LYNX uses a variety of procurement methods; selecting the correct one is dependent on several factors. Items expected to cost less than $50,000 are purchased via LYNX's micro or "small purchases" method of procurement. Anything in excess of $35,000 requires the issuance on and Invitation for Bid (IFB) or a Request for Proposal (RFP).
"Requests for Quotations" (RFQs) are used for all purchases expected to cost less than $50,000. A brief description of the item needed is provided to one or more vendors, who then provide written or oral quotes back to LYNX by an established deadline. Vendors are identified using LYNX's vendor database. If vendors aren't available in the database, LYNX other resources such as phone books, industrial guides, trade publications, etc. LYNX typically contacts two to three vendors. The vendor who submits the best quote - i.e., best price, acceptable delivery terms, etc. - is issued a purchase order.
Purchases in excess of $50,000 require more sophisticated procurement methods. Special efforts are made to make the vendor community aware of LYNX's requirements. Solicitations are advertised in local newspapers. The two basic types of procurement methods used for large purchases are "Invitation for Bids" (IFBs) and "Request for Proposals" (RFPs). The solicitation is developed and posted on our online "Current Procurement Opportunities” page. Solicitations remain open – generally for 30 days – so vendors may have enough time to respond.
Invitation for Bids (IFBs)
For IFBs, LYNX awards contract to the responsive, responsible bidder offering the lowest price. A bid is responsive if it meets all the material requirements of a solicitation. In other words the bid submitted by the vendor doesn’t vary from LYNX’s original requirements. A bidder is deemed responsible if he/she can demonstrate the capacity and willingness to perform (i.e., proper equipment, manpower, financial resources, technical know-how etc.).
Request for Proposals (RFPs)
For RFPs, award is based not just on price, but also on other factors. The evaluation criteria are always specified in the solicitation. A general rule of thumb is that goods/commodities/services are purchased via IFB, whereas, professional services and are generally purchased via RFP.
For each solicitation issued, LYNX assigns a Procurement Representative as primary point of contact to assist vendors. The Procurement Administrator is responsible for conducting the procurement. In addition, a conference is generally scheduled well in advance of the bid/proposal submission deadline so that vendors can visit and obtain clarifications regarding the solicitation from LYNX. After evaluation of all offers, LYNX awards a contract. All procurements which will result in a Contract in excess of $150,000 require approval by the LYNX Board of Directors prior to award. Procurements below this amount can be awarded by the Chief Executive Officer.
Other Procurement Methods
There are other procurement methods. These include purchases made using the PCard, use of State Contracts, and Contracts written by other government agencies in which LYNX is authorized to utilize.