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The City of Sterling Heights’ Office of Purchasing recently launched a new online option for submission of bids called an Electronic Bid Submission, or EBS.
This new option will benefit both the bidder and the City in saving cost, streamlining electronic storage and providing receipt and more.
Previously, the Purchasing Department has historically only accepted hard copy responses to Invitation to Bid, or ITBs. The new Electronic Bid Submission (EBS) will be available through the Michigan Intergovernmental Trade Network (MITN). Purchasing will continue to accept hard copy and electronic bids, with a long-term intention to only accept EBS exclusively, according to Purchasing Manager Jim Buhlinger.
“The City of Sterling Heights is taking on a best practice in the industry to begin accepting electronic bids as well as expanding our contact with more bidders in an effort to increase competition,” Buhlinger said. “We are helping to reduce bidders’ overall costs when participating in our process in addition to helping the City further safeguard the bidding process through the electronic vault concept.”
“This is another example of the City of Sterling Heights upgrading our technology to be more efficient in our processes,” said Mayor Michael C. Taylor. “The City will continue to embrace new technology and find ways we can streamline our processes to benefit all parties involved.”
According to Buhlinger, advantages to both bidders and the City include:
Bidder advantages include:• Saves bidders the cost of delivering their bid to the City (i.e. postage, FedEx / UPS charges, etc.)• Allows bidders more time to submit up until due date/time • Receipt of instant notification of a successful submission• Capability to submit bid from any device with internet connectivity
City advantages include:• All submissions are uploaded into a sealed vault for security purposes (unable to be accessed by the City until the due date/time)• Submissions are provided in a .pdf format making electronic storage by Purchasing more efficient• Electronic submission option encourages more bidders to participate in the process• No cost to city
The Office of Purchasing has used MITN for more than 10 years to electronically advertise and distribute all solicitations including ITBs, request for quotes (RFQs), and requests for proposals (RFPs). The MITN website provides bidders a one-stop point of access to solicitations from over 160 governmental agencies across Michigan.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact the city’s Community Relations Department at (586) 446-2470.