VENDOR'S GUIDE TO SELLING TO THE CITY OF LODI

310 West Elm Street
P O Box 3006
Lodi CA 95241-1910
PHONE (209) 333-6800 Ext. 2888 FAX (209) 333-6795

Welcome to  the City of Lodi. We appreciate your interest, and hope this brief guide will be of benefit to you as a new supplier or as one of our present suppliers. Our aim is to be helpful to you in your sales effort and to promote a climate for good business relationships with the City. This document will outline our purchasing procedures, and our policies affecting purchasing. Whenever you need more information, please ask us.

PURPOSE
It is the Purchasing function’s purpose to maintain continuity of services and supplies to support various City departments that enable them to provide their services to the public, and to purchase at the lowest cost consistent with the quality and quantity required.

ORGANIZATION
Purchasing services for most City departments are decentralized.  A Purchasing Officer function exists, and does have the authority under the Lodi Municipal Code to purchase or contract for supplies, services, and equipment required by any city department.  The foregoing responsibilities and authorities may be delegated by the purchasing officer to departmental purchasing authorities who are responsible for the acquisition of materials necessary for effective departmental operations.  Do not ship materials or initiate any services without a Purchase Order or other approved authorization.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
BIDS: It is the City’s policy to obtain competitive bids whenever possible. Written bids are the primary means of obtaining prices; telephone quotations are solicited when practical. All written bids are due on the date and time specified on the bid form. Emergency purchases may be made without the use of the public notice or sealed bid procedure.
Sometimes a vendor will expend considerable time and money in presenting a product to an individual city department in the hopes of making a sale. If you do this, please remember that the purchase will eventually be made by competitive procedure, and what you spend for expensive designs, demonstrations and layouts does not guarantee you an order.
Specifications prepared by City departments are reviewed to eliminate undue restrictions or other limitations which may unnecessarily restrict competition. The purchase, if made, will be from the lowest responsive, responsible bidder meeting these specifications. The help you offer the department in developing their purchase request cannot be considered when the purchase is made. We recommend that, if you are called upon to provide expensive pre-purchase services, you consider contracting separately with the Department for these services. You also might ask the Department you assisted to list you as a “suggested vendor” on their requisition so we can send you an invitation to bid.
It should be understood that a formal bid constitutes an offer to enter into a contract with the City which, if accepted, is binding upon you. Do not promise deliveries you cannot fulfill. If your bid is accepted, your contract will hold you to all the terms of the invitation to bid.

BID RESULTS: After the due date, bid awards are a matter of public record. Summaries of written bids showing prices and awards are available for your inspection. Bid results and plan-holder lists for the most recent public works project are available by calling (209) 333-6706.

SPECIFICATIONS: Written specifications are used in the bidding process to describe the level of quality required. Unless otherwise specified, all merchandise purchased shall be new and unused.
In addition to the specifications, certain terms and conditions governing purchases are also outlined in the bid form. Award (if made) will be made to the responsible bidder who meets the specifications, agrees to the terms and conditions stated, including delivery requirements, and offers the lowest net price to the City. Cash discounts will be considered in the evaluation, if offered for payment within a period of not less than twenty days after delivery and City’s acceptance of the delivery.

SHIPMENT: Shipments in nearly all cases are required to be made to the City, FOB Destination.
DELIVERY: Requirements for delivery are specified on all quotations, bids, and purchase orders. Failure to meet a specified delivery date may cause cancellation of the order and application of penalties, and will reflect on the vendor’s performance rating.

INSPECTION: City specifications define the quality and performance required of each purchase. Deviations from the specifications (including quantity parameters) make a shipment subject to rejection. In addition to quality condition checks at delivery, purchases are subject to inspection for conformity with specifications at supplier’s plant, or when the items are later applied to their intended use. A vendor’s record of compliance with specifications is an important factor in evaluating sources of supplies.

BILLING: The purchase order number must appear on all invoices, shipping lists, and correspondence relevant to the order.

PAYMENT: Payment is made to the vendor after receipt of invoice, and delivery and acceptance of material on the purchase order. Partial payments can be arranged if necessary. The Accounts Payable Section will process invoices for payment to the vendor. Using departments are not responsible for payments.

GIFTS AND GRATUITIES: The City of Lodi maintains a strict policy prohibiting the acceptance by its employees of gifts and/or gratuities from any supplier or potential supplier.

VENDOR CALLING HOURS: Office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. City facilities are closed every second Friday.  Appointments are strongly recommended, and can be made by calling the relevant department. Routine “courtesy” visits are not encouraged.

MINORITY, SMALL, OR LOCAL BUSINESSES: The City is interested in promoting minority, small, and local businesses. We see new and small businesses as an important part of a competitive bid process which deserves our encouragement and help.

SUMMARY
We hope this outline has helped you in understanding our purchasing process.

We know we can assist you by:
· Directing your attention to our present and future needs;
· Consolidating our requirements;
· Arranging for demonstrations before the proper people;
· Aiding in obtaining the greatest yield for your time and effort.

We hope you will help us by:
· Keeping us informed concerning new items and trends;
· Remembering that contractual commitments may be made only by personnel authorized to do so;
· Checking with the City before leaving demonstration or loaner equipment or supplies with departments;
· Aiding us in obtaining the greatest yield for our time, effort, and the taxpayer’s dollars.
When we do conduct business with you, it is our desire to have you, the end-user, and City personnel feel that each transaction has been satisfactorily concluded.

STANDARDS OF PURCHASING PRACTICE
1.    To regard Public Service as a sacred trust, giving primary consideration to the interests of the governmental unit by whom we are employed.
2.    To purchase the best value obtainable, securing the maximum benefit for each tax dollar expended.
3.    To give all qualified vendors an equal opportunity.
4.    To respect our obligations and to require that obligations to us and our governmental unit be respected.
5.    To accord vendor representatives the same treatment we should like to receive, remembering that they are important sources of information and assistance in our buying efforts.
6.    To strive constantly for greater knowledge of purchasing methods and of the equipment, supplies, and services we buy.
7.    To be receptive to counsel from our colleagues and to cooperate with them to promote a spirit of unity.
8.    To conduct ourselves with professionalism, fairness, and dignity, and to demand honesty and truthfulness in buying and selling.
9.    To cooperate with all organizations and individuals engaged in enhancing the development and standing of the Purchasing profession.
10. To remember that everything we do reflects on the governmental agency which we serve and on the entire purchasing profession, and to govern our every action accordingly.