Thread: Procurement ?

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    Question Procurement ?

    Question to those who have a good knowledge of AFG. I just got an award for radios and MDC's. We use a particular brand and model of radio. I can buy these radios at a state bid price. I can justify why we would but these radios, IE safety in standardization, already have a training manual on these radios, programming is done inhouse with software we already have Etc.
    Same way with MDC's. Our county communication center only recommends one brand and a couple model of MDC's because there IT dept. does all upkeep, programming etc. (not free) so I can easily say why I pretty much have to buy this stuff and it is at a state contract price. Can I do this without going to bid? And just document all this info and hope I will fly in an audit? Short of calling help desk anyone else done this and can tell me this is ok? Thanks.

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    State contract pricing is pre-bid so no requirement to go to bid yourself, you can just buy the stuff. Plus if the requirement is only for one type of equipment and nothing else works then it's a sole source situation and again a no-bid required one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    State contract pricing is pre-bid so no requirement to go to bid yourself, you can just buy the stuff. Plus if the requirement is only for one type of equipment and nothing else works then it's a sole source situation and again a no-bid required one.
    Brian,

    That may be technically correct, however, many departments are getting pressure from their regional reps to get multiple bids regardless. Given how easy it is to get a 2-3 bids from other vendors/manufacturers, I would suggest they simply get the bids, put them in the file, and make vendor selection based on the rationale described above.

    -dave

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    Not only technically correct, but also legally correct which is the key. DHS can complain all they want but since they buy everything through GSA (ie fed contract) instead of bidding individually pointing out the hypocrisy of the situation is half the fun in those conversations.

    In the radio situation the lone dealer for the equipment is probably the one to give a 2nd bid, and legally can't count a bid if it doesn't qualify. SCBA, yeah, worth it to dig around just to see.

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    Not necessarily true when it come to comm grants awarded recently.

    If you have brand "K" or Brand "M" radios. There are many vendors that sell those products and going out to bid will quite often, [ 80% of the time] come in at lower price than state bid pricing. State bid is seldom a competitive pricing and in these economic times the various vendors are willing to cut their margins an extra few percent to make the sales. It forces all vendors into open competition in bidding which is what the Feds really want to see.
    You can justify buying one brand / manufacturer , but will have a hard time justifying a sole source vendor unless they are the ONLY vendor of that product.

    Cover your derrière and get bids from several vendors.

    Yes it makes for a little more work in writing an RFP/ spec and going out to a formal bidding process, but in the end we are getting free stuff from the feds for a little time and effort.

    Play by their rules and come out a winner.

    to give you an example: We bought a toughbook CF29 at a price that was several hundred $$$ below state bid and better equipped. Bigger hard drive, twice the RAM and touchscreen. Shopping from reputable vendors will save money.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 05-05-2010 at 06:08 PM. Reason: added paragraph

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    Well again, computers can always be had at a lower price. Just like the K & M radios if either one will work on the system. Current department has M pagers but also issues K radio/pagers because they're cheaper and reduces the cost of putting more portables on the trucks for PR events and whatnot. Also more reliable and allows any two people to talk since everyone has a radio ID. So drills, water supply, etc, can all be moved to another channel easily since most engineers have the radios instead of pagers.

    Off the subject slightly but that's the exception. Skip down the lane a little to a SmartZone trunked system and the choices are limited to 1 option. And there's only 1 dealer, which is usually what happens when that's the case. If there are options, going bid can save some bucks sometimes, but if not might as well save the $$ in advertising bids and the time to do it all and get the stuff since the end result is the same anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post

    Skip down the lane a little to a SmartZone trunked system and the choices are limited to 1 option. And there's only 1 dealer, which is usually what happens when that's the case. If there are options, going bid can save some bucks sometimes, but if not might as well save the $$ in advertising bids and the time to do it all and get the stuff since the end result is the same anyway.
    But even with a mandate for proprietary technology such as Smartzone. There are still multiple vendors that sell that proprietary product. They will bid against each other. Just because the state/ county/ agency mandates a certain technology, they can't mandate buying from a specific vendor. That would be construed as price fixing which last I knew was against federal statute.

    This year several regional Comm grantees that I'm aware of were advised to not go with state bid pricing, but to go out to bid. One of them is a frequent poster here.

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    Only if they're allowed to sell in the same area they can do that. Some of those restrictions are loosening up but not in all places. Hence the franchising thing, which is legal. So if there's one dealer from brand X in an area, on state bid for the product then that's your vendor. No other dealer can bid against them per their franchising agreements.

    We do better than state bid anywhere anyway, HGAC pricing. Anyone can buy off of it, probably better than some pricing from state bids or competitive bid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Off the subject slightly but that's the exception. Skip down the lane a little to a SmartZone trunked system and the choices are limited to 1 option. And there's only 1 dealer, which is usually what happens when that's the case. If there are options, going bid can save some bucks sometimes, but if not might as well save the $$ in advertising bids and the time to do it all and get the stuff since the end result is the same anyway.

    EF Johnson also makes a Smartzone capable radio - Mother licensed the technology to them. (Some say so that Mother could point to them and say, no, our system is not proprietary, you can buy EFJ, and therefore Mother still got the system sale)

    The vast majority of state bid pricing (at least in comms) can be beat with competitive bidding. Bid it out, you may save enough money for more goodies!

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    I really do not understand why M pagers cost more than K radios used as pagers.

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    Same reason a Lexus costs more than a Toyota, or Escalade more than an Avalanche.

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    I mean pager vs. radio. I understand motorola costs more overall, just seems like another company would make pagers just like the minitors, just different enough to avoid patents.

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