorough.
For each bid‟s customized evaluation criteria, Q & A deadline, and
information on any pre-bid meetings, review Article 3 of the solicitation

The fifth step in the process is the Debrief. Purchasing Operations
encourages all bidders - those who were successful in receiving an
award and those who were not - to arrange a debriefing session with the
buyer handling the solicitation. Debriefings may be conducted in person,
or over the phone, depending on what the bidder prefers.
During this session, the buyer will review the bidder‟s proposal, highlight
its specific strengths, and indicate areas where the submission may
have contained deficiencies. In preparation for your debrief, request
that the buyer email you the Evaluation Synopsis (the bid “report card”
as you‟ll recall).
On a related note, if you would like more detailed information about
submitting quality bids, please see the “Elements of Quality Proposal
Training” on this website.

To summarize what we have discussed so far, let‟s take time for a brief
Step One: Register your business on-line on the
   website. If you receive a contract award, you will also need to
   register your business for electronic funds transfer, and you can
   access the link to do that through this website.
Step Two: Prepare and research. Find out if the State buys what you
   are selling by reviewing the Complete Contract List on-line. If you
   would like to discuss your innovative products and services, submit
   your information through the Vendor Gateway program – the details
   are on this website.
Step Three: Find Opportunities. Current bids are posted on We also suggest that you familiarize yourself with
   upcoming bid lists as well, so that you may be well prepared when a
   solicitation is announced. And finally -
Step Four: Submit your bid. Attend a pre-bid meeting if one is
   scheduled so that you can learn more or network for sub-contracting
   opportunities. Ask questions during the bid Q&A session so that you
   are clear about the requirements of the solicitation. Follow the bid
   communication rules to the letter and don‟t be late submitting your
   bid! Lastly, if you don‟t receive an award, schedule a debrief to help
   you present the best possible proposal the next time you bid.

Before we move on to the third section of this training module, let’s review the various
purchasing preferences and set asides established in the state by statute:

First, qualified service disabled veteran-owned companies receive a 10 percent pricing
preference. Information on how the preference is calculated, and what documentation is
required, is found on this website. A price preference is different than a “set aside”. RFP’s
have a two step process and the preference is applied if technical bid requirements have been

Second, certain goods and services are set aside for procurement from Community
Rehabilitation Organizations - sometimes called CROs. A CRO Committee, appointed by the
Governor, evaluates set-aside requests. Competitive criteria, including a determination of fair
market pricing, are applied to select among community rehabilitation organizations for the
purchase of goods and services.

Third, all printing for the State of Michigan, except that which is printed for primary school
districts, local government units and legal publications for elective state officers, must be
printed in Michigan. The Department of Technology, Management and Budget has an in-
house print and graphics division and administers a prequalification program in connection
with work which is outsourced. Check this website for more details.

Fourth, A preference is given to products manufactured or services offered by Michigan-
based firms if all other things are equal and not inconsistent with federal statute.

Finally, a reciprocal preference to a Michigan business against an out-of-state business is
allowed for purchases exceeding $100,000 and if not inconsistent with federal statutes. Under
this provision, a Michigan bidder is preferred in the same manner in which the out-of-state
bidder would be preferred in his or her home state. To claim this preference, a bidder must
certify as a Michigan business and must authorize the Department of Treasury to release
information necessary to verify the entitlement. A business that purposefully or willfully submits
a false certification is guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine of not less than $25,000.

This concludes the second portion of our 3 part training module. In the next chapter we will
examine different programs and resources available to vendors that can help maximize your
business’ potential.

This training module was developed to help educate Michigan businesses on
the process of contracting with the State of Michigan.

For your convenience, we have divided this presentation into 3 sections: an
Introduction to State Purchasing, the Steps in the Bidding Process, and
Supplemental Programs and Resources.

Welcome to the third and final section of this training module: Supplemental
Programs and Resources. The topics included in this portion of our
presentation focus on educating vendors about how to potentially increase
market share by taking advantage of their contracts with the state, as well as
establishing relationships with local business service organizations. To begin,
we will review the MIDEAL program.

The MiDEAL program allows local units of government, colleges and
universities, school districts and non-profit hospitals to benefit from the
State‟s negotiating and purchasing power by permitting them to
purchase from the State‟s contracts at the same terms, conditions, and
pricing without issuing their own solicitation. MiDEAL is a powerful tool
for vendors interested in pursuing more market share without completing
additional bids.
If you are awarded a contract and choose to participate in MiDEAL,
you‟ll be able to market your company to hundreds of local units of
government. So, when submitting your bid, consider checking „yes‟
when asked if you‟d like to extend your contract to MiDEAL members.

This is a screen shot from the MiDEAL website. The State maintains a
list of all MiDEAL contracts on the website. The public entity that you
are marketing to can go here to learn more about the program and
independently review the contract details. Remember, for those vendors
who hold MiDEAL contracts, every MiDEAL member is a new potential
client with whom you can do business without having to go through
lengthy contract negotiations.

There are many resources available to assist Michigan companies. The Michigan Business One
Stop, for example, is a state-run website containing a wide array of tools to start and operate
your Michigan business, such as tax registration and applications for permits and licenses.

There are also a large number of organizations offering a great deal of business support
services. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), for instance, teach Michigan
businesses about government contracting, from bidding on small local contracts all the way up
to larger federal contracts.

On a different note, Michigan Works! agencies across the State provide a broad range of
services to employers to support economic workforce and development efforts, including
assistance in finding qualified workers and providing interview facilities.

Other groups, such as the Women’s Enterprise Council – Great Lakes (sometimes referred to
as CEED) and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, exist to empower under-
represented populations of business owners through training and business-to-business

There are also organizations that specialize in assisting smaller businesses. For example, the
Small Business Administration provides training programs and opportunities for small business
loans to help small businesses grow and expand. Similarly, the Michigan Small Business &
Technology Development Center, otherwise known as the SBTDC, offers counseling and
advocacy for new ventures, existing small business, and innovative technology companies.

We also recommend that you connect with other state agencies in your efforts to diversify your
businesses. For example, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) handles
purchasing for highway and bridge construction. In addition, there is a disadvantaged business
enterprise certification program for minority businesses. Details about the program are found
on the MDOT website.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights works with all vendors receiving contracts of $100,000
or more to review their equal opportunity hiring practices and ensure compliance with state and
federal laws.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) offers business ombudsman and
business development services.

Finally, there are many business events statewide in which the State
participates. These opportunities can be found on our event calendar
and include upcoming live presentations such as Contracting 101 and
our Elements of a Quality Proposal seminar, which outlines the specific
details and expectations of bid submissions. (A video webcast version of
the Elements of a Quality Proposal seminar is also available on this
site). Additionally, public purchasing reverse trade fairs and other
networking opportunities are listed on the calendar. Check back
frequently, as the calendar is updated weekly and may include a new
event near you.
The State is committed to providing resources for Michigan companies.
We encourage you to take advantage of the information presented and
we are always happy to respond to any comments or questions that you
may have. To get in touch with us, just use the contact information on
the following slides. We look forward to your participation in the bidding
process. Good luck!


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