The Buyers Network

Diane Holley, Editor

The Buyers Network is Published Monthly by the Purchasing Division of the West
Virginia Department of Administration to Promote Better Value in Public Purchasing


Welcome to the March 2001 Issue of the The Buyers Network!


Articles in this Issue:

New Changes Affect the Statewide Contract for Information Processing

State Purchasing Card Training Continues on Monthly Basis

Director's Comments:
E-Procurement: The New Wave of the Future

MONEYWISE...Tips or the Thrifty

Spotlighting...Statewide Contracts

Vendor Conference Set for Next Month

Buy Smart! Creating an Effective Plan

Retaining Past Purchasing Bulletins Begins with
the January 26th Issue

What's State Government Buying?

Keeping Pace with Market Trends
What's New with Tools?

Handbook Survey Seeks the Level of Agency Satisfaction

Vendor Spotlight...Meet Our West Virginia Businesses!

Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook
SATISFACTION SURVEY

Piggybacking Contracts
What's New in the Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook

Finding Ways to Save Money? Look at the Obvious!

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions?...Just Ask Us!


ComputerNew Changes Affect the Statewide
Contract for Information Processing

At a recent meeting of the Information Processing Statewide Contract (SWC-IP99) Users Group, several changes to this open-end contract were announced, including its renewal through January 14, 2002, according to Senior Buyer Charlyn Miller.

Cornerstone Technology Group was the only vendor who declined to renew their participation due to a change of focus for the company. "Cornerstone has chosen to pursue consulting services rather than hardware sales," Miller said.

Another vendor of this contract, the Computer Store, has expanded its service to become qualified as a Dell reseller. Even name changes have occurred this year, with Computerland now doing business as NCompass.

Miller stated that users of this contract are permitted to acquire multiple feature printers, but are encouraged to compare the prices to the digital copier contract products and select the most cost effective solution to fit their needs.

Helen Wilson, acting director of the Information Services and Communications Division, indicated that there has been some confusion on some of the bids concerning shipping and installation locations. If an agency intends to have the equipment shipped to one location but installed at another location, this stipulation needs to be clearly specified in the bid.

In addition to changes regarding the IP99 contract, other statewide contracts have also had changes which affect their users. The statewide contract for temporary information processing services will be renewed for six months while new specifications are being prepared. Miller indicated that many vendors have expressed a need for a price increase, while state agency users indicate a desire for additional categories of computer temporary classifications.

In other related news...Netman, the contract which supplied and supported Cisco routers and related equipment, has been cancelled. According to Miller, the Governor’s Chief Technology Officer Keith Comstock has indicated that he wants to establish a contract directly with the manufacturers who would in turn subcontract maintenance and support to local resellers. Comstock will be meeting soon with the Purchasing Division to discuss this matter in more detail.

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State Purchasing Card Training
Continues on Monthly Basis

The State Purchasing Card Program has been in existence for over five years; however, changes to this program continue as well as new people entering purchasing-related jobs within state government. For these reasons, the Purchasing Division and the State Auditor’s Office has joined together to provide monthly training sessions on this program.

At 1:00 p.m. on the last Friday of each month, a basic training course on the State Purchasing Program is conducted at no charge.

It is simple to register: Contact Sue Smith of the Purchasing Division at 558-2306 to schedule for the training. The next two training classes are scheduled for March 30 and April 27.

Please note that if an agency has 25 or more potential students, training can be scheduled on-site. Contact Sue Smith for details.

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The Director's Comments

             
      E-Procurement: The New Wave of the Future

By Dave Tincher
State Purchasing Director

Purchasing Director Dave TincherWelcome to the world of electronic procurement, electronic mail, electronic commercing...everything is becoming electronic!

Several states are beginning to research and implement state-of-the-art systems which allow for interactive purchasing. However, there are numerous considerations, concerns and costs which must be addressed.

On the surface, the idea of a purchasing utopia where systems are integrated and streamlined into a seamless whole sounds intriguing and most definitely promising for the future. But once you begin digging through the surface and looking at the innerworkings, the process becomes more complicated.

In 1991, the Purchasing Division implemented an automated purchasing system, becoming one of the leaders in government automated procurement. Technology has progressed at a rapid rate for the past decade. We are now researching our needs and technological advancements.

According to statistics from Gartner/Dataquest of Stamford, Connecticut*, practically all of the states will be awarding contracts for an electronic purchasing system over the next three to four years and approximately 85 percent of state governments will have online buying by 2004.

A team of Purchasing and agency representatives was recently formed to discuss e-procurement and the benefits and concerns of implementing such a system in West Virginia. Dan Miller, our Automation Manager, is leading this team to develop goals, objectives and recommendations for improvement. As progress is made in this research, information will be shared in The Buyers Network. Our goal is to keep pace with technology and to utilize the Internet to the best of our ability.

*Source: The Public Purchaser, January-February 2001

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            MONEYWISE...Tips for the Thrifty

Plan Retirement Prosperity

Financial advisers usually want their clients to establish a retirement program that will yield about 75 percent of pre-retirement income. Now, however, seniors more often indulge themselves by fulfilling wishes they put off during working years. Many planners recommend investing to replace 100 percent of current income. What's more, these nest eggs should be designed to last until you are 90 years old. While people are advised to move money from stocks to bonds at age 70, even older retirees today are keeping as much as half of their money in stocks.

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SPOTLIGHTING...Statewide Contracts

Editor's Note: Periodically, The Buyers Network will be highlighting a statewide contract. This information may be helpful to you in making the appropriate contacts to the vendor or determining the types of products and services available on the contract.

SWC-PRESORT
Statewide Contract for Presort Mailing Services

Vendor
WV Association of Rehabilitation Facilities
[Institute, WV]

Contract Period
Effective through February 15, 2002.

Service Requirement
The vendor picks up the mail at the agency’s designated site daily, excluding state holidays and weekends.

The pick ups are confined to a five mile radius pickup area with the center being the Capitol Complex and will be made throughout the day from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The vendor and the agency may develop a specific pick up schedule within these time constraints that meet the needs of the agency.

The vendor is responsible for ensuring that all mail processed at its location is delivered and accepted at the U.S. Postal Service’s designated location on the posted or required date.

This is a critical requirement because time sensitive mail is involved.

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Vendor Conference Set for Next Month

The countdown is on!...The 3rd Annual Vendor Purchasing Conference is set for April 4-6 at Pipestem State Park. This training targets West Virginia resident vendors who have an interest in pursuing state government business.

In addition to small workshop sessions, the participants have the opportunity to meet many decision-makers from various state agencies and to provide information about the products and services they offer.

State agencies are encouraged to assist the Purchasing Division in promoting the vendor conference. West Virginia businesses may register online at our website at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase or by contacting our conference coordinators, Diane Holley (558-0661/dholley@gwmail.state.wv.us) or Debbie Watkins (558-3568/dwatkins@gwmail.state.wv.us).

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Buy Smart!...
Creating an Effective Plan

Efficiency should be a main concern for agency purchasers. An evaluation of the procurement system should be made on a periodic basis to determine if existing operating rules and procedures are beneficial, costly or time consuming.

Is a program in effect for researching the needs of the organization in relationship to current developments in the marketplace? Are personnel being trained appropriately? Is an attempt being made to reduce costs by using good purchasing techniques?

Develop a plan and keep an eye on your internal processes. Current practices may appear to get the job done, but is there a better, more effective, way to procure goods and services?

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Retaining Past Purchasing Bulletins
Begins with January 26th Issue

Interested in the list of solicitations which were published in a previous issue of the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin?

In recent months, the Purchasing Division has offered the most current issue of the Bulletin to state agencies on the State Employee Information Network (Intranet). However, beginning with the January 26 issue, past issues are now available to view at this site. Each issue will be added to assist state employees who may be needing to research a purchase. As time progresses, our volume of past issues will continue to grow.

This is just another way to enhance our website to meet the expectations of our customers. Please let us know how we are doing. We continue to look at information that may be beneficial to our agency purchasers, vendor community and the general public.

Suggestions and comments may be directed to our webmasters, Dan Miller (team@gwmail.state.wv.us) and Diane Holley (dholley@gwmail. state.wv.us)...We appreciate your input!

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What's State Government Buying?

(This information is compiled from the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin. The purpose is to provide an awareness of the variety of products and services being procured in state government. Only a small sample of solicitations are listed.)

w Office of Emergency Services
Provide a turn-key emergency reporting and tracking system

w All State Agencies
Provide disposable food service items to all state agencies and political subdivisions

w Division of Highways
Provide wildflower seeds packaged as individual species.

w All State Agencies
Provide credit card services for travel purchases for state employees.

w Development Office
Expression of Interest for architect/engineering firm to identify existing and reclaimed surface mining sites.

w Division of Motor Vehicles
Provide vehicle and driver license renewal forms and to mail the data tape from the Division of Motor Vehicles.

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Keeping Pace with Market Trends...
                                                        
   What's New with Tools?

Several new products have been introduced and were recently showcased in the January-February 2001 issue of The Public Purchaser*. Below are a few tools which have significantly enhanced this market:

The SBI/SALA’s Vertical Net System is a debris containment and guardrail system that increases public safety by preventing debris from falling. The system is easy to install, remove, relocate and store. Constructed from polyethylene mesh, it is highly visible even from the ground. The net is UV-resistant and fire-retardant, and it exceeds strength requirements of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Mac Tools, a distributor of automotive tools, has a new e-commerce site for government procurement agents. The new site, buy.mactools.com, offers features like product-name search, national stock number search, quick ordering, order tracking and order history.

This site will accept orders from government purchase card holders working on General Services Administration-approved contract numbers.

JWC Environmental has a new septage receiving system that provides greater plant protection and cleaner handling of septage truck waste through separation of solids. Equipped with a Muffin Monster, the system brings all septage coming into a plant before washing, compacting and denaturing the inorganic materials for disposal.

For pavement sweeping, snow removal, lawn raking or thatching, walk-behind powered brooms from M-B Cos. features an easily adjusted broom head. Lower broom head positioning allows operators to scour or deep-clean porous paved surfaces.

A medium position will remove snow and ice, and a higher broom position allows raking, lawn thatching and landscaping. The self-propelled broom features separate drive controls for broom rotation and wheels, with brush speeds from 85 to 185 revolutions per minute.

(*Used by permission: National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, The Public Purchaser)

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Handbook Survey Seeks the Level of Agency Satisfaction

A survey on the Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook is included in this issue of The Buyers Network

Agency purchasers are encouraged to complete this survey in order for the Purchasing Division to determine the level of satisfaction for this handbook.

The survey is to be returned no later than March 31, 2001 to Diane Holley, WV Purchasing Division, 2019 Washington Street East, P.O. Box 50130, Charleston, WV 25305. Additional pages may be used.

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VENDOR SPOTLIGHT: Meet Our West Virginia Businesses!

Each month, The Buyers Network familiarizes our readers with state businesses who have attended our past vendor purchasing conferences. We appreciated their participation in these training events.


Introducing West Side Telecomunications of Morgantown, West Virginia

West Side Telecommunications of Morgantown, West Virginia, offers a variety of services, including telephone, Internet, voice mail, automated attendant, interactive voice retrieval, Internet Telephony, computers, networks and software.

Dennis Oyler, Marketing Representative for West Side Telecommunications, indicated that a direct approach has proved most successful in marketing to state agencies. He deals most with the West Virginia State Police, Corrections, DHHR and the Division of Highways. Oyler benefited greatly from attending last year's Vendor Purchasing Conference. "The opportunities unrealized by in-state vendors are amazing," he said. "The state is extremely willing to keep money in West Virginia."

For more information on the services offered by West Side Telecommunications, contact Dennis Oyler at (800) 296-9113 or via electronic mail at denniso@westco.net.

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Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook
SATISFACTION SURVEY

The following questions pertain to the Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook which was distributed December 1, 2000. Please take a few minutes to answer these questions and return no later than March 31, 2001 to: Diane Holley, Purchasing Division, 2019 Washington Street, East, P.O. Box 50130, Charleston, WV 25305. Thank you for your cooperation.


1. Have you received a Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook?
oYes oNo

2. If yes, have you used it for...

Reference? oYes    oNo

Training? oYes oNo

Other (please specify)? oYes oNo

3. What is your general opinion of the effectiveness of the handbook?

oVery Satisfied oSatisfied     oNo opinion oDissatisfied oVery Dissatisfied

4. Do you find the information contained in the handbook ...

Helpful? oVery Helpful oHelpful oNo opinion oUnhelpful oVery Unhelpful

Understandable? oVery Understandable oUnderstandable oNo opinion oConfusing oVery Confusing

Accurate? oVery Accurate oAccurate oNo opinion oInaccurate oVery Inaccurate

Relative? oVery Relative o Relative oNo opinion oIrrelative oVery Irrelative

Complete? oVery Complete oComplete oNo opinion oIncomplete oVery Incomplete

User -friendly? oVery User-friendly oUser-friendly oNo opinion oDifficult   oVery Difficult

5. Have you used the online handbook at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/handbook?

oYes oNo

6. What is your opinion of using the online handbook?

oVery Satisfied oSatisfied oNo opinion oDissatisfied oVery Dissatisfied

7. Do you find the online handbook easy to navigate to seek information needed?

oYes oNo

8. What do you like the most about the new handbook?

 

 

9. What do you like least about the new handbook?

 

 

10. What would you like to see added to improve the new handbook?

 

 

11. Additional Comments (Use separate piece of paper, if necessary)

 

 

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Piggybacking Contracts...
         What's New in the Purchasing Division            Policies and Procedures Handbook?

Editor's Note: Each month, the Purchasing Division will highlight specific information which is contained in the Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook. For more details, please refer to the online handbook at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/handbook.


Piggybacking Contracts

Although previously highlighted in this publication, the directive on piggy backing contracts deems clarification and reiteration.

The Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook refers to 5A-3-19 of the West Virginia Code, the Purchasing Director "may, upon the recommendation of a state spending unit, make purchases from the federal government, from federal government contracts or from the University of West Virginia Board of Trustees or Board of Directors of the State College System contracts, if available and financially advantageous."

The following guidelines relate to these types of purchases:

• Requests for commodities and/services that exceed $75,000 must be competitively bid following all Purchasing Division requirements. Exceptions based on overwhelming evidence must be submitted, in writing, to the Purchasing Division to be discussed with the Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Administration or his designee;

• Requests may not be split or ‘strung out’ to circumvent the $75,000 limit;

• Requests that fall between $10,000 and $75,000 must be submitted through the Purchasing Division as a Direct Purchase Order. The requests must contain a copy of the contract, an original price confirmation quotation from the vendor, and proof that the requested purchase is ‘financially advantageous’ as mandated by law. Additionally, the request must contain specific agency approvals (IS&C, CTO, etc.), if applicable;

• Purchases less than $10,000 are delegated to state agencies. Documen-tation of the purchase must contain a copy of the contract, an original price confirmation quotation from the vendor, and proof that the requested purchase is ‘financially advantageous’ as mandated by law. Additionally, the request must contain specific agency approvals (IS&C, CTO, etc.), if applicable;

• Trade-in of existing equipment as a deduction from the purchase price of new equipment from a federal contract or higher education contract is expressly prohibited;

• State agencies are not authorized to obtain commodities and/or services from agency contracts, unless the contract(s) permits piggybacking.

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Finding Ways to Save Money? Look at the Obvious!

Saving money is always difficult; however, you may be surprised at the places where you can save a little change that adds up to a substantial amount.

Here are five hidden places to find over $1,000:

1) A cup of coffee every morning at 65 cents a day = $162 a year.

2) A soda at lunch at 50 cents a day = $125 a year

3) Renting two home videos a week at $3 each = $312 a year

4) Deli lunch purchased on workdays at $3 each = $750 a year

5) Five magazine subscriptions at $15 each = $75 a year.

Source: The Ultimate Credit Handbook by Gerri Detweiler

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Current Statewide Contract Update

Information and dates (as of February 14, 2001) included in this Current Statewide Contract Update are subject to change. If you need additional information, please contact the appropriate state buyer.

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: ALUM
Description:
Aluminum Coil and Flat Sheets
File:
33
Bid Opening:
02/07/01
Under Evaluation
:
Yes

Contracts to be Renewed

Contract: IMAGE
Description:
Document Imaging
File:
21
Vendor:
WVARF
Effective Date:
02/01/01

Contract: AUD/TAP
Description:
Audio Cassette Tapes
File:
21
Vendor:
National Audio
Effective Date:
02/15/01

Contract: SOAP
Description:
Liquid Soap and Dispensers
File:
22
Vendors:
WVARF
Effective
Date: 03/18/01

Contract: A/E FILTER
Description:
Fuel, Oil, and Air Filters
File:
33
Vendor:
Ridge Auto, Marine Supply
Effective Date:
02/15/01

Contracts to be Reviewed

MARCH

CABLE
Coaxial Cable (A)

STAKES
Survey Stakes

CANLINER
Plastic Can Liner

ABSORB
Liquid Spills

BARSOAP
Bar Soap

AUDIT
Single Audit Services

FUEL
Motor and Heating Fuels

TAGS
Identification Tags

CEREAL
Breakfast Foods; Cereals

ENVLOP
Envelopes

FINEPAP
Computer Paper

APRIL

COPIERS
Copy Machines

WATERT
Chemical Water Treatment

CLRM
Classroom/Meeting Room Furniture

MOF
Metal Office Furniture


Purchasing Division Staff

For questions concerning these contracts listed, please contact the appropriate buyer:

File 21
Charlyn Miller
(558-0067)

File 22
Pam Jones
(558-0468)

File 31
Evan Williams
(558-2596)

File 33
John Johnston
(558-0492)

File 41
Ron Price
(558-2316)

File 42 
Jim Jackson
(558-2402)

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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:

Name:

Organization:

E-Mail Address:

Telephone:

Need Information About:

 

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Thank You for Viewing our March 2001 Issue of The Buyers Network