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Vendor FAQs

How are purchases authorized?

Purchases under $3,000 (except construction where the limit is $2,000) may be authorized using a procurement card.  All other purchases may only be authorized by a purchase order (PO) or a duly executed contract (who can sign official documents).  Any goods delivered or services rendered inconsistent with these requirements will be considered a gift to SMART and payment will not be made.

How do I get on the bid list?

SMART Purchasing Agents utilize the Michigan Intergovernmental Trade Network (MITN) Bid Net system and Michigan Chronicle for all of its Procurement solicitation activities.  If the Solicitation or Bid falls within the criteria specified in State Law PA 204 of 1967 and requires advertising, the inquiring vendors will be requested to register with the MITN Bid Net for further consideration.  You can register as a vendor on the MITN Bid Net system by selecting How to Become a Vendor from the menu.  If the contract requires a DBE or small business, vendors can consult the MUCP for approved vendors.

How many bids may I make at once?

You may only make one bid on a particular request/solicitation.  You may submit an alternate bid (or multiple alternates) but only if you submit a bid directly responsive to the request/solicitation as issued.

What is the difference between a quote, a bid and a proposal?

The term bid is frequently used to refer to all competitive purchasing activity.  SMART uses several types of procurement methods in order to get the best quality and most cost effective products and services.  They are as follows:

Invitation for Bid (IFB)

  • Refers to a sealed bid for purchases in excess of $50,000
  • Specifications are detailed and specific
  • Award is based solely on cost
  • No discussions with the bidders

Request for Proposal (RFP)

  • For purchases in excess of $50,000
  • Specifications or statement of work is not specific or detailed
  • Award is based on cost and other factors
  • Discussion with proposers is not only likely but necessary

Request for Quote (RFQ)

  • The quote method is issued for purchases of $50,000 or less

Informal Quote (IQT)

  • SMART calls three vendors for over the phone quotes
  • Award is based solely on cost
  • The quote method is issued for purchases of $15,000 or less

Am I required to bid every time a bid is requested?

No.  It is not necessary to make a bid every time. Just when you feel your company can meet the proposed requirements.

How many times will a good or services require a bid?

It depends.  Needs vary for each good and service, contract lengths vary, options may or may not be exercised. It is very difficult to predict how many times a bid will be necessary for a particular good or service.

Who can sign official documents?

SMART departments and personnel therein are not authorized to sign contracts or to make purchases on behalf of SMART. As delegated under the authority of the Board of Directors, signing authority is reserved for the General Manager or the Deputy General Manager, but consistent with federal regulation, is the primary responsibility of the Contracting Officer (CO). The CO may delegate limited signing authority to persons designated as Contracting Officer Designees (COD). At SMART, the Contracting Officer is the Manager of Procurement. Contracting Officer Designees are the Purchasing Agents (see Department Directory) and their signing authority is limited to purchases in the amount of $25,000 or less.

How does a vendor get paid?

SMART requires a three-way match in order to make payment for goods or services rendered on behalf of SMART.  The term three-way match refers to three separate documents and that the pertinent information on each document must be the same on each document.  The first document is a purchase order (PO).  A PO can only be issued by the Procurement Department.  The second is an invoice.  This document is produced and submitted by the vendor providing the goods or performing the services as specified in the PO.  The third document is a receiver.  The individual at SMART who accepts responsibility for receipt of the goods, or in the case of services, satisfactory completion, provides the receiver.  The pertinent information that must match on the documents is:  description, quantity, unit cost and extended cost, although cost information does not necessarily have to be present on the receiver.