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Solicitation Types

Lansing Community College uses various types of solicitations to purchase supplies and services.

Invitation for Bids

An Invitation For Bid (IFB) issued for purchases that are estimated to be $25,000 or greater, but can be used for projects of less value. The solicitation method used when conducting sealed bidding. An Invitation For Bids (IFB) is sent to interested vendors for the purchase of goods, equipment or services which can be readily defined and which vendors can be expected to easily identify and provide pricing. An IFB generally contains detailed specifications which have been designed in a straight-forward manner through a statement of requirements for the goods, equipment or service, and requests a price quotation for the requested goods or services. Often there are many vendors who possess the capability to satisfy the stated requirements and provide goods, equipment or services that meet the IFB's specifications. A Public Bid Opening is held and bids are read aloud.

Request for Proposal

A Request For Proposal (RFP) is used for purchases that are estimated to be $25,000 or greater, but can be used for projects of less value. The solicitation method used in a negotiated purchase. The RFP differs from a IFB in that it typically does not detail exactly the goods or services required by the requesting customer, but instead identifies a particular problem or goal which the requesting customer wishes to solve or obtain. The problem or goal is contained in a section of the RFP usually referred to as the Statement of Work. The Statement of Work (SOW) is authored by the requesting customer and is one of the sections that make up the RFP. The RFP also contains Terms and Conditions, Bidding Information, and Information Required from Bidders. Additional sections may include samples, blueprints, exhibits, etc. Proposals must be returned by a specified date and time. Proposals are not read aloud. Only the names of Vendors submitting a proposal are announced.

Vendors responding to RFPs are expected to study the problem/goal stated in the Statement of Work and provide their best solution for that problem/goal. The response which these vendors submit for this purpose is referred to as their Technical Proposal. The vendor's proposal must provide a description of the specific manner in which the vendor intends to solve the problem or attain the goal stated by the requesting customer in the Statement of Work. Vendors must support their proposal by describing in their Technical Proposals their relevant experience and capabilities vis-vis the problem/goal. Their descriptions must include not only the capabilities and qualifications of their firm, but also of the personnel that they intend to assign to the project if awarded a contract. These Technical proposals are typically evaluated by an ad hoc committee of college personnel chosen to serve for their expertise in the subject area(s). Vendors responding to an RFP are also required to submit a Price (Cost) Proposal as part of their proposal submission. The RFP process is generally more involved than the straight-forward purchase of goods or services using the standard IFB process.

Request for Quotation

A Request For Quotation (RFQ) is used for purchases that are estimated to be greater than $5,000 and less than $25,000. The buyer will seek a minimum of three written quotations and an award will be made to the Vendor whose quotation is most advantageous to the College, price, quality and other factors considered. If time constraints inhibit obtaining three quotations, an exception may be made with the approval of Chief Financial Officer or Purchasing Director.

Request for Information

A Request For Information (RFI) is used to solicit information prior to the preparation of specifications for an unusually complex purchase of goods or services in which recent relevant information is not available to the requesting customer responsible for the specifications. Pricing estimates may also be requested. Purchases are not made from an RFI.

Telephone Bids

Telephone bids are used for purchases estimated to be $5,000 or
less than $25,000. The Purchasing Department may request telephone bids because of rapidly fluctuating market prices, emergency conditions, or to expedite the bid process on acquisitions of low dollar amounts. Telephone bids are only acceptable at the Purchasing Department's request and must be confirmed in writing.

Facsimile Bids

The Purchasing Department may request bids to be submitted by facsimile machine. This is usually done for small dollar purchases or under special circumstances to handle unique situations. The buyer may request facsimile bids to be followed up by submission of the original documentation.

Purchasing Department at Lansing Community College

Purchasing Department
Washington Court Place, Room 214
Phone: (517) 483-1785
Additional contact information »