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Procurement Office  /  Vendor Guide

Vendor Guide

Picture of a Florida Roadway

Vendor Guide

  Introduction  
  The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is responsible for the state highway systems and public transportation systems including air transit. Contracting for highly specialized services and purchasing common products are top priorities in the agency. The Department purchases road materials, construction materials, and any products or services related to highway road and bridge construction. The agency also purchases numerous supplies and services that help the agency run efficiently in its day-to-day operations.

The FDOT is a decentralized agency consisting of the Central Office, seven districts, and the Florida Turnpike Enterprise. Each District and the Turnpike Enterprise has offices responsible for acquiring commodities, contractual services, road and bridge construction and maintenance and professional services. Determining which category your business falls under will be crucial to your success in doing business with FDOT.

The purpose of public procurement is to promote efficiency, economy, and fair and open competition. The FDOT does this by providing uniform rules and procedures that address purchasing. Documentation and effective monitoring are also important means of establishing public confidence in the process by which commodities and contractual services are procured. The FDOT appreciates your interest in doing business with our agency and invites you to browse this vendor guide so that new opportunities may open to you.

For additional information on prequalification, please return to our main Prequalification page.

 

TIPS ON DOING BUSINESS WITH THE STATE OF FLORIDA

 
  1. Be sure that your firm registers with DMS. If your firm is not registered you can complete the registration at MyFloridaMarketPlace Vendor Registration. In addition, please register your firm to receive e-mail notification of bid solicitations .
  2. Read bid documents thoroughly and follow all instructions and conditions. Failure to do so could result in rejection of your bid.
  3. Respond to all invitations to bid. If you're not bidding; mark the bid "No Bid" and state your reason. If you continuously ignore bid requests, your name may be taken off the bidders list.
  4. Be sure when bidding that your bid is received before the specified due time.
  5. Follow up on submitted bid: You may request a bid tabulation by including with your bid a self-addressed stamped envelope with a note requesting a copy of the bid tabulation. Visit the procurement office after award and review competitor's bids.
  6. Get to know the purchasing needs of various state agencies by mailing line cards and brochures. Make appointments and meet the purchasing agents; get to know end users who may also be able to call you for a quote. Purchasing agents may be able to help with identifying these particular individuals.
  7. Follow bid advertisements in the official Vendor Bid System.
  8. Having a good reputation for customer service and reliability will assist you in doing business with the state.
 

IMPORTANT STEPS IN DOING BUSINESS WITH FDOT

 
  1. Determine which of the four categories your business falls into:
    Commodities, Contractual Services, Road and Bridge Construction and Maintenance or Professional Services.
  2. Visit the Department of Transportation's Doing Business with FDOT page on the Internet.
  3. Understand the differences between Formal Bids and Informal Bids. Formal bids have critical procedures which must be followed.
  4. Know how to obtain information on potential bidding opportunities with the State of Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation.
  5. Determine if your business qualifies for the MBE and/or DBE program.
  6. If you are certified as a DBE or wish to do business with FDOT as a consultant, or in the maintenance or construction area, contact the Equal Opportunity Office at (850) 414-4747 and request a copy of the DBE Handbook .
 
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BECOMING A REGISTERED VENDOR

  As a registered vendor, your firm will be identified in MyFloridaMarketPlace (MFMP).  This system was developed by the Department of Management Services (DMS) and is used for every regular Purchase Order issued by FDOT. Registration with DMS, State Procurement Office, identifies your firm as desiring to receive solicitations from all state agencies for commodities and services you identify. MFMP will identify if a vendor is a Certified or Non Certified Minority Business. The FDOT identifies MFMP as the official vendor file for procuring commodities and other contractual services under Chapter 287, Florida Statutes.

You should use the on-line vendor registration system. When completing the application, identify all commodity class and groups for which you can provide goods and services. As your company expands, it will be necessary for you to update this information with the Department of Management Services.

If you are a vendor registered with DMS, you can also register to be notified by e-mail of bids that may be of interest to you. To receive electronic notification of bids, go to the Electronic Notification page on the MyFlorida Website.

Please note that you will only receive electronic notification for the commodities you have listed on your Vendor Registration Application.
 

HOW TO DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS

  The Department of Transportation contract types are divided into four different categories: Commodities, Contractual Services, Road and Bridge Construction and Maintenance, and Professional Services. Determining which category your business falls under will be crucial to your success in doing business with FDOT.

Commodities - As a supplier of commodities, the vendor would provide materials or products to the Department. Examples of such items are: computers, heavy equipment, aggregates, office furniture and office supplies.

Contractual Services - As a provider of contractual services, the vendor would provide a wide variety of services. Examples include: electrical services, guard and security, temporary help, lawn care, software development, accounting, legal, research and training.

Professional Services - As a professional services provider, the firm (usually an individual or company specializing in one or more areas of technical work, usually holding advanced degrees, normally licensed and regulated by the State) would provide such services as architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping, planning and right of way appraisal, acquisition and management.

Road and Bridge Construction and Maintenance - As a contractor of Road and Bridge construction and maintenance, the contractor would provide a wide variety of services.

Construction - Examples of services supplied are median modifications, turn lane construction, traffic signalization, road widening and bridge rehabilitation.

Maintenance Services - Examples of services are mowing, clearing, grubbing, guardrail repair, highway lighting maintenance, and sidewalk repair.

Qualified Products List (QPL) - The Product Evaluation Section in the Specifications and Estimates Office publishes and maintains a Qualified Products List (QPL). The list provides assurance to contractors, consultants, designers and Department personnel that specific products and materials are approved for use on Department facilities. These items have basic approval but are subject to additional testing of individual lots, batches or shipments. The Department will limit the contractor's procurement and use of products and materials that require pre-approval in these specifications to only those items listed on the QPL that is effective at the time of procurement.

Manufacturers seeking evaluation in accordance with Departmental procedures of an item must submit a Product Evaluation Application with a certified test report from an independent test laboratory, which shows the material meets all applicable specifications, to the Product Evaluation Section in Tallahassee. In the absence of applicable specifications, the manufacturers must submit specifications and certified test reports with the application. Manufacturers successfully completing the Department's evaluation are eligible for inclusion on the QPL. If you have questions regarding the QPL please call the Department's Specifications office at: (850) 414-4110, or go to the Qualified Products List page on our Web site.
 
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FORMAL BIDS AND INFORMAL BIDS

  The Department of Transportation identifies all purchases as formal or informal. Informal purchases are for products and services of $35,000 or less. Verbal quotes or written quotes can be obtained to procure these products and services. Formal purchases, often called advertised bids, request for proposals or invitations to negotiate, are for commodities and services over $35,000.

After it has been determined that an informal quote would be appropriate to procure a commodity or service, FDOT personnel must decide whether to use a Purchase Order (PO) or the State of Florida Purchasing Card as their contracting method. The Department has approximately 1,800 purchasing cardholders, who spend about $42 million a year on small dollar purchases. Most of the dollars with the Purchasing Card are spent by the maintenance yards that are located throughout the state.

All Purchase Orders are issued through one of the FDOT's Procurement offices. FDOT spends about $150 million a year with regular Purchase Orders.

Formal bids have procedural requirements that must be met for a Procurement office to successfully award a contract. As a vendor, it is important to read all bids carefully, and if you have any questions contact the contract manager as soon as possible. Clear and effective communication is the key to submitting adequate formal bid responses to any agency.
 
 
  HOW TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ON POTENTIAL BIDDING OPPORTUNITIES
 
 
  THE VENDOR BID SYSTEM

The Department of Transportation utilizes the Vendor Bid System as our official source for advertising all commodities and contractual services. This Internet publication contains notices regarding bids, proposals and purchasing. For further information call the Department of Management Services at 1-866-352-3776.

FLORIDA ADMINISTRATIVE WEEKLY

"Weekly on the Web" is offered free of charge by the Florida Department of State as just one of its programs to increase public access to Florida government. Now "Weekly on the Web" offers direct access to proposed rules and regulations affecting all Floridians. Building construction and road and bridge construction projects are advertised in the Florida Administrative Weekly and FDOT website and newspapers throughout the State.

PRIVATELY OWNED BID SERVICES

Florida Bid Reporting Service - Provides weekly publications of bids at the State and Local governmental levels. Please call 1-877-352-2437 for more information.

Bidnet - Bid processing center at both the National and State levels. Please call 1-800-677-1997 for more information.

INFO-BID - Sponsored by the Small Business Development Center

Small Business Development Centers provide technical resources, training, workshops, and counseling on such aspects of business as marketing, bid/proposal preparation, and cost/pricing assistance. Please check your local telephone directory under universities, then small business development center.
 
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DIFFERENCES IN THE MBE/DBE PROGRAMS

  The Department has two different types of minority programs. One is the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program, which applies to all state agencies and is administered by the Office of Supplier Diversity. The other is the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. The DBE program applies only to the FDOT, and is limited to highway and bridge construction, maintenance, and consultants involved in planning, design, right of way and construction inspection, and other federally funded contracts. The Department puts forth great effort to educate Minority Businesses on these two separate and distinct programs.


COMPARE THE TWO
MBE PROGRAM

Administered by the Florida Department of Management Services
Office of Supplier Diversity

(850) 487-0915

State Program

All State Agencies

Office of Supplier Diversity Certifies

Florida Firms Only

Office of Supplier Diversity
DBE PROGRAM

Administered by the Florida Department of Transportation
Equal Opportunity Office

(850) 414-4747

Federal Program

Nationwide Firms

Federal Program

Road and Bridge Construction/Consultant

FDOT EOO Website
 
 

 
How does a company become Certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)?

 
  Companies may complete a Minority Business Enterprise Application for Certification at the Office of Supplier Diversity website or apply through one of the Florida Statewide and Inter-Local MBE Certification participating entities.

The Florida Statewide and Inter-Local MBE Certification Process, commonly referred to as Reciprocal Certification, is an initiative implemented through the coordination and cooperation of the State of Florida and the various cities, counties and organizations in Florida that sponsor MBE programs.

Basically this program allows for a "one-stop" certification program that provides for statewide recognition as a Statewide Certified Minority Business Enterprise. The following will help to clarify this program's meaning:
The Reciprocal Certification program is 2-tier. This means that the vendor may choose to be certified at the local level only (city, county, school board, etc.), request certification at the state level, or both.

A vendor being certified at the local level does not automatically initiate certification at the State level as a Certified Minority Business Enterprise. The vendor must also meet the minimum criteria for the State's MBE Program.

Vendors may apply at any one of the many participating entities. A "Directory of Participating Programs and their Relevant Market Areas," which lists the current participating entities, can be obtained from the Office of Supplier Diversity.

The certifying entity is the entity that will issue the "Florida Statewide & Inter-Local Certification" certificate to the vendor, which shows the vendor is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise. The Office of Supplier Diversity can be reached at (850) 487-0915. For more information visit the Office of Supplier Diversity Internet site

The FDOT Equal Opportunity Office may be able to assist with questions regarding MBE certification, please call (850)414-4747 for more information.

 
 

Why should companies become Certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)?

 
  This is a unique certification that applies to FDOT only. The Department is committed to utilizing DBEs in its transportation program, and establishes goals for the utilization of DBEs on projects with federal funding. The current goal can be referenced on the FDOT Equal Opportunity Website. All certified DBEs will be eligible to participate as DBEs on federally assisted projects.

The goals are met by utilization of DBEs as subcontractors or prime contractors on projects. Managerial and technical supportive services are provided to DBEs to enhance their ability to perform on transportation projects. These services are described in the FDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Handbook, which may be obtained by calling the FDOT Equal Opportunity Office at (850) 414-4747.

 
 

How does a company become Certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)?

 
  Please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at (850) 414-4747 to request an application or obtain the Unified Certification Application on-line.

 
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Examples of Goods and Services
COMMODITY LISTING
(including but not limited to the following)


  • Aluminum
  • Ammunition And Targets
  • Appliances
  • Asphalt
  • Attenuators And Parts
  • Audio Visual Equipment
  • Automotive Parts
  • Barricades
  • Bottled Water
  • Building Materials And Supplies
  • Cellular Phones
  • Cement
  • Coaxial Cable And Connectors
  • Computers: Hardware And Software
  • Crushed Stone
  • Drafting And Engineering Supplies
  • Emblems, Decals, Patches, etc..
  • Fencing
  • Fertilizer
  • Furniture
  • Gravel
  • Guardrail And Accessories
  • Hay Mulch
  • Herbicides
  • Janitorial Supplies
  • Laboratory Supplies/Equipment
  • Limerock
  • Maintenance Supplies
  • Mobile Equipment
  • Office Supplies
  • Pavement Marking Material
  • Photographic Supplies And Equipment
  • Printing
  • Roadway Lighting
  • Safety Items
  • Shop Equipment
  • Survey Equipment And Supplies
  • Telephone And Other Communication Items
  • Tolls Equipment And Supplies
  • Traffic Control Devices
  • Uniforms
  • Video Equipment And Tapes
SERVICES LISTING
(including but not limited to the following)
  • Air Time And Pager Maintenance
  • Alarm/Security Systems Monitoring And Maintenance
  • Copier Maintenance
  • Fax Maintenance
  • Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
  • Hardware/Software Maintenance
  • Janitorial
  • Landscape And Lawn
  • Locksmith
  • Microfilming
  • Moving
  • Pest Control
  • Temporary Employment
  • Training
  • Services Provided By State (900 Series), SNAPS (900 Series), and FDOT Master Term Contracts
 
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