Session 4: Formal Solicitations


Good morning, everyone. I need a little more feedback than that. Good morning, everyone. Good morning. Good morning. Hi. So good morning again. My name is Jonathan. This is me. I paid a lot of money for that picture, by the way. So my background is I was in public procurement at Fort Worth Independent School District for 17 years. Prior to that, I did 20 years in the United States Air Force in logistics and contracting, I was very blessed to retire about two years ago, and so now I only do what my wife wants. So I don't know if any of you have been in school business, but there's an organization called TASBO. If you haven't heard of TASBO, it is the association that trains all of the business office people in school districts, so payroll, accounting, transportation, operations, maintenance, all of that business stuff that goes on in schools, that's what that association does. I was very fortunate. I was the president of that organization. There are about 9,000 members strong, and I was also on their board and their commitment to excellence award winner in 22.

I say all that to make you listen to me, that means I may know what I'm talking about, but you'll be the judge of that. So here's what we're going to talk about today. We're going to talk about the difference between formal and informal procurement because our side is going to lean to the formal side, but there's also an informal side that you may get engaged with. You need to know the difference because the rules change. We're also going to talk about some processes that all suppliers should be familiar with, and also the importance of being registered with the organization that you're seeking to do business with, and also talk about commodity codes. That might not be a term that's familiar to you, but in the public arena, it's very important, and we'll talk about why it's important, and then we'll talk about the different types of formal procurements, we have our own language, we'll use words like RFPs and CSPs and RFQs and bids and quotes and they all mean something different to us but on your side it may seem like we're just you know trying to confuse you but today you'll have a good understanding of what the differences are. And two types of awards, so normally when contracts award sometimes it's single awards and then there's multiple awards where they put you in a pool.

We'll talk about those two and why they're important to you and then we'll take kind of a field trip on this formal solicitation. Dallas College was nice enough to let me review one of the RFPs that they did and so I went through the whole document and it made some highlights so you'll get to see one. I think it's somewhat intimidating if you haven't gone through this process it can be a little unnerving because there's a lot of language you may not be familiar with but we're gonna look at one today so it'll help you not feel so intimidated when you have to do it on your own. And then lastly we'll touch about the standard evaluation criteria from the state Texas Education Code 4431B And so that's what we're going to talk about, so we kind of got to move because we got a lot to cover. So informal and formal, you know. Now, in public procurement, particularly in the education industry, there's this term 50,000 in the aggregate, meaning if we spin over that threshold, you have to have certain formal procurements. If you're less than that threshold, you don't. And the difference is if you can look at this from the left side to the right side, if you're dealing with smaller procurements, I call that short money. You can do it, but it's short. Just understand how to do a lot of it. But it's an option, but it's not the long money. Normally companies want sustainability. Okay, so that's why we're talking about the formal.

But I want you to understand that if it's a smaller procurement under that threshold, which you will never really know because you don't get the inside working of the college just understand if they're talking about price quotes they may be talking about informal. If you're notified and someone asks you for a quote they're probably talking about informal. It's normally going to require quotes from multiple suppliers you probably heard of people saying I need three quotes. When they're talking about three quotes, they're on the informal side. Okay. And it's normally for those limited purchases, those one offs. It's not the big dollar ticket things. And it normally doesn't require that the purchase go to the board. Now on the formal side, that means it's got to be advertised to everybody. Everybody has to know about everything. So it's going to be advertising a newspaper and at Dallas College they use the Dallas commercial record. So I don't know if you're familiar with that but that's required by state statute and therefore that's the formal process.

Now most public entities like Dallas College also have an electronic notification system in addition to putting it in the newspaper. So that's we're talking about being registered. And it's for your dollars you know your dollar expenditures go up okay and obviously you're going to have some type of predetermined evaluation criteria that's going to be listed in the actual solicitation this tell you how they're going to score it. What I normally encourage people to do is read that solicitation early read that evaluation criteria and grade yourself. You need to know if it's worth you putting in that time. If you know how the points are going to be divvied up, you can grade yourself. You know what your company does better than the community college, I mean the Dallas college. So, I grade myself to make sure it's going to work for me.

And again, it's for reoccurring long-term needs. Normally, it's going to require a dual signature contract, meaning, you know, it's a twoparty contract and that's a purchase order. and it may have to also go to the board for approval and which means it's going to elongate the time that it takes to award that procurement. So that's formal and informal. So let's talk about some processes that all of you probably have dove in pieces of this. The first piece that I think is super important is you need to register for the entity in which you're seeking to do business. If I'm not mistaken, Dallas College uses Jagger. Is that y'all all familiar with Jagger? But there's a lot of systems out there. Y'all probably heard of Jagger, Bonfire, Ionwave, Bittsink, OpenGov, all of those terms. Those are registration systems that allow public entity to notify you of business opportunities. Now when you're registering that does not make you an approved vendor. Many companies when I was doing this would say hey I registered in your ionwave system I'm open to do business with the Fort Worth ISD and I go no you have identified yourself to be notified of business opportunities only. You haven't won a contract, you haven't won an award, you have just registered to be informed.

Now in that informing you have to identify what commodity codes or what area of industry you work in. That to me is the critical piece. If you do photography for example, and you do not check the box for photography, when the solicitation for photographers hits the street and the emails go out, you won't get one. So if you don't pick the right commodity, you probably won't know what your competitors know. So we'll talk a little more about commodity codes. also this is how you receive your notifications they're going to also have deadlines timelines that you can't meet I will tell you I'm a strong Christian believer I believe in mercy and grace but I will tell you no procurement officer will have mercy or grace if you turn in your proposal late there is no grace period there's no forgiveness it's just you're out so there's deadlines timelines you need to know what's going on. Also very important is it will tell you the deadline for asking questions. Sometimes what we as procurement professionals think is the right terminology and what you and your industry believes is the right terminology is not the right terminology. And so you don't want to miss the opportunity to ask the questions that's pertinent to you making decisions about how you prepare your proposal.

So I think that's a very critical piece when those formal solicitations go out. And then obviously you've got to submit a response. This is critical to formal procurement. There's no way you can be awarded a contract if you don't apply or submit your proposal. Now, these other ones, hopefully this is what happens at the end, you receive some type of award. Now, if you're in a pool, meaning there's qualifying a number of companies for sale on an as-needed basis, then you will find yourself in a pool, there's a whole litany of people that are being awarded. it. it. Now one of the things that's very frustrating is you get an award notice and now you believe that you're gonna get some business, right? Okay did y'all go to sleep on me? Y'all good? Okay y'all having too much fun because y'all faces look like y'all like y'all good? look like y'all like y'all good? Okay I'm a preacher too by the way I need a I'm sorry, this is normally how y'all look right before y'all start thinking about Luby's.

Listen to the morning server, okay, okay. So if you receive an award letter, normally you believe somebody's gonna give you some business. If you're put in a pool, you have to market your services or your products. And many people miss that piece. I've talked to a number of companies and say, hey, I got an award letter and it's been six months and nobody called me. You're on an as needed basis. What I would recommend is get your award letter, put it to good work, let people know you're out there, mark it, let people know you're here. You kind of got to get out the pool so to speak. So that's what I mean by market. If you receive an award and it's not a single award, it's a multiple award, your next step is you need to market your Now, normally what they're going to ask you for is a price quote because if you're in a pool, we don't know exactly what your pricing is. So they're probably going to ask you for a price quote. That is not an invoice. So just understand it's an estimate. Some people call it estimate. So you provide that estimate, which is critical because they use that to create the purchase order. The purchase order, in my opinion, is another critical document because what it, well let me speak for Fort Worth ISD, the purchase order set aside money to pay for your goods or services.

I've had many vendors come to me and say, Mr. Bay, I turned in my invoice and I haven't been paid in 60 days. What's the problem? I say, what's your PO number? L. They said, well, we don't have a P. And I go, I don't want to talk no more, get you to go somewhere, call somebody else. Because what is happening is someone has actually provided goods or services without a purchase order and now accounts payable doesn't know what funds to use to pay that invoice. It creates an internal challenge. It delays the payment process. So that is very, very important. And obviously, once you get your PO, you're going to perform per the PO. Another catch- 22 is if you have a purchase order and it asks you to bring them, let's say you're a caterer and you're supplying food for 50 people and someone called you up and said, oh, by the way, we need, we got 25 more people coming.

Can you change the order from 50 to 75, which now means you got to incur additional costs, right, and you turn in the invoice for 75 people who ate your food and had a good time and then someone says no, your PO says 50. And you say no, 75 people was there and they go no, your contract, your commitment was for 50. If someone changes your PO, that is called a change order. You need a revised PO. That make sense? Yeah. Okay. And obviously once you deliver your goods or services you're going to submit an invoice and you're going to reference that PO number because you want your invoice to go fast. I haven't met any company yet that wants their payment to go slow. One of the way to make it go slow is not have a PO number. Okay. And then obviously most public NTDs are net 30. Some pay by check, some play by electronic funds transfer.

But I wanted you to understand the whole process. So that's that's the reason we walk through that. And so today we're going to talk about these top four. We're not going to get through all of these. But I wanted you to know the whole process. whole process. So if you're registering, this is what the website looks like for Dallas College. Many of y'all probably know what that looks like. You've been there, done that, seen that, right? there, done that, seen that, right? So you're gonna go register and there's a nice statement here that tells you that Dallas College has moved the majority of their e-procurement modules from JAGR to Workday. However, Dallas College is currently using JAGR sourcing module for all events. That means if you're seeking to do business with Dallas College and you're not registered in Jagger, you're not helping yourself. So please go through that process. This is what the screen looks like. If you scroll down, it's going to look like this.

And there's a second registration for Workday. And if I'm not mistaken, Workday is your ERP system. That's your financial system where you actually have a vendor a record with a vendor number and you cut your checks, you cut your P, okay, I was accurate on that. So there's two steps. So you can register in Jagger, that's for business opportunities. So you know what's going on. And the second piece is register in Workday because that's the financial system. And most people say, well, why do you have two systems, right, why do I have to do it twice? The financial system is where they run their organization. Jagger is where they post their solicitations. They're not one and the same. I had the same duality when I was at Fort Worth, so I understand that. And this is how to become a supplier. Again, this is the workday piece, if you can see it right here. That's what the screens are going to look like. So let's talk about commodity code.

So, now you know you got to register, right? You got to go register, you got to select the proper commodity code. I would tell you, in my opinion, I would over-commodify. I would click any commodity that looks remotely like what I do. It, in my opinion, is much better to know more information than less. Because if you've got competitors, which we all do, we need to know what everybody else knows and not be late. So I would recommend that you over commodify because when the solicitation, meaning that RFP, that RFQ, when those things go out on the internal side, when they do the advertising, They also select commodity codes that they think are appropriate for that particular solicitation.

Now, if there's a match, you get an email. If there's not a match, you don't get an email. Now, I would also ask you not try to time the market. Some companies say, well, I'll just check the website. I don't need to register. I'll just check the website and that way I'll know what's going on. That's hard. Let the system do the work. The system's there to help you, so go register, you get the emails, that way you know what's going on. That makes sense. Okay, so we're going to talk about different types of solicitations. You hear terms like RFBs, CSPs, and RFPs, and RFQs. Think about it like this. So if the public entity knows exactly what we're going to buy, let's say, y'all have a warehouse? Y'all do warehouse stock? I'm asking. Okay. I'm sorry. So let's pretend you were at Fort Worth ISD, okay? So we had a warehouse, and so they stocked certain things. Like doing COVID, we had stocks and stocks of PPE. Okay, so we know we need it in 95 mask.

Okay, so we're gonna buy those by the hundreds. We had 70 plus thousand students and another 12,000 teachers and everybody needed a mask. So when we know exactly what we want, We're basically gonna ask multiple suppliers. What's your price? We're gonna tell you exactly what we want It's pretty much a price-based solicitation, so if you hear RFB It's gonna be based primarily on price because I don't need to negotiate with you I know what I want Just give me what I asked for and give it to me at the best price in the right quantity And oh by the way deliver it when you say you're gonna deliver it think about that from the RFB Well, we know what we need and we just need you to be responsible and responsive, meaning turn into bid and do what you say. And awards are based primarily on price. Now if I know what I need, but I also need some room to negotiate, to talk about some finer points, then I'm probably going to move to what we call a CSP. That's a competitive sale proposal.

That means it's very competitive, but I need you to send me a proposal. Propose what you want to offer me. I've got a good idea what I want, but I'm not 100% sure what the industry has to bear. Sometimes we find that your industry leaders, like you in this room, know what you do better than we do as a public entity. So we want a price component, but we need to be able to talk about it. So that's the difference here. So Dallas College actually uses this method primarily for construction. So my GC's in the room. Now Jeanette just told us this morning they're probably going to use co-ops. Okay, okay, okay. So I'm going to interpret what she just said in my own language. What she just said is, if it's a small project, they may use a co-op. If it's a large project, they're gonna go through a CSP. Okay, so for your GCs, construction folks in the room, that's your cut line, it's two mil.

Which, I don't know about where y'all live here, but two mil is a lot of money to me. Okay, so either way, I want you to understand CSP, so if you see that language, you understand the nature of it. The third one we're going to talk about is request for a proposal. You notice that competitive COPs is not there. That means we're not sure what we want, but we need you to propose something. That means we have a good idea of what we need, but we really want to hear from you as an industry leader, as an expert, a subject matter expert in your field of how you would go about providing us whatever it is we think we need and there's a lot of education in this solicitation this way because our job is to educate students that's what we do not necessarily build buildings or technology or transportation That's not that's not our forte. We know we need transportation, but we don't know all the nuances of everything that goes into moving things from one place to another.

Therefore, you're going to write a proposal. You're going to submit your ideas how you would go about it and help educate us on that process. So that's primarily the difference. What you're also going to see here is some weighted criteria. you. That's where I was telling you you can grade yourself before you submit your proposal. You can see exactly where what's most important based on the values. And then the last one that we're going to talk about today is request for qualifications. Now this solicitation method is primarily used for your professional services. Now that's going to be your architects, your engineers, doctors, optometrists, your CPAs, normally folks that's licensed by the state, that's going to be a qualification-based solicitation, meaning I need to see your demonstrated competence, your experience, how many years you've been doing this, some references that prove that you know what you're doing and that you're good because we're trying to qualify who's the best and then we're going to try to negotiate the cost. So those are the four types of formal solicitations. Hope that made sense to y'all.

What I want to talk about now is the two primary award types. Obviously the single means it's probably going to be one company that wins that award or a limited number. In some scenarios I do some work with Dallas ISD, for example, due to their size there's normally not one company that can handle the whole school dish. It's just too big, so they may end up cutting their district into quadrants. They might have north, south, east, and west, and they may have, you know, somebody to handle that quarter and so forth, so it's still somewhat singular, but means it's not, everybody's not going to win. That's the idea. When we talk about single or limited, it's highly competitive. That normally means there's going to be more people that lose than win. That's just the nature of that competition. nature of that competition. Specific pricing, meaning we need to know exactly how much it costs, okay? costs, okay? There's also going to be a very detailed evaluation criteria.

It's probably going to have a limited contract term means you're going to do this particular thing over the next 18 months and we need once you're done it's done. We move to the next one. Normally there's some formal contract meaning dual signature not just a PO and you're approved for that particular project or those goods or whatever we're procuring it's not it's not the pool of people it's one particular company or less or I mean multiple companies that are very limited and your pricing is going to be put in the bid or proposal or there might be some final negotiated costs let's try it so let's say there's a brand new PA system going into one of campuses. That's a pretty sizable project. What we don't need is three people in there trying to put in that PA system. Okay, because that normally guaranteed that it doesn't, it doesn't work when we get done.

So we need one person wire it, put in new speakers, it's probably digital now, it's everything's digital now, but you could see that that's going to be a sizable project and we need someone committed who's also probably going to help us maintain that system so think about it like that or if I'm buying say warehouse stock if I'm buying you know 7,000 in 95 mass I'm gonna hopefully buy it from one supplier I may need two depends on how many quantity how much quantity have on hand and that's it probably going to be based on price. Now on a multiple awards I want to talk about this too because there's some time we do what we call a pre-need solicitation. The example I would use is catering and I didn't notice any caterers in the room unless somebody came in while we were talking or promotional item like t-shirts and I see many of you have on shirts that have your logo. your logo.

If you're in that field, think about a pool, meaning we know we're going to need catering events, we know we're going to need t-shirts and all those cool things that we need to have our name on our back or on our front. We in the education procurement type public environment normally like to do those things up front, so when someone says we're going to have foreign ISDs, we would do tons of field trips. The worst thing you can do on a field trip is bring a bus back and don't have the right amount of kids on it. Okay. That's the words. So guess what? Every time we have a field trip, we want shirts. We want a particular color so we can spot that student who got out of line, who wanted to go see the elephant, and we weren't looking at elephants. Okay. We need to spot them long way off. So the challenge was when the field trip is time to have a field trip, the principal come and say, we're going to a field trip next week. I need 70 shirts. I do not have time to do a formal procurement at that point to write. Now, think about this. What size is sir? What size shirts you want? What color of blue do you want? Where do you want the mascot? Where do you want the logo? You know, all of those details, it's too much.

So what we would do is we would put out a solicitation, a RFP, and bring in a lot of folks that do t-shirts and put them in a pool or on a list of awarded vendors, and then when the principal calls and says, hey, we're having a field trip next week, I'm going to say, here's a list of 30 folks that do t-shirts. They've already gone through all of these processes. Well, which company do I call? I don't really care. let's don't go off my list okay just stay on my list now what happens is 60 days from now someone on that list calls up and say hey I've been on the list and nobody's called me I thought I was an approved vendor why why is no one calling me that's the marketing opportunity that I was talking about earlier if you're on list, talk to the principals, call the schools, talk to the PTA, go by with a sample shirt. One of the coolest thing you can do is meet a principal, give them a free shirt with your company name on the sleeve and their school mascot, and then when there's a field trip, guess what they're thinking? guess what they're thinking? I like my shirt.

I know it's high quality, you know. So what I'm award, take advantage of that. If no one's calling you, generate your own demand. Let people know you're out there. So these are longer term contracts. There's more of a generic evaluation, many longer term. I would normally write those things for two or three years because it just takes it off my to-do list. People say, well, I want to be on there next time. That's great. go register. Normally approved for multiple end-users, meaning anyone within the system can use those 30 companies and you give them a price quote, we send you a PO, you go do your thing. you a PO, you go do your thing. So let me take a pause, did that make sense? did that make sense? Yes? Okay so I'm gonna shift gears a little bit if you don't mind. What we're gonna to talk about right now is the actual formal procurement process that's tailored to Dallas College.

So I broke it up into four steps that we're going to go through. We're going to walk through each of those steps. So I want you to make sure you pay attention to this because this information is unique to this entity here. So I want to kind of do in the form of an overview first so kind of take the big picture so you can get the overarching idea behind the steps and then we'll take a deep dive into the actual solicitation itself and pull it apart. itself and pull it apart. Y'all know where I'm going? going? Y'all good? Okay so the first step is obviously you need to access that open business opportunity. Remember that's that registration piece we talked about you're going to receive an email it's going to tell you that Dallas College has is advertising I don't know make up something say what okay so they're putting out a solicitation for office supplies so if you are an office supply company and you've registered and you've identified that commodity they're going to match up that commodity it's going to hit their website the emails are going to blast out you don't have to go looking for the opportunity, opportunities go looking for you. So that's what that registrations piece all about.

Now, if you wanna do it the old school way, there is a link on the Dallas College Procurement Department webpage entitled, request information about open bids. You can go old school if you want, I wouldn't advise it. But that's step one, get registered, over commodify, make sure you know what's going on. You don't wanna be late. The second piece is there's a document called an event information document. That's the second step. You got notified, you found an opportunity that you're interested in, go find this document. It's a basic document, it's not very long, but it's the appetizer before the main course. It's not the actual document itself, but it gives you a good understanding of what they're looking for, what's the title, when it's going to open, when it's going to close, so you know the gist of what's going on, and you find out if that's something you're interested in.

If that's not something that you're wanting to do, then don't go to the long part. You know up front, that's not for me, or oh, by the way, we need to jump on that. So, it contains some key dates like when's the due date for the proposal, other critical information we're going to look at. There's some major sections called a buyer attachments and instructions. Those are the two critical pieces because the actual formal solicitation and addendums are contained in this event document under the buyer attachments. We'll look at it, but I want you to get the steps in your head. Now step three is actually looking at the actual solicitation itself and also stand up to speed on any addendums. Addendums basically means they're changing something. And so you don't want to be less knowledgeable than someone else. So you also have to track addendums when the addendums come out. there's information or additional information I need to know about it to make sure that I'm as competitive as I possibly can be.

So you're gonna see things such as the contact term meaning is it a one-year deal, two-year deal, four-year deal, six-year deal, you need to know that. It's got estimated budget. That's critical. That's critical. Oh yeah, cuz that's what you want, right? You want the budget coming into your check, right? So, type of award. Is it single? Is it multiple? Am I going in a pool or am I probably going to be one or limited competitors? or limited competitors? It's going to also identify some minimum requirements. I call that the go-no-go. If I can't meet all these minimum requirements, I'm probably not going to be awarded. I mean, you need to know that. It's also going to have the specifications, meaning in the details of what we're buying.

Also, for services, there are going to be a scope of work to tell you exactly what I'm looking for. There's going to be how to turn in the pricing, terms and conditions. Also, there's another thing here called related documents and submittal forms. And lastly, make sure you stay up to speed on the addendum. That's step three. Step four is you actually complete these related documents. There's some additional paperwork. I'm going to take a pause here for just a second. How many of you do not like paperwork? Okay. You're in the wrong training. That train is the other, that's the training that's next week. I will, I'm just going to tell you right now, if you're dealing with formal procurement and you don't like paperwork, it's going to be hard. How many of you are good at paperwork? That's your thing. If some of y'all like paperwork, then you're going to regret, okay? So for you that don't like paperwork, don't like paperwork, man, okay, this super valuable piece of information for you. If you don't like paperwork, I'm going to give you a homework assignment. What I would do if you don't like paperwork is I would go to the Dallas College site, look up a previous solicitation download it and study it because now you're going to see the insurance requirement you're going to see all the forms so guess what you're getting a game plan so when the solicitation come out the new one you're you're so much more smarter on the process y'all follow what I'm saying this is what I had to do prepping for this training was I had to read all their document and it was a lot. It's a lot. I don't want you to walk out of here and think, oh, it's just all online. I just click, click, click, you know, and that's do this right here. And then I, yeah, yeah, I'm done. You know, you're not going to be done in an hour.

I'm telling you right now, you probably need to set aside a week. I know. Could you, it's a lot. Now, once you get through one it's gonna be easy but if this is your first time and it's a foreign process to you just understand I would do some serious homework get all of my paperwork together and be ready so when the solicitation hits the street you get that email you're ready to go you got all of your stuff in the right folders on your desktop. Yeah, y'all know what I'm talking about. Okay. So, it's a lot of information. So, there's some general requirements, contracting information. There's a information security requirements document. There's a sample contract agreement. And there's some submittal forms. Okay. So, if you're doing this old school, I gave you a homework assignment. You say, well, how do I do my homework? This is how you do the homework. Go to their website. Look for this section right here called Advertise Bids and Proposals. Go to that site. It's going to look like this. You scroll down and this little gem right here is what you're looking for. This one. Now for all of you to have your phone out and trying to get the PowerPoint presentation, it will be, I will go ask, it can be provided to them. I'm assuming.

I will be providing it to everyone. I'll send it to your email and in about, probably by the end of the year, all of these will be on our website also. Yeah, so I'm sorry, I should have picked that up, what, five slides ago. Okay. So if you're doing your homework assignment, you go to this piece here, it's going to bring you to a page that looks like this. I will tell you they have a very nice simplistic website. It's not hard to navigate. So this site is where you find your business opportunities. Obviously there's going to be a section here for what's open for bid, what's upcoming, what's closed, what's awarded. You can search any of these, close and awarded, and get to see one and actually get very familiar with the process before it's time to do one. So we're going to talk about that basic information. This is that event information. I will talk about the appetizer document.

These are the different sections that you're going to see. Here's the basic information. There's a description, any prerequisites, the buyer attachments, questions and instructions and the product service lines. The three that are bolded are the critical ones. So we're going to show you what they look like. So this is that basic information I was telling you not I plagiarized this right off of one of the close solicitation. So it looks just like that. Okay. That's exactly what it looks like. I just print screen it and put some boxes around it. Now some critical pieces is this closed date. critical pieces is this closed date. So you can see right here that this particular solicitation for commencement photography services hit the street. We call it hit the street, meaning it was open to the public on the 23rd of January. So how much time do you have to get all of this done? this done? Pretty much a month. You got a month. It's going to go pretty fast because you don't get free months y'all have much y'all had nothing to do okay you maybe get a couple of hours when you don't have anything to do where you definitely don't get a month just understand that this particular solicitation tells you it's a request for proposal you already know the difference between RFB CSP so forth this will means they're asking you to tell you how you do it. They're not trying to dictate it. They're asking you, tell me how you're going to do this. Critical piece, Gabrielle, is your contact. your contact. I will warn you, if you're asking questions about the solicitations, who should you talk to? Who? Gabrielle, right? who else can you talk to? who else can you talk to? Somebody said you. I wasn't expecting that response.

I mean at Dallas College, okay. The reason I say that is your point of contact is Gabrielle Johnson. Do not, I'm asking you professionally, do not go to the Dallas college website get the org chart and start calling people and trying to do your due diligence and your homework and I'm you know it's who you know not you know that's how you don't win this contract because now your game in the system follow the rules so I've got a very good for I'll tell you sorry very good friend of mine retired superintendent we work together when and we're in school business, now that I'm doing procurement on my own, he's working with a company, calls me up, and he said, hey, we'll submit this proposal. He's a former superintendent, so he knows people. So what he's gonna do, he's gonna call people. He said, is it okay for me to call people and get the inside scoop? I said, no. You mean I can't call people and get the inside scoop? No. So what should I do? Call the point of contact that's on the solicitation.

If they find out that you're calling around, they will disqualify you so fast that you won't even remember your middle initial. I'm just saying, play by the rules, okay? And then, here's the commodities that, you see these codes. If you're a photographer and you didn't select 970 or 906.75 you never got notified okay so here's the instructions this piece in the middle is very important when you read through all of this paperwork and you find something that you don't agree with you have to say something in the form we call them deviations I think what you're gonna call them deviations Right. You have to identify deviations early because once you sign the document, you can't now say, oh, I want to deviate.

I don't agree with that. Well, you already signed it. So this piece is telling you if you take exception to anything in the terms or conditions or the specifications, they must be listed below as well on an exception form, supplement your list if required, if no exceptions are taken, write none in the blank. So if you read through the document, you got some challenges with something, just talk about it early, let it be known. I had one, I didn't agree with the insurance requirement. And so I, you know, I just put a note in there and said, look, we're doing temp services, I don't know why in the world I'm carrying car insurance. They say, well, you have an accident on the way to the site. That ain't going to be your problem. You can't sue school districts anyway. So you know, the insurance was a high requirement, and I just took exception to it. We negotiated it out and fixed it. So don't think you don't have a voice, because sometimes we get intimidated, but just talk. But let people know what the exceptions are, please. So in the buyer attachments this is the critical piece.

This piece here is going to open the actual solicitation document and it's going to look something like that. So that's the first page. So what we get ready to do is we're going to actually walk through one. So if y'all don't mind I'm going to switch gears on just a second. just a second. Give me a second. Y'all doing okay? okay? Y'all need a break? No? Okay. I can't actually see the screen, so I'm assuming y'all can. It looks good, so I'm gonna stand over here, but okay. I can't see what y'all see, so if y'all don't see something to look right say something okay okay yeah that could work we're gonna tag team all right thank you yeah normally don't get help okay y'all good so this is kind of the homework thing that I was telling y'all to do we're kind of going to do that all right So, this solicitation is an RFP, right? Y'all know what RFP is on now, right? Right? So, if you're a photographer, you would be really on top of this. It's got your deadline right there, February the 20th.

That means if you're still working it on the 21st, you're not going to be taking pictures at this particular event. All right, keep going, please. Now, celebrate that. So, on this one page, they're telling you that you must register with Jagger. Also, it gives you a link to the business opportunity site, so those pieces are reinforced. You already know that because you've already registered, so you're going to scroll on past that page, right? All right, this is your table of contents, obviously. This is the layout. If you're looking for something in particular, for example, if you're looking for how is it going to be evaluated, okay? You might just want to run quickly over to page 10 to see the scoring. How is it going to be graded? Is it worth my time? If you're like me, I don't have time to waste. So I need to make sure that I'm only putting my effort to things that is likely that I'm going to be competitive. If I'm not going to be competitive, I know I can't win, I'm not going to spend my time putting that in. Now, if y'all want to, go ahead. I didn't mean you can. I didn't mean to tell you not to. Let's keep going. That's a repeat of the key dates. So, you see how many times they tell you about February 20th? Keep going.

I want to get into some of this meat. Okay. This is your background. This tells you. Now, just to understand, this is 23 pages for you to don't like paperwork. it's 23 pages. It is 23 pages. How many pages? Yeah okay so if you don't like paper you like me it's like man couldn't they shorten this a little bit? Okay this is your background information tell you about Dallas College. One is going to give you the size and scope of these operations. There's seven campus other facilities in Dallas County. Go to state. See that statement purpose right here? We're looking for the best services that the most favorable competitive prices give all qualified business, including your small minority businesses, an opportunity to compete for this work. That's important. How many of y'all are minority certified? Yes. Okay, good, good. I thought you would be in the room. Let's go to the contract term. This is telling you that this is a two-year contract and it has two optional additional years for a grand total of four years.

So if you're a photographer, you potentially get a four-year contract, they cover sevens campuses right off the bat. So that's, and I'm just picking out key information, I can't read you the whole thing. And again, is Gabrielle at your official contact with this particular solicitation? You can keep going. Here's, go to 5.2. Yeah, at the top. You see that statement, unauthorized contact. That's what I was mentioning. That's a good way to get disqualified. And look at this, any oral communication over considered artificial non-binding. So even if we talk to somebody, it doesn't mean anything. so you want to go through the official channels go to 5.7 this is the piece that talks about addendums now if you're registered and you got the initial email you're in great shape because that means if there are addendums. Y'all didn't hear nothing I said I need to repeat everything Okay. All right. All right. Thank you. Let's go to number seven. That's your proposal deadline. At no later than, there's 1. also an 8.

You talked about the schedule of events. Your questions regarding this RFP and its scope may be submitted in writing during the question and answer period. The deadline for questions or detail in the schedule of events. Normally, when you read this solicitation for the first time, you're going to have questions. You're going to probably have to move down to the question deadline to make sure you get your questions submitted in time. I will tell you that's a critical piece for you because if you're trying to develop a strategy to win this particular award, there's questions that you may have that someone else might benefit from but you want that question stated the way you want it answered. You follow me? Now everybody's probably going to see the addendum because all the answers are going to come out an addendum. Everybody's going to benefit from that but you get the benefit of having the question submitted the way you want it.

If you miss it it's not the end of the world because the addendum is still going to get posted. You can still read what everybody asks, but I like my questions asked from my perspective, not someone else's. Okay, please, accessibility. Some of these, these two were hard. I had no idea what these two are. So some of the things that you read in this solicitation may be completely foreign to you. That you might have to go Google some of this. I have no idea what the web content accessibility guidelines are. Now some of the technology folks in the room may. I didn't. I was not familiar with Texas RAMP which is the Risk and Authorization Management Program. If there's things that you're not familiar with, you're going to have to research it. I will put a plug in like this too. Sometimes when you read these things you're going to feel like you need to go hire an attorney.

It's just gonna feel that way. In my opinion, my opinion only, there's nothing in here that you can't figure out yourself. It just may be different, may be new, might be foreign to you, but I'd never seen anything in my solicitation that I wrote that warranted hiring an attorney. It's, if you want to, I'm not saying you can't I'm just telling you can get through it. You just probably had to take your time Okay, let's go Yeah, that's what I want to see So let's look at this this timeline the schedule of events So the first event happened on the 23rd of January, right? How many days you get to submit your questions? You get about a week That they're moving fast your mark runs out really quick So the importance of, so this thing is going to be advertised in the newspaper on the 23rd and on the 30th. The email is going to go out on the 23rd.

That's why you need to be registered because you only get about a week to even submit your questions. So if you're not learning about it until the 30th, you probably won't get to answer your questions. I mean, it's going to take you a little bit even get it figured out what your question should be. Now they have promised that they're going to respond to those questions pretty much on a quick turn so on February the 3rd there's probably going to be an addendum that's going to list all of the questions and all of the formal answers. You definitely need to see you so if I was you I'm looking for February 3rd because even if I didn't submit my questions, I get to see everybody else's questions. Gonna tell you one thing. You learn a lot reading other people's questions, like, oh, I didn't think of that. Y'all follow me? And some people say, well, why do y'all tell everybody's other, you know, why don't you just give me, give me my, I don't want people seeing my answer to my question.

I want my question because you try to get a competitive edge. Now, from the public procurement side, we're trying to keep a level playing field we need everybody to know everything that everybody else knows so just understand that's the premise behind that now february 20th is the proposal deadline you got to meet that that's the no grace period and then contract effective date is going to be in march so those are the critical dates that i would be following just put block them on your calendar so you know what's going on and track the solicitation because at the end of the day you want to win we're not we're not in this to lose we're in this to win so please let's keep going all right so this tells you that there's no best and final offer meaning the prices that you submit you don't get to submit them again. Now in the construction industry we used a lot of best and finals.

I don't know if y'all familiar with some GCs in the room. Y'all probably see knows we call them baffles. They're saying they're not doing that. So put your best foot forward up front. There's not another chance to come back and talk about the pricing. They reserved the right to further clarify negotiate with the best evaluated proposal subsequent to the WART recommendation, but prior to the contract, if deemed necessary by the college. So what they're saying is, once they evaluate if they're the number one supplier, they may negotiate with that supplier, but not everybody else. And it's only if the college feels that it's necessary. Okay. This is critical, too. They're telling you that this consists of a separate technical proposal and a separate cost proposal, meaning you've got two things to turn in and they can't be merged. They need to be separate. So you've got a technical proposal you're going to upload and your cost proposal is going to be separate. You're going to have to follow their instructions because if you merge them all together, it's probably going to be disqualified. and this is the online bidding piece with Jagger again and if you have challenges with the software this is how you get help using Jagger and again you can only submit your RFP electronically and now they start talking about the technical proposal now you see this big yellow box here all caps means that your cost and your pricing information shall be included. No cost or pricing information shall be included technical proposal.

This includes references to items that are included as free or at no additional cost, etc. or at no additional cost, etc. Inclusion of cost or pricing information in the technical proposal may make your proposal non-responsive and the college may reject it at its discretion. So if you don't follow the rules, it's not going to be good. All right. Yes. Yes. Okay. It wouldn't be good. Yeah. I would follow the rules. Yeah. I would separate them. Yeah. That's a hard question to answer because what we're talking about now is your brit your business strategy and how would I put this so my wife runs an accounting practice and we do bids too and what you don't want to do in my opinion is have your profit margin so low that you win the contract but don't make no money I'm just telling you because we've done that okay we came here bare bones, and every time my wife was working on, she's like, dang, I ain't gettin' no money.

You know, cause you gonna put out the same amount of work, whether you're making it at the rate you really want, or the rate you really don't want, you're gonna put out the same amount of work. So I, that's just my opinion. I've seen strategists where they lowball it. I was also, people do price creep. I mean price creep mean I come in low and as soon as I get the contract I say I can't do it at that price. I need to bump that up by 30 percent. I mean it's a strategy doesn't always win but just so I hope I answer it. Okay so a change order the answer question no that's not a change order that's called price creep. That means I knew what my real price was, but I lowered it to win, but now I want to get it back to where I really want it. And so now I need to do a change order. If I'm doing a change order before I even execute the contract, my auditor is going to eat me alive because it looks suspicious. so anyway I am not officially giving y'all business advice okay yes sir I'm sorry I agree with that I as an evaluator I much rather know exactly how you arrived at your costs versus having to guess remember you're competing with other companies. So if someone else spells it out and I can understand it and I can't highly understand yours, which one I like the most? most? The one I can understand.

So I hope this is helping, but as my daughter, my younger daughter is a school attorney, she will tell me that always when you're talking to people say you're not giving formal business advice. So, I don't run your company as I always say, Mr. Basie, okay, I'll forget my place. So, let's go to the cost proposal. Go up to number eight. You sure it could seem like I've been talking. Are you bored? Is it being helpful? Y'all good? Okay, okay. Do y'all need a break? Some of y'all need a break. Y'all good for it? Okay. All right. So, we're going to look a little bit at this call for poll. Remember, this is a two-part RFP. The cost proposal must record, excuse me, on the exact duplicate of the RFP call for polls evaluation guide. So, they're telling you how to submit your pricing. pricing. So use the form that they provide for you, okay? you, okay? Don't make your own, don't get cute, don't go to PowerPoint and Excel and make some fancy little thing that you really thought was nice. Follow the instructions as closely as possible. So each proposal shall only record, the proposal calls exactly as required in this particular guide, and they're telling you that they're looking for your total contract period total.

That's what they're looking for. And we're going to look at this in just a little bit. Now, if you fail to submit a cost proposal as required, Dallas College may determine the proposal to be non-responsive and rejected. So they're warning you, follow the rules. Okay, I'm good. Now, this is the piece I was hoping you would see. This is telling you how it's going to be scored right up front. So they're going to look for your qualification. Now, if you're a photographer, you should carry some type of qualification, some expertise, some experience levels. So that's going to fit right in here to your qualifications and experience. If you're, let's see, some of y'all like GCs, you've got lots of things that you've already done. That experience is very, very helpful. If there's a competitor that's never built a new school versus someone that's built for new schools, that's gonna weigh heavily in how we figure out these 400 points. That makes sense? Yes, that's a good question.

The question she's asking, y'all know what Capability Statements is, it's like a resume for your business you could use that I would be as detailed as possible I have a capability statements a one-pager if I'm competing for to be the photographer at all the graduations for Dallas College you're gonna get everything I got because that's a lot so I wouldn't be brief capability statements in my opinions are kind of summative, big picture, short and sweet. Here you're you're you're competing for real money. I would I would go hard. I wouldn't I wouldn't leave I wouldn't leave anything out if I was you. Yes sir. Okay the question on the floor is I'm a new business I'm assuming. I'm a new business I have no real experience. I've got qualifications.

So let me let me let Let me give you a real-life scenario. So my wife is a CPA, state of Texas, done this for 25 years, has credentials, yada, yada, yada. But as far as the business, she's only been in business two years. She's got the qualification side, but the experience side looks a little lacking. Now, me being a procurement guy, I said, look, how about you pick up some nonprofits? Pick up a couple of non-profits, do their books for free. Free? Y'all know how that conversation go. We in business. We ain't got no volunteer operation. But if you're going to gain experience, you've got to get some experience. You can't get experience without having experience. So we did a non-profit, startup non-profit. They've been in business for two years. They had their first annual conference a year ago, had 160 attendees got their book straight they're applying for grants got grants now they're over 400 people at the area event that's a reference for us how much have they paid us zero that helps us fill in some of these blanks so i don't know what work you do but i'm just saying there are strategies to kind of get the resume where you need it to be and i'm not saying you have to do that I'm just giving that as an example. So the technical proposal piece is 200 points. So you see where the real weight is. That's where your weight, your weight is coming from your qualification experience. The technical proposal is important but not as weighty. So they're looking for the most qualified person.

What I can guarantee you what they don't want is to be at the commencement ceremony. And the photographer don't have no camera. okay so they're looking for someone that's tried and true know what they're doing they do not want to look like a bunch of idiots out there say we had the ceremony well I ain't get no photo and then come over to oh I had the lens cap on when I was taking pick okay y'all get the idea okay I know that's comical but there's a lot of risk on the college side you mess up that graduation yeah You get not to work at Dallas College anymore. I bet you won't be there for next graduation. Okay. All right. Now, the cost proposal also equally is weighty. Y'all see that? So the hard question is how are they going to divide up to 400, 200, 400? We're not going to be able to know that. You're not going to know that. Okay. Let's keep going. Ooh, there's a lot of stuff here, right? Okay. Okay, so this is more details about the process, the proposal, not necessarily to the proposal of lease costs. I think young lady was asking something about that. Even though if you're low on the cost, that's not going to necessarily be the advantage.

It could help, but it's not where they're going. They're looking for what's most advantageous. They're looking for the total package. We can skip that. That's going to take out too long. This is the contract award. So the RFP analyst is going to forward all the results. That means there's going to be an initial evaluation, then they're going to bubble up to a next person. There's an overseer. And that helps you understand that it's not done on the closet. It's not just one person making this judgment call. It's going to be evaluated by a committee. It's going to be bubbled up to another level. Somebody else is going to put their eyes on it. That gives you some credibility. if there's a protest of some sort, it looks more legitimate as the evaluation process. Please, you're good. Wait, wait, wait. Okay, now, after all that, now we got to what we want. Now, you've talked about a lot of stuff, but here's the nitty gritty. Dallas College is seeking a professional photographer, although there is no cost to Dallas College. we guarantee the supplier business for their service. Our commitment ceremonies are confirmed for May 11th through the 13th, also May 9th through 11th of 2024.


So you see the commencement ceremonies for the first two years. Remember the contract terms, there's a two year deal. Those are the times that you gotta be available. We're gonna have six ceremonies and that's the location and that's the actual address. and then it's going to get into the requirements I'm not a photographer some of that stuff don't make sense to me but it looked like you're gonna be taking a lot of pictures now this also is asking you to report back because it looks like Dallas College is not paying you the actual people or the students graduating are going to order the pictures which is good to know because we didn't know that before. Okay, I'm good. Okay, that's a good one right there. In exchange for photography services, Dallas College will grant the supply exclusive commercial rights to photograph each graduate at each of the ceremonies. That's a lot.

All right. Yes. So go, go down. Okay, so this is your evaluation guide, because that's what I need to know how you how we're going to figure out who's going to win. And so the next sections, you'll see A, and we're going to go all the way through E. But all of this piece are the mandatory requirements, meaning this is telling you if you're going to win, you've got to be able to hit all of these mandatory requirements. Know that this pass failed so you can judge yourself before you This is what they're looking for. This goes back to your question, sir. This is how they start defining the qualifications and experience. Again, they're telling you how to lay out your submission. You got section A. Now we're going to go to section B. Go to C, please. And this is your technical proposal. This is section C. Okay? Let's do D. This is your cost proposal and how we're going to scroll up just a little bit. Yep, go up a little bit more. Thank you. That's it. So they're asking you for your costs for your 1, 2, 3, and 4. And then they're going to total it.

Now this other section here is how they're going to grade your costs against somebody else's costs. but notice that two of those years were optional you can already see they're thinking already passed the first and second year they're already thinking about year three and year four which means you to believe that they're probably going to give you all four because they want your pricing for all four up front okay let's go to what we on e e is that e okay there you go this is your reference guidelines so you got to submit references and oh by the way I like the way y'all do references I wish I knew this three years ago matter of fact I'm probably gonna tell some other people how to do references like this in the future so what's different here is they give you a document that you send to your references who actually sends it back to you and then you submit it to Dallas College, I had never seen that before. That's pretty cool because what I've seen as a problem is people give three references to the public entity and then they send emails to try to get people to give references and then they put the email address in wrong and it don't go to the right place or it go to spam, clutter, junk, and they never get a response, so they end up dinging the supplier as not providing a reference.

This is a nice, nice process, by the way. It's more work on you, but at least you know what your reference is gonna turn in before it gets turned in. Y'all know where I'm going. What you don't want to lose it on some reference who just found, that's mad at you now. Okay, so all of those are the pages for the references. Keep going, please. It's a very elaborate process. now so the related documents this is your like so you're almost you're in step four now you're almost at the finish line right and you didn't even trip one time you're almost there you can see the red tape so these are the last four documents i'm gonna need to switch back hope you like that little field trip yeah okay so it's going to take you to back to the dallas college website and it's going to be under this section obviously it says RFP related documents and there's these are your last four documents that you got to look at okay this particular one is five pages there's an information security requirements is three pages there's the actual sample agreement that they're going to ask you to sign which they're showing you up front which means if you take exception to something, you know it before it's time to sign the contract.

Again, very proactive. And then there are a number of forms that you have to submit. So, I'm not going to read all of these to you because I don't remember what time it is. Okay. So, I'm wrapping up. So, but these are pieces out of the actual general requirements and contracting forms. Some of these may look familiar if you're in the contract arena. I'm not going to read all of those to you, but I want you to see that you're not quite done yet. This is the security information requirements. There's 29 statements and four college policies on security, information security, as you can imagine in the day we live in. This is the front page of the actual agreement. Again it's it's the actual agreement that they're going to ask you to sign if you're an awarded supplier. And then lastly these are the force five submittal forms. One is your company profile which is you know pretty straightforward. Your business diversity plan if you're a minority company minority certified or if you're bringing and then subcontractors that are minorities, you're gonna use that number two. Then there's a proposal, a term transmission statement of certification of assurances, insurance affirmation, and if you are awarding a co-op contract, they want you to identify it. And we didn't actually go over this because this is the state requirements, but you're gonna follow the evaluation criteria it is stated in the actual RFP.