Q. What is the process to receive notifications about State of Illinois bid opportunities?
A. To receive notifications of bid opportunities, vendors should register with the Illinois Procurement Bulletin (IPB) at www.purchase.state.il.us. During registration, vendors will be prompted to select one or multiple class code(s) that describe what type of supplies or services they provide. Vendors will then receive a system generated email each time a State agency posts a solicitation matching the classification code they entered during registration. Since bid notifications are sent to the email address entered during registration, it may be a good idea for vendors to have more than one staff member registered to the IPB. For bid opportunities not posted to the IPB, such as small purchases and purchase of care contracts, vendors may directly contact agencies who routinely procure the supplies or services that they provide and ask to be sent a "Request for Quote" for upcoming procurements that may be of interest.
Q. After applying for a State of Illinois bid, how will I know where I am in the bidding process; and how will I be notified if I am awarded the contract?
A. Awarding of contracts is posted on the IPB. The vendor with the winning bid will also be notified of the award via email, phone, or fax by the procuring agency. A vendor may also call the contact person listed on the IPB solicitation to find out the status of the bid and award.
Q. How does the Illinois bid system work?
A. State agencies procure supplies and services through the Request for Proposal (RFP); Professional and Artistic Request for Proposal (P&A, RFP); or Invitation for Bid (IFB) process. At minimum, each solicitation should provide; specific requirements that vendors must meet; the due date for bid responses; criteria defining how awards will be determined; and a contact person for the solicitation.
The difference between the two Procurement processes is that in the IFB process vendors compete on price only, while the RFP combines the points vendors receive for their technical solutions with the points they get for their price proposal and the vendor with the highest combined points is assigned the contract. With the P&A, RFP; state agencies negotiate pricing with the vendors with the highest technical scores and, once price negotiations are successful, the vendor with the highest technical score is awarded the contract.
Q. How can small and diverse businesses network with larger businesses to increase sub-contracting opportunities?
A. There are several ways to connect with prime contractors for sub-contracting opportunities:
a) Make sure you are registered in the Small Business Directory
b) Attend any optional or mandatory pre-bid vendor conferences that are referenced in the solicitation
c) Attend CMS outreach events workshops/forums