On October 17, 2011, I did a post on Reprographics 101 to let you know that the City of Cambridge MA would likely be issuing a bid for reprographics services in the near term.
And, this morning when I did some Google-searching, I did find that the City did, recently, issue its bid document.
City of Cambridge MA Bid for Reprographics Services
Reprographics Services – File No. 5687
Bids due on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
City of Cambridge, Purchasing Department
795 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 303
Cambridge, MA 02139
Purchasing Agent: Cynthia Griffin
Bid document can be downloaded off of the City’s web-site, www.cambridgema.gov
Reprographers, I took just a few minutes to look though the list of services that bidders are asked to bid on, and, folks, this bid document is one of the worst ones that I’ve come across in the past few years. This City, home to MIT and Harvard no less, appears be quite backwards; one wonders if the purchasing department did any homework, at all, on the services it needs and how to appropriately describe the services it needs. Here are some of the line items and my comments about each.
- Diazo blackline prints
How many reprographers in the Boston/Cambridge area still offer diazo printing services, and, even if any of them do, why in the world is this service even necessary in this day and age?
- Photographic mylar with wash-off emulsion
- Output from electronic Macintosh file to bond/vellum large-format max.width dimension 36”
One price per sq ft for bond and vellum. Maybe they should have included mylar in this line item as well!
- Docutext printing from MAC electronic file black & white printing
Well, I know they meant to say “Docutech”, but, even if they got that right, brand names have no business being included in any line-item description.
- Banners and signage Color Output 30” wide x per sq ft (no specific media mentioned)
How in the world is anyone supposed to provide a unit price for this line item without an understanding of the media-type required?
Joel’s final comments on this Bid document:
This Bid document is a perfect example of bids in the past that used to make me cringe, literally! Fraught with inaccurate (or, worse, stupid) line item descriptions and services that are obsolete. Shame on the City’s Purchasing Department for not reaching out to area reprographics vendors for assistance and guidance in updating/revising/modernizing the City’s bid procurement for reprographics services. And, shame on Boston area reprographers for not educating the City’s purchasing department on current reprographics technology and services!
I’ve uploaded a copy of the bid document to my Google-Docs library; here’s the link: