Thursday, January 26, 2012

RFP (ITB) for Copy Center Services and Convenience Copiers - City of Orlando FL

City of Orlando Florida

Invitation to Bid

IFB10-0283 / RC


No, this is not a current bid/proposal opportunity. And, it won’t be an opportunity, for anyone other than the current vendor, until 2015 or later.

In spite of that, I’ve chosen to do an article about this deal - - - for those who are willing to do “homework”. Those who know me know that I’m into that sort of thing – for how in the world will you ever be able to be successful – in the reprographics business, or, for that matter, in any business - if you aren’t willing to do homework?

Over the past few years, there’s been a whole lot of talk about the opportunity to generate revenues and profits from offering “MPS” (and FM) services. And, personally, I believe that there is opportunity, but I also believe that “it ain’t easy.” And, I think that’s especially true when it comes to “government sector” business.

As to “homework”, I will never forget the “homework process” that I went through to pass the C.P.A. exam. I was out of college for five years before I decided (or, I guess I should say, before my wife pushed me) to sit for the C.P.A. exam. One of the things I did to prepare for that exam was to order copies of prior exams (they published prior exam questions AND answers.) Had I not studied the Q’s and A’s in prior exams, I doubt that I would have been able to pass that exam (the “success rate” for first-time participants is less than 10% - the Bar exam is easier to pass than the C.P.A. exam.)

Anyway, studying MPS/FM procurements, where you can get your hands on all of the documents associated with RFP/ITB procurements, is, to me, certainly one way of educating oneself about how to go about the process of generating proposals that respond to ITBs or RFPs. With regard to the procurement that I’m going to mention below, if I were truly doing homework on this procurement, I’d request from the City of Orlando copies of all of the proposals that were submitted in response to the City’s procurement along with copies of the evaluation of the proposals that were submitted.

Okay, I’ve posted two different documents in my Google Docs library, one of which is a “consolidated” document that contains the Contract, the RFP (ITB), and the successful vendor’s proposal (including pricing).

The (consolidated) document begins with Amendments to the Contract, and, so far, there have been 4 amendments.

After the Amendments, you’ll find the actual, official “Contract.
Term of Agreement: 5 years; August 2010 to July 2015

(But, note that the Contract allows for up to five additional one-year extensions; if all of those extensions are approved, then this Contact won’t end until July 2020!)

And, after the Contract, you’ll find the “Invitation to Bid”, which was issued on April 23rd, 2010.

And, after the Invitation to Bid, you’ll find the bid/proposals submitted by the vendor who was awarded this bid – that proposal was submitted by Seminole Office Solutions, a dealer/distributor of copying equipment. Seminole Office Solutions is recognized – certified - by the State of Florida as a “Minority, Women, Service-Disabled Veteran Business”. (I am pretty sure that Seminole Office Solutions fits only one of those categories, but that’s all you need, just one.) I did not read the ITB document to find out if “certified” businesses received a preference (in the bid evaluation), but, if there was a preference given, I seriously doubt that it was more than a minor preference.

The “Bid Proposal” does show all pricing; a) for convenience copiers (there were about 120 included in this procurement), and b) for staffed copy center services. (Note that none of the prices include paper, since the City of Orlando provides paper under this contract.)

Examples of pricing:

For copies/prints produced by the staffed Copy/Center (8 ½ x 11):

Black & White: $.0144

Color: $.039

(Paper is not included in the price)

Here’s a link to the file that contains all of the documents I mentioned above:

And, here’s a link to the “Summary of Contract Actions” (so far) for the Contract the City of Orlando has with Seminole Office Solutions. This particular document reveals the value of this deal to the vendor.

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Joel’s further comments:

Inasmuch as our company (the one I “retired” from in Dec 2007) was active in Florida, I was very aware of the very first procurement the City of Orlando held for the procurement I’ve mentioned in this post. I think that took place sometime around 2000, but I’m not sure of that date. Prior to the City of Orlando making the decision to “outsource” the operation of its Central Copy Center and to consolidate all of its convenience copiers under one single vendor, the City self-operated its Central Copy Center and leased copiers from multiple vendors. Prior to the City of Orlando adopting the “outsource” model, Hillsborough County Government (100 miles to the West) made that decision, and, in joint venture with Ricoh (then called Savin), our company won that deal. (Under that deal, Savin provided around 270 convenience copiers to Hillsborough County, NGI operated the Hillsborough County Central Copy Center. It was a bigger deal that the City of Orlando deal, and we had the Hillsborough County deal (first with Savin, then with Ricoh) for about 10 or 11 years.)

The first time the City of Orlando held its “outsource” competition, Xerox Corp won that deal. Several years later, IKON successfully unseated Xerox. However, IKON got that deal (which was the 2nd time the City held this procurement) because it offered pricing that was stupendously lower than all other proposers. (If I’m recalling this correctly, IKON’s pricing, in that deal, was at least 30% less than pricing offered by the next closest proposer.) I remember sending a letter to IKON’s CEO asking him “what were your people thinking!”

Anyway, “some” have said that only large equipment manufacturers can be successful in large government-sector deals. The fact that Seminole Office Solutions won the deal in 2010 should put a kibosh to that sort of thinking. (My belated congrats to Seminole Office Solutions, for I’m sure they had heavy completion from much larger companies. But, having said that, I hope they are making money on the deal. But, when one compares pricing, that’s not assured. If I’m recalling this correctly, our pricing to Hillsborough County, for copy/print services provided by the staffed Copy Center we operated inside the County Office Building, were $.027 for b/w and $.27 for color (8 ½ x 11, prices did not included paper, paper was an additional cost.) Compare that to the pricing that Seminole Office Solutions is getting under its agreement with the City of Orlando.

Happy homework!

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