-The Buyers Network August 1997

Diane Holley, Editor

The Buyers Network is published monthly by the Purchasing Division of the WV Department of Administration to promote better value in public purchasing.

Welcome to the August Issue of The Buyers Network!

Articles in this issue:

Vendor Teleconference Targets Potential In-State Businesses

Collaborative Effort Needed to Track Vendor Performance

Director's Comments
Steps to Improve Vendor Relations

MONEYWISE ... Tips for the Thrifty

UPDATE ... On the Move

Information Technology Users Conference & EXPO in September

Contract Information Available on the Internet
Qualified Vendors List Formulated for SWC-IP

Try Enhancing Your Listening Power

Fleet Seminar Planned for Fall

CPF Demonstrates Enhancements

Double Entry...Will Anyone Miss it?

Fax Bank Offers Variety of Documents

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions? ... Just Ask!

Vendor Teleconference Targets Potential In-State Businesses

To increase competition in the state bidding process and to help boost the overall economy of the state, the Purchasing Division is doing their part by reaching out to educate and inform West Virginia vendors on the business opportunities awaiting for them in state government.

From 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on October 28th, the Purchasing Division will be conducting a statewide vendor teleconference, which will be downlinked at twelve different sites throughout West Virginia. The conference will provide information to in-state vendors on how they can do business with state agencies.

"The goal of this state-wide presentation is to inform West Virginia vendors of the opportunities and benefits of marketing their products and services to state agencies," according to Purchasing Director Dave Tincher. "We want to encourage our resident businesses to target state government as a potential customer."

The conference will offer one-way video and two-way audio, allowing for the vendors at the different sites to call in and ask questions to the presenters. At each location, a facilitator will be present to coordinate the program at that site. Purchasing Division buyers and agency procurement officers will be serving as the site facilitators.

The teleconference will be presented via satellite in the following ten cities in West Virginia:

Pre-registration will be required by vendors who plan to attend at any of these locations. The conference is free to any state vendor who wishes to attend.

The topics to be discussed are vendor registration (presented by Jo Ann Dunlap, Administration Unit Manager); the state's bidding process (presented by Curt Curtiss, Acquisition & Contract Administration Director), and the Purchasing Card Program (presented by Dick Estill, Purchasing Card Administrator).

In addition, a segment will be offered which will include agency procurement officers from the Department of Health & Human Resources, Division of Highways, Division of Environmental Protection, Marshall University, and West Virginia University.

Governor Cecil H. Underwood, Cabinet Secretary of Administration Jim Teets, and State Auditor Glen Gainer III will welcome the conference participants with pre-taped messages.

For additional information regarding this teleconference, please contact Diane Holley, Public Information Officer, at (304) 558-0661. More details will be offered soon!

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Collaborative Effort Needed to Track Vendor Performance

Satisfaction Guaranteed!...Unfortunately, this is not always the result when the state places an order with a vendor. In most cases, the vendor produces the requested product or service in the specified delivery terms.

Now, let's talk about those other incidences when the product is inferior or the delivery of the service tries the patience of the most reasonable individual. The Purchasing Division encourages state employees to document their experience on a Vendor Performance Form (WV-82) and submit to the Acquisition & Contract Administration Section. "Generally, when agencies have a vendor complaint, they either do not take the time to complete the Vendor Performance Form or they make their complaint verbally," according to Purchasing Director Dave Tincher. "Those forms are necessary so we can track any consistent problems that agencies may be having with a particular vendor or product. Without this documentation, it is difficult to determine unsatisfactory service or equipment."

The Vendor Performance Form offers the vendor the opportunity to respond to the complaint. The resolution of the problem is also detailed. "Documenting the vendor's performance is a step in the procurement process that is sometimes left undone," Tincher said. "But, this often overlooked step can directly affect your satisfaction in future purchases."

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Steps to Improve Vendor Relations

By Dave Tincher
Purchasing Director

Enhancing our relationships with the vendor community, especially those businesses within West Virginia, should be an incentive for all state procurement officers.

Within the Purchasing Division, several initiatives are being planned to accomplish this goal. As mentioned in this issue of The Buyers Network, a statewide vendor teleconference will be conducted on October 28th to educate state vendors on business opportunities within West Virginia.

We need your help in promoting this conference to vendors in your local area. Twelve sites throughout the state will be downlinking our presentation; therefore, we will be accessible to vendors statewide.

Another initiative which has been implemented is on-site vendor visits. Beginning this month, the buyers and other professional staff members will be making occasional on-site visits to vendors. There is no better way to learn more about vendors than to visit their location, tour their facility, and meet their staff. We believe this will improve business relations with West Virginia vendors.

Because of their expertise in their respective market areas, vendors will be playing a stronger role in updating the specifications of many of our statewide contracts. State agencies will also be asked to participate in the review of statewide contracts to ensure that their needs are being addressed.

I encourage agency procurement officers to join us in our endeavor to improve vendor relations. Take time to meet the vendors who serve you. The sharing information about the products and services you procure is simply a good purchasing practice.

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Tips for the Thrifty

Low-Cost Aspirin Does the Job

Whether you buy aspirin for a headache or as part of a heart-protection program, the American Heart Association says low-cost private brands are just as effective as the big-name brands.

The active ingredient, acetylsalicylic acid, is common to all pure aspirin products, including generics and house brands. Brand name aspirin may cost two to three times as much as generic.

If aspirin bothers your stomach, look for coated tablets labeled "enteric aspirin," which are gentler on the digestive tract.

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UPDATE...On the Move

Renovations to the Purchasing Division's new office space are currently in progress. Plott & Holbrook was awarded the contract to complete the inside modifications to Building 15 on Washington Street prior to the modular panels being installed. General Services Division will be assisting the contractor to expedite the work to be completed.

As reported in last month's issue of The Buyers Network, about 25 Purchasing employees will be relocating out of the east wing of the State Capitol to Building 15. The Supreme Court will be using the east wing space for their staff.

Purchasing Director Dave Tincher said he estimates the moving date to be mid-October. Additional security measures are being considered in the renovation plans. An "Open House" will be scheduled after the staff has settled into their new offices. More details will be reported to update our customers on this project.

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Information Technology Users Conference & EXPO in September

Information Services and Communications Division's second annual Information Technology Users Conference & EXPO is scheduled for September 3 and 4 at the Charleston Civic Center. This event will feature informational workshops as well as product demonstrations. A Solutions Center will offer live demonstrations on WVFIMS, Crystal Reporting, the Internet/Intranet, and video conferencing. For more information, please contact Sue Lore of IS&C at 558-1067.

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Contract Information Available on the Internet

Qualified Vendors List Formulated for the
Statewide Contract for Information Processing

A qualified vendors list for the information processing equipment statewide contract (SWC-IP97) is currently being finalized based on the evaluation of the bids received at the official opening on May 21, 1997. Forty-one (41) bids were received, according to Senior Buyer Pam Jones. This contract offers state agencies and political subdivisions a variety of personal computers, operating systems and peripherals to meet their local information processing needs.

The procedures in utilizing this contract have not changed substantially. According to Helen Wilson, manager of the Automation Resource Center (ARC) for the Information Services & Communications (IS&C) Division, agencies will continue to solicit quotations using a bulletin board which only those vendors deemed qualified will have the opportunity to access. For purchases under $10,000, the contract required that five vendors be contacted to bid. It is important to maintain documentation (such as fax transmission sheets) for your records. A signed summary sheet showing all vendors contacted and a copy of the successful vendor's quote must be forwarded to the Auditor's Office. If less than three bids are received, the agency must certify in writing that only one or two vendors responded.

For purchases over $10,000, the bidding is open to all vendors on contract and, if less than three bids are received, an award can be made.

Wilson indicated that there are some new features regarding the contract which will benefit the agency users and the qualified vendors. "We will have information about this contract on the state's official homepage (www.state.wv.us)," she said. "People will be able to go to the Internet to find out the names and addresses of the vendors, the contract terms and conditions, warranty information, and the typical configurations." Wilson added that the homepage will be the central point for agencies to get information by themselves without having to contact IS&C or the Purchasing Division.

Another issue addressed in this contract relates to warranty information. "We have placed special focus on service. Vendors will be responsible for the servicing of the equipment," Wilson said. "We want to know upfront if the vendor will be servicing the equipment, subcontracting the service, or relying on the manufacturer to service." The minimum warranty for equipment on the contract is one year, mail-in; however, most agencies request one year, on-site, next day response time.

Documenting vendor performance has been a problem in the past. Although unsatisfactory equipment and service has been received, few agencies actually put their complaints in writing. A Vendor Performance Form (WV-82) should be completed and submitted to the Purchasing Division when vendors do not perform to the contract's standards. Agency users will also have an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction online by completing a similar form at the state's homepage.

For many agencies, standardization of equipment is extremely important in maintaining their office systems. In the current contract, agencies could name the notebook and printer which they needed. However, in the new contract, they can name specific makes and models for servers, which will result in agencies getting what they actually need, not just the least expensive alternative.

For desktop requests, agencies can select three manufacturers and anyone who sells those systems can bid. "Now a vendor can bit a quality product and the pricing will be compared to a comparable quality product," Wilson said.

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The Art of Communication

Try Enhancing Your Listening Power

Each day, we communicate with people: co-workers, state employees, vendors, and our friends and family. But, do we communicate effectively?

At a recent meeting of the West Virginia Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Brian Farkas, public information officer for the Division of Environmental Purchasing, led a discussion on communication by reading a Sesame Street children book, titled My Doll is Lost. The purpose of this exercise was to show the simplicity of how communication works; however, it also revealed how ineffective we can be as listeners.

"We communicate approximately 16 hours per day," according to Farkas. "To communicate effectively, you must have a common frame of reference. Communication is a complete circle." He explained that many times that frame of reference can be skewed when unspoken ideas or experiences exist. An effective communicator listens 80 percent of the time and talks only 20 percent.

There are three types of listeners: the Selective Listener listens to every other word

or sentence; the Reflective Listener removes oneself emotionally from the situation; and, the Attentive Listener uses empathy and understanding in order to relate to the other individual.

Often, barriers such as external noise, body language or even lighting can hinder communication. Farkas offers five keys to successful communication:

[1] Use your mind;

[2] Use your sense (all of them!);

[3] Listen to whole messages being spoken to you;

[4] Be a motivated listener; and,

[5] Remove external barriers that may distract you.

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Fleet Seminar Planned for Early Fall

As a result of last year's success, the Fleet Management Office is planning to offer its second annual Fleet Management Seminar this September. Although many of the details have not been confirmed, the purpose of this training effort is to open the lines of communication among the Fleet Management Office, the agency fleet coordinators and the individual drivers of state-owned vehicles.

The agenda is expected to include information on the acquisition of new vehicles, lease rates, the PHH vehicle maintenance program, and general policies and procedures.

"Input from our fleet coordinators throughout the state and those state employees who have the responsibility of driving state vehicles is extremely important to this program," according to Ken Miller, State Fleet Manager. "The positive response we received after our first seminar last fall indicated that this training should be conducted on an annual basis."

The Fleet Management Office currently manages 1,500 vehicles which are leased to state agencies. Over 6,500 state employees are assigned state vehicles to perform their jobs.

Additional information regarding the 1997 Fleet Management Seminar will be reported in next month's The Buyers Network.

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CPF Demonstrates Enhancements to WV Government Communicators

The West Virginia Government Communicators, a network of communication specialists within state government, recently held their monthly meeting at the Consolidated Publishing Facility on Morris Street.

To promote the implementation of their digital publishing equipment, Scott Padon, Director of the Operations Section, offered a tour of the facility and of the digital process. A demonstration was provided of the recently acquired high-tech printing equipment.

This group of communicators, which are most often the individuals who are making the printing decisions within their respective agencies, previously visited the Quick Copy Convenience Center operation in Building 2 to learn more about the services offered by the Consolidated Publishing Facility.

The West Virginia Government Communicators formed over a year ago to provide a catalyst for individuals in the field of communications and marketing of state programs and services. Recently initiated as a state chapter of the National Association of Government Communicators, this group encourages individuals responsible for their agency's communication efforts to join their network.

For additional information on this organization, please contact Diane Holley, Public Information Specialist for the Purchasing Division, at (304) 558-0661.

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Double Entry...Will Anyone Miss it?

By Dan Miller
Automation Manager

It may be premature to announce the total eradication of double entry, but it has been dealt a serious blow. Beginning Monday, July 14th, the first inventory items passed from the TEAM Purchasing System to a holding table in the WVFIMS Fixed Assets System. But exactly how does this new interface work?

Last month, the Receipt Setup (RSU) screen was introduced, which is one of two screens that make the interface possible on the TEAM side. The RSU screen is used to enter information, such as the purchase order number, delivery location, and receipt date.

Receiving by PO Line Number (RBL) is the second screen. RBL is used to record the quantity and unit of measure of items that are delivered. After this information is entered, the system checks the receiving controls applicable for the PO line. If the delivery does not match the purchase order, a warning (W) or exception (E) message is displayed on the screen. Some reasonable tolerances have been set up to minimize the occurrence of such warnings and exceptions.

If the receipt is successfully posted and meets the criteria for an inventory item, the following data is passed from TEAM to the WVFIMS Fixed Assets System, without require re-typing: TEAM PO number; org number; asset type; delivery date; unit price; PO description; ship-to code; commodity code; and TEAM vendor number.

The Purchasing Division is pleased with the completion of the TEAM-Fixed Assets interface, however, there is more work ahead. As the remaining portions of the total interface are completed, the highlights will be featured right here in The Buyers Network.

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Fax Bank Offers Variety of Standard Documentation

We are only a fax away!...The Purchasing Division's Fax Bank is hard at work, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Vendors and state agencies utilize the Fax Bank regularly to receive copies of requests for quotations or proposal; however, standard forms and documentation may also be retrieved in Fax Bank #1.

To send a document, simply obtain the caller's fax number and name of the document(s) requested, call the Fax Bank (1-800-BIDS2WV), and listen to the Fax Bank instructions and provide the information requested.

The following is a list of standard documents and their respective code that are available in Fax Bank:

#1 Vendor Registration (WV-1)

#2 Purchasing Regulations CSR 148-1

#3 Purchasing Card Regulations CSR 148-7

#4 State Purchasing Code 5A-3

#5 RFP Standard Format

#6 RFP Standard Evaluation Process

#7 Resident Vendor Preference Certificate, rev. 3/96

#8 Freeze Justification Questionnaire

#35 Universal Requisition Document (WV-35) and Instructions

#39 Blanket Release Document (WV-39) and Instructions

#48 Agreement Form (WV-48), rev. 7/97, and Instructions

#50 Agreement Questionnaire (WV-50), rev. 7/97, and Instructions

#82 Vendor Performance (WV-82), rev. 7/97, and Instructions

#88 Agency Purchase Order (WV-88), rev. 7/97, and Instructions

#96 Agreement Addendum (WV-96), rev. 5/94.

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Current Statewide Contract Update

Information and dates (as of July 16, 1997) included in this Current Statewide Contract Update are subject to change. If you need additional information, please contact the appropriate state buyer.

Contracts Awarded

Contract: TM
Description: Travel Management Services
File: 31
Effective Date: 07/01/97
Vendor:National Travel Service, Inc.

Contract: CM
Description: Copiers
File: 33
Effective Date: 08/01/97
Vendor: American Office, Xerox, Sharp, Minolta,Arrons Products, Canon, Pitney Bowes

Contract: COMFURN
Description: Computer/Word Processing Furniture
File: 42
Effective Date: 03/01/97
Vendor: Capitol Business

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: TCONES
Description: Traffic Cones and Flags
File: 22
Bid Opening: 07/16/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Description: Portable and Mechanic Handtools
File: 22
Bid Opening: 07/01/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: OIL
Description:Lubricants & Oils
File: 33
Bid Opening: 07/08/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: DISHWASH
Description:Dishwashing Materials
File: 22
Bid Opening: 07/23/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contracts Renewed

Contract: CC
Description: Travel Management Charge Card
File: 31
Effective Date: 07/01/97
Vendor: Citicorp Diners Club

Contract: S-PLUG
Description: Spark Plugs: Auto and Equipment
File: 33
Effective Date: 05/01/97
Vendor: Warehouse, Inc.

Contracts to be Extended

Contract: S-SVC
Description: Security Guard Services
File: 22
Effective Date: 09/15/97
Vendor: Security America

Contracts to be Reviewed


Medical Surgical Supplies


Disasatery Recovery of Computer Systems

Safety Equipment

Ethyl Alcohol

Ribbons and Laser Toner

Identification Tags


Filters: Oil, Air and Fuel

Tires: Auto and Equipment

Canned Foods and Staple Groceries

Bottled Water

Housekeeping Materials

Purchasing Division Buying Staff
For questions concerning these contracts listed, please contact the appropriate buyers:

File 21
Pam Jones

File 22
Jim Jackson

File 31
Charlyn Miller

File 33
Ron Price

File 41
Evan Williams

File 42
Dick Estill

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Questions? ... Just Ask!

Are you unsure of certain purchasing procedures? ... Do you need to know what printing services Consolidated Publishing Facility provides? ... Do you have a question regarding travel requests? ... Would you want to know what surplus property is available?... If you need information concerning any function within the Purchasing Division, complete the form below:



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