Supplier Selection and Quotation

Bid Requirements

One of the primary responsibilities of Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services is to protect the university from potential price abuse by third parties. This responsibility is in no way proprietary in nature and must be shared by all Cost Center Approvers.

Competitive quotations or bids must be solicited in accordance with the guidelines listed below. In the event that the requisitioning department has obtained quotations, this information must accompany the requisition. All documented quotes must be dated and signed by a duly authorized agent of the company. Three original quotations must be submitted for purchases exceeding $25,000. 

Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services evaluates all quotations submitted and determines how to proceed. While cost is one of many variables considered when reviewing bid information, a brief justification should be included in the bid summary when the low bidder is not preferred.

Competitive quotations will be secured in accordance with the following guidelines:

 

$5,000
-
$15,000
Purchasing, Administrative and 
Campus Services 
recommends 
at least 
two written 
quotations.

 

 

$15,000
-
$25,000
Purchasing, Administrative and 
Campus Services 
must aquire 
at least 
two written 
quotations.

 

 

$25,000
and
above
Purchasing, Administrative and 
Campus Services 
must aquire 
at least 
three written 
quotations.

 

The requisitioning department is not to use multiple requisitions to circumvent the bidding process. Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services must be contacted well in advance of planning for any purchase $25,000 or higher.  As such, Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services will initiate and manage related bid processes as deemed necessary.  Additionally, cumulative expeditures with any vendor that exceed $25,000 will be reviewed by Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services, and competitive bid processes will be conducted accordingly.

Whenever possible a categorical approach to the quoting process will be pursued by Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services in an attempt to effect resource efficiencies and greater dollar savings inherent in volume purchasing. Individual departmental needs will be consolidated, when possible, to establish an institutional consumption level for specific categories of goods or services. Bidding will be conducted utilizing this identified campus volume.  Ultimately, Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services is vested with the control authority over the bidding process.

Exceptions to the Bidding Policy:

One of the primary responsibilities of Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services is to protect the university from potential price abuse by third parties.  Original competitive bids are solicited in accordance with Bentley’s policy and must accompany requisitions submitted.  Random audits are conducted to check for compliance with such policy and procedure.  These audits ensure that multiple requisitions are not submitted to circumvent the bidding process, that documented quotes are dated and signed by an authorized agent of the company, and that in the event that bidding policy cannot be met that proper justification has been submitted prior to the expenditure of Bentley funds.

A written justification memorandum from the respective Vice President is necessary when bidding requirements are not met for purchases between $25,000 and $100,000.  Additional authorization from the Vice President of Business and Finance, Treasurer is required for purchases in excess of $100,000.  Such authorized justification is also required for “sole source” purchases within the same cost parameters.

Justification documentation is often written by the respective Director/Manager most involved in the purchase, and subsequently approved by the respective Vice President. This memorandum must thoroughly explain all circumstances surrounding the requested purchase of goods and/or services, and must accompany the respective Purchase Requisition when submitted to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services, and must subsequently be approved by the Director of Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.  A Purchase Order will not be issued until the written justification is submitted to, and approved by, the Director of Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.

A written justification is intended to document “exceptional circumstances;” it is not intended to be a normal approach to Bentley purchasing.

Reasons for Written Justification:

Bid Requirements Not Met:

When bid requirements have not been met, this document serves as an explanation of circumstances surrounding the purchase and will remain on file for future reference.  Authorized justification must accompany the respective Purchase Requisition when submitted to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services, for subsequent approval by the Director of Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.

Examples of situations when written justification for not meeting bid requirements may be approved include the existence of emergency circumstances that do not permit the necessary time to conduct competitive bidding. As such, the requisitioner should provide the date requirement and the impact on the project if the goods or service are not received on time.   Similar products or services may exist, but the vendor/brand for reasons of expertise, standardization, quality, compatibility with existing equipment, specifications, or availability is the only source that is acceptable to Bentley.  Written justification should expound on which criteria the proposed source meets and why.

Sole Source:

When a required product/service can only be purchased from a single source, this document identifies the situation making it impossible to obtain competitive bids.  Justification documentation explaining the “sole source” nature of the purchase must accompany the respective Purchase Requisition upon submission for Purchase Order processing.  Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services has final responsibility in determining whether a purchase is proprietary and may be purchased from a sole source.

Sole source justification typically relates to those purchases that are proprietary in nature, as is the case with many software license agreements, software upgrades and some maintenance contracts.

Low Bidder Not Preferred:

While cost is one of the many variables considered when reviewing bid information, justification should be included in the bid summary when the low bidder is not preferred. 

 

Quick Reference: Bidding Guidelines and Approval Policies

 

Sole Source

A Sole Source purchase is one wherein an item that is needed can only be purchased from a single source, a situation making it impossible to obtain competitive bids.

When bidding requirements are not met due to the 'sole source' nature of a purchase, Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services requires documentation from the requisitioning department and approval of the respective Vice President to explain the 'sole source' nature of the purchase. Final responsibility rests with Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services in determining whether a purchase is proprietary and may be purchased from a sole source.

 

Interviewing Sales Representatives

Bentley personnel desiring to contact sales representatives should contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services for assistance when needed.

Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services maintains contact with account representatives representing viable sources for equipment and services.

 

Supplier Qualifications

The performance of vendors conducting business with the university for the first time is carefully evaluated. In addition, references are checked and formal interviews conducted, when necessary, to assure quality.

 

Selection Of Vendors

Vendors are selected for their ability to serve the needs of the university in the most economical and efficient manner possible. Past performance and cooperation are important factors. 

Vendors must comply with all laws, regulations and directives as issued including, but not restricted to, applicable non-discrimination and affirmative action regulations.

 

Supplier Lists

Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services will maintain a database of all persons and firms who wish to bid on university purchases. Invitations to bid will be solicited from those vendors whom Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services determines will stimulate viable competitive bidding.

 

Supply Source

Requisitioning departments are encouraged to suggest sources of supply for items for products and services. Authority for the final selection of the vendor shall be left to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services. This decision will be made with consideration for the overall needs of the university, and incorporating the defined requirements of the requesting office.

 

Minority Suppliers

Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services maintains an active list of qualified minority- and women-owned companies with whom the college can do business. The authorized buyers are committed to the principles of affirmative action and encourage utilization of minority-owned enterprises whenever viable.

Demonstration Of Sample Material

Bentley employees wishing to see samples or have equipment demonstrated should contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services for assistance.

Bentley personnel who find the need to contact sales representatives directly are reminded to advise the prospective vendor that a Purchase Order will be issued by Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services should a procurement decision be made.

Vendors are to provide their own insurance coverage for any material or equipment left at the university.

 

Sales And Service Agreements

It is in the best interest of the university to refrain from signing vendor sales agreements. Our terms and conditions governing a purchase may be found on the Purchase Order or in an enclosure.

If a vendor requires its document to be signed, or if it is determined by the specifics involved that it is in the best interest of the university, an authorized Purchasing Agent will sign for the university only after a properly executed  purchase requisition is received. A copy of the agreement will be retained in Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.