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RFP 18-04 Questions & Answers

RFP 18-04 Questions & Answers

1. Is there a regional representative for my area that I could speak to and ask questions of regarding this solicitation? I am in Middlebury, IN, but my corporate office is in Spring Lake, MI.

Direct all questions regarding to this solicitation to Region 4 as noted in the specification.

2. One additional thing, I noticed the solicitation states the deadline for submission is Tuesday December 21st, 2017. December 21st, 2017 is a Thursday. Would the deadline be Tuesday December 19th, or Thursday December 21st?

The deadline for submission is Thursday, December 21, 2017.

3. We have an existing contract with National IPA including our entire catalog of products. What is the purpose of this new RFP 18-04? I’m not sure if we need to bid on this RFP since we already have a current contract. What is the difference between having a contract and this RFP?

This is a Region 4 ESC RFP for Ergonomic Solutions. Existing contracts are based on scope, supplier response and current offering. It is the Suppliers decision to respond to solicitations.

4. Thank you for the opportunity to submit questions regarding the 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions. We respectfully request an extension on the submittal of questions, due to receiving a delayed bid notification on 11/20.

Submittal of questions for RFP 18-04 is extended to December 11, 2017 at no later than 5pm CT.

5. As a current National IPA/TCPN contract holder, is there any documentation that you have on file with our current contract that we could reference when responding to this bid rather than resubmitting everything? All of our ergonomic solutions are already included in our Furniture & Installation contract, so National IPA already has our current price list and all other applicable info.

National IPA/TCPN holds the same contract documents as Region 4 and the current contract holder(s), so please reference your supplier records. Also, while materials may be resubmitted, vendors may not respond by reference to a previous solicitation offering. It is the Supplier's decision to respond to solicitations. Should you choose to participate in the current solicitation RFP 18-04, it will be your decision to respond with an offering, but please understand this is a totally-separate solicitation that will result in a separate contract. If your company is a current Region 4/National IPA/TCPN contract holder, it does not automatically guarantee an award under RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions.

6. I noticed no reference to National IPA in the documentation. Is it the intent that this contract will work/market like our existing Contract R142217, or is the National IPA Brand being eliminated?

This is a Region 4 solicitation and will market in the same manner as existing agreements partnered within Region 4/National IPA.

7. Is it the intent that this solicitation will replace the existing Contract R142217, which expires on 4/30/18? I see the estimated spend is $10 to $20 million a year and this covers case goods and seating as well. Please advise the consequent effect on Contract R142217.

No. RFP 18-04 is for Ergonomic Solutions, please refer to the RFP specification, Appendix G for additional offering(s) submission. There are no consequent effects on Contract R142217.

8. I received notice of this solicitation on 11/20/17, though it was released on 11/1/17. I respectfully request an extension to the due date to allow for proper time to complete this solicitation.

There will be no extension to RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions. The deadline will remain Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 2:00pm Central Time.

9. The solicitation states that if we have an existing contract, the discounting/pricing for this solicitation must be equal to or higher than the existing contract. However, you have increased the administration fees by 1% for this new solicitation. Can the wording be changed accordingly regarding this?

Use RFP 18-04 specification, Appendix D to note exception(s).

10. As in our current contract, we have a large dealer network of over 2,000 dealers. Will it be acceptable, as was agreed to our existing contract, for me to list as an exception to “contact customer service for authorized dealer” so all our valued dealers will have the opportunity to participate in the contract in their respective areas?

Use RFP 18-04 specification, Appendix D to note exception(s).

11. Our product is manufactured by order, at time of order and offers numerous options of finishes, edge details, pulls, etc. Additionally we do not offer a stocking program. A 10% cap on restocking fees would not be feasible in this type of manufacturing model. Will it be acceptable to list this as an exception?

Use RFP 18-04 specification, Appendix D to note exception(s).

12. We over upwards of 35,000 SKU’s. We do not have an excel or delimited formatted price list available. We do offer a full version .pdf. Will this be acceptable?

Yes, submit pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

13. On page 26 of the RFP, it is states the need for ergonomic solutions other than furniture and equipment such as job site evaluation and training, follow up performance evaluations, prevention techniques and group trainings. Can you share more information as to what information you are seeking? What specific services are utilized and requested now? How do you want this priced out?

Offerors are strongly encouraged to submit their entire catalogue and turn-key solutions within the scope of this RFP. See RFP 18-04, Appendix C.

14. We would like to submit the RFP in conjunction with another partner where we would be the Primary. Is this acceptable?

Based on the RFP 18-04 specification, it is a respondent decision in submitting an offering.

15. If we were to bid on just the ergonomic solutions and not the furniture, would that be acceptable?

This is a RFP specification. It is the respondent decision in submitting an offering.

15. If we were to bid on just the ergonomic solutions and not the furniture, would that be acceptable?

This is a RFP specification. It is the respondent decision in submitting an offering.

16. The Ergonomic Solutions RFP includes both products and services. It is our opinion that these two efforts should be separated, as the ergonomic evaluation should inform the product requirements. A Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) should be required to provide the evaluation requirements noted in the RFQ. This individual should be product brand agnostic; in other words, they should recommend the product or tools that are required to reduce the risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). The Board of Certified Professional Ergonomists offers a formal accreditation program with the following requirements: A Master’s degree in ergonomics or equivalent education in life sciences, behavioral sciences or engineering sciences, Worked full time in the ergonomics field for at least 3 years, Pass the written CPE exam, which is a comprehensive 8-hour test. This RFQ is requesting services that should be performed by a professional but does not specifically note any requirements for certification, training or education to qualify. The liability on Region 4 and any other customers that would utilize this contract as well as any awarded vendors is very high. In addition, the RFQ is requesting a very broad range of products that do not necessarily align with ‘ergonomic solutions’ and may not include the product that a CPE would recommend. We respectfully request that Region 4 modify their approach to Ergonomic Solutions into two distinct RFQs, one for service and one for product. The service RFQ should clearly outline the education requirement for anyone who would provide ergonomic services. The product should be limited to products with clearly defined attributes that would reduce the risk of developing the most common MSDs found in the office environment, although the product RFP may include consideration for product-specific instruction. Ergonomic evaluations of individuals in their work environment and development of an on-going ergonomic program takes intimate knowledge of the workplace culture and job tasks, and we respectfully recommend that the service RFQ consider the time and commitment required to successfully implement this initiative, and be conducted prior to product selection.

See Addendum #1.

17. Is this an all or nothing bid?  We can handle all requests except “Lighting” - we sell desk lamps but cannot do extensive lighting throughout a facility. Would we still be able to bid our entire catalog and website which we have a large variety of products beyond basic ergonomic solutions.

Using the specification, Q&A and addendum(s) associated with RFP 18-04, it is the respondents decision to proposal an offering.


18. Submission of Responses. If a vendor does not have proprietary information as part of their bid response, are we required to send this additional electronic copy, or are we required only to send the (2) electronic copies?

See NOTICE TO OFFEROR. Submit in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

19. Appendix A: Vendor Contract & Signature Form (Top of very first page). At the top of the page, please confirm Vendors are required to complete this section. If so, please confirm on the first line that vendors should input the anticipated contract start date? If not, what date should be referenced?

Submit in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

20. Appendix A: 1.4 Purchasing Procedure. To accommodate those participating entities that prefer to issue orders directly to the authorized dealer and in some cases to accommodate customer minority spend requirements, please confirm it will be acceptable for dealers to accept orders, invoice the participating entity and accept payment.

Contractor, dealer and agency shall determine an acceptable format. However, it is the contractors responsible to report sales under agreement related to RFP 18-04.

21. Appendix A: 5.3 Delivery/Service Failures. Please confirm the expenses outlined in this section for reimbursement will be reasonable and limited to comparable product(s).

The expectation is a contractor will treat a participating agency or entity fairly and within a reasonable time period for all expenses incurred. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

22. Appendix A: 7.1 Delivery. Due to the number of available fabrics, finishes, options, etc. our products are made-to-order and cannot be shipped within 7-days of receipt of purchase order. In lieu of the 7-day requirement, please confirm an acceptable shipment time frame can be mutually agreed to by the parties.

Submit in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. Use Appendix D for exception/deviations.

23. Appendix A: 8.4 Reporting. Please confirm ‘all contract Sales’ is defined as total net product sales.

All sales will be reported for this contract. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

24. Appendix A: 9.1 Best price Guarantee. Please confirm reductions to a manufacturer’s nationally publicized list price, is the same as ‘a reduction in the manufacturer or publisher’s direct cost.’

The expectation shall be an awarded contractor agrees to provide pricing that are lowest pricing available and the pricing shall remain so throughout the duration of the contract. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

25. Appendix A: 9.5 Prevailing Wage. Please confirm it is the responsibility of the customer to notify the vendor if prevailing wage is required on a project.

The expectation is that parties will be responsible to ensure all matters are met for project(s) under this contract. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

26. Appendix A: 10.1 Audit Rights. Please confirm audit rights are the limited to records directly related to the performance of this agreement.

Project(s) related to RFP 18-04 are subject to Audit Right. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

27. Appendix A: 11.7 Buy American Requirement. Please confirm that the Buy American Act for the State of NJ and all other applicable states only applies when requested by an individual participating entity.

There may be time(s) when it is not requested, but needed. Specification in RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions are confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

28. Appendix A: 12.6 Stored Materials. Please confirm the party in control of the storage location will be responsible to insure against loss and damage.

Contractor and participating agency shall be responsible for assuring proper measures are developed. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

29. Appendix A: 12.6 Stored Materials. Please confirm ‘final acceptance’ is defined as delivery into the Member’s control.

Contractor and participating agency shall be responsible for assuring proper measures are developed. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

30. Appendix A: 13.3 Indemnity. Please confirm the indemnity obligations of the vendor are limited to the extent of our negligence or misconduct.

Indemnity obligation outside of the RFP 18-04 specification should be noted using Appendix D. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

31. Appendix A: 13.6 Insurance. Please define the insurance requirements to be provided in the Certificates of Insurance prior to the commencement of work.

Participating agency shall work with contractor to develop insurance requirements related to project(s). See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

32. Appendix B: Returns. Due to the many available options, finishes, fabrics, etc. our products are made-to-order and therefore are not stocked. With the custom nature of our product, it is not a viable option for us to sell the returned product to another customer; therefore, we request the restocking fees for returns be increased to 45% of the value of the item that required restocking.

Submit pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

33. Exhibit A. Please confirm if a manufacturer is responding direct, Exhibit A can be completed as ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable).

See Appendix E, QUESTIONNAIRE, #7. Distribution Channel. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

34. Appendix C: Pricing. Please confirm if we can submit 2 pricing proposal options in response to this solicitation due to the change in the administrative fee percentage? One that would be equivalent to the current NIPA contract pricing and one that would take into consideration the increased administrative fee.

Submit pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

35. Appendix C: Pricing. Please confirm vendors are required to submit a separate attachment which outlines discounts and all other charges in response to this section.

Submit discounts and all other charges in response to Appendix C: Pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirement of the solicitation.

36. Appendix C: Pricing. Due to varying labor rates and prevailing wage requirements, as well as varying site conditions, is it acceptable to state that installation charges will be negotiated on a project-by-project basis with the end customer?

Submit pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

37. Appendix C: Pricing. To provide our list pricer in Excel would be thousands of lines depending on whether or not we have to include the multiple options available for fabric, finishes, etc. Instead of providing our list pricer information in Excel, can a manufacturer provide our list pricer in PDF pricer (which includes manufacturer part #, description, and manufacturers list price) without net pricing? In addition to satisfy the pricing requirements we will attach a detailed discount schedule which outlines the manufacturer’s discounts by product series in order to satisfy this requirement. Will this satisfy the requirements in Appendix C?

Submit pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

38. Appendix C: Pricing. Can we note our charges for services, product discounts, warranties, shipping, etc. on separate tabs within our Excel price list?

Submit pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

39. Appendix C: Pricing. Appendix C states “Offerors must submit products, services, warranties, etc. in price list.” Please confirm respondents are not required to include charges for installation, etc. as a part of their product discounts. It is our understanding that respondents can include charges for installation and other services as a separate item within Appendix C, as long as these rates are auditable. It is the respondent’s decision to include these services as a separate auditable charge or to incorporate these charges within their product discounts.

Submit pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

40. Appendix D: General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form. Please confirm exceptions/deviations can be listed on a separate document.

Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

41. Appendix D: General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form. Please confirm it is acceptable for vendors to copy the original term or condition and redline the proposed changes.

Submit in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

42. Appendix E: Questionnaire Item 8 Pricing Information. Please confirm additional discounts for purchase of a guaranteed quantity means additional discounts are offered based on individual order size.

See Appendix G – VALUE ADD. Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

43. Appendix F: Company Profile Item 5. Please confirm manufacturers do not need to include the number of persons at distribution centers, only sales persons broken down by market.

Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

 

44. Appendix F: Company Profile Item 6. Please confirm manufacturers need to include authorized dealers as part of the offices or service center information. If we are providing a list or our dealers are we required to provide key contact, email, phone, etc. for all dealers?

Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

45. Appendix F: Company Profile Item 7. Please confirm vendors should only provide the number of furniture dealers broken down by state that will have access to the TCPN contract.

Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. Specification RFP 18-04 Ergonomic Solutions is confirmed. Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

46. Appendix F: Company Profile Item 26. Time and attendance reports typically don’t apply to office furniture, please provide additional information as to what should be reported as time and attendance for each eligible agency.

Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

47. Appendix F: Company Profile Item 29. As a vendor, we have many licenses, certifications, and registrations. In addition, our authorized dealers also hold many different certifications. Please confirm it is acceptable to respond that we can provide these upon award, by state on a case-by-case basis.

Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

48. Appendix H: Document #5 Antitrust Certification Statements. Our authorized member of our company will sign this document. This person meets the qualification outlined in #1 of this form. In which signature line are they required to sign, the Offeror or the Authorizing Official? The signature lines for both of these sections are exactly the same. Typically, an authorizing official is a member of procurement.

Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

49. Appendix H: Document #9 Non-Collusion Affidavit. At the top of the page where it says ‘State of New Jersey’ ‘County of’ – do we populate this with the county of the state we are located, or is there another county that should be referenced?

Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

50. Appendix H: Document #10 Affirmative Action Affidavit. ‘Signature of Procurement Agent’ - is the vendor required to sign, or will this form be signed by National IPA?

National IPA is not authorized to sign documents. Submit a response that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

51. General Questions: Contract Updates. Please confirm pricing changes, product changes, dealer revisions, etc. can be submitted at any time with written approval."

See Appendix A, ARTICLE 4 – FORMATION OF CONTRACT and ARTICLE 9 – PRICING. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

52. General Questions: Open Market. Please confirm Region 4 ESC will allow non-contract items to be submitted on a purchase order with contract items"

All product/services must be approved by Region 4ESC. See Appendix A, ARTICLE 4 – FORMATION OF CONTRACT and ARTICLE 9 – PRICING. See Appendix D, General Terms & Conditions Acceptance Form to note exception/deviations to RFP 18-04.

53. General Questions: Specials. In order to meet the unique needs of an end user, we have the ability to customize many of our products. These customized products are referred to as ‘specials’. These specials are defined as modifications to existing products that will still maintain the primary product function and warranty. For example, if an end user requires a bookcase that needs five shelves instead of four. Specials are uniquely priced based upon the requested modification; as such, the list prices and model numbers of the specials are not published in our catalog or our list pricer. Please clarify if we can offer this ‘specials’ program upon contract award."

See Appendix G: VALUE ADD. Submit pricing in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

54. General Questions: Appendices. In responding to questions within the Appendices, can a vendor respond on a separate attachment instead of incorporating our response immediately following the question within the bid?

Submit in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

55. General Questions: Warranty. Where should a vendor submit a copy of their warranty (which Appendix or Tab)?

See, Award Process, XXIV. Evaluation Process, Performance Capability #8 and Appendix A, ARTICLE 11 – OFFEROR PRODUCT LINE REQUIREMENTS, #11.6. Submit in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

56. General Questions: Vendor Contract Launch. Please confirm if this document should be included at the end of Tab 1 following Appendix D, or as part of Tab 2 Appendix E?

Submit in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.

57. General Questions: Authorized Dealers. Under which Tab are vendors required to submit their list of authorized dealers.

Submit in a format that you feel best meets the requirements of the solicitation.