What is the procedure for becoming a registered bidder for MHEC contracts?
Answer: If you are interested in becoming an MHEC Supplier, the first step is to complete and submit an Interested Bidder Registration Form. Completing this form does not mean that you are an MHEC supplier or that you have a contract. It simply identifies your company to MHEC as an interested bidder. Review the MHEC Contracts to see if there is one that matches your product lines. To be on an MHEC contract, you must submit a bid and be awarded a contract by an MHEC contract manager.
Is there a cost associated with becoming a registered bidder?
Answer: No. There is no cost for suppliers to register with MHEC or to respond to an MHEC bid.
Can a supplier join MHEC as a member?
Answer: No. Membership in MHEC is limited to not for profit entities including private/public colleges and universities, public, private, charter schools, educational organizations and libraries throughout the six New England States (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. A for profit business can register with MHEC if they are interested in becoming a supplier but they are not eligible to join MHEC as a member.
Why do I need to register with MHEC?
Answer: It is important to complete the “Interested Bidder Registration Form” with the name and contact information authorized by your company to receive solicitations and to indicate the products and services of interest to your company. MHEC will e-mail a notice to the bid contact specified in your registration form when a bid is being issued in your area of interest. An estimated schedule of MHEC bid postings can be found by clicking here MHEC Bid Postings
If I submit my Interested Bidder Registration Form, will I automatically be issued a contract?
Answer: No. Registration is only the first step in the competitive bidding process. By registering, you will simply receive bid notifications. Completing the registration form does not mean that you are an MHEC supplier or that you have a contract. Registering simply identifies your company to MHEC as an interested bidder. In order to receive an MHEC contract, companies must respond to an MHEC bid and be awarded an MHEC contract. Once bids are submitted, all offers are reviewed and evaluated for competitive pricing to determine which products/services (if any) merit the award of a contract. Typically MHEC bids contracts every 3-5 years.
How do I find contracts and product categories that might be of interest to my company?
Answer: All MHEC contracts and product categories can be found on our website (www.mhec.net) by clicking the contracts tab, and opening “All MHEC Contracts”. Product categories for each contract can be found on the far right side of the document.
Can I download/view a bid online?
Answer: Yes, through Bid Express. MHEC posts all bids and accepts only electronic bid submissions through Bid Express, a secure Internet bidding platform. This online bidding process is intended to assist bidders to submit their responses on time and with all the required documentation, therefore limiting the risk of disqualification. There is NO COST for suppliers to respond to MHEC bids. The MHEC has prepaid the fee on behalf of its bidders. All MHEC bids hosted on Bid Express are FREE OF CHARGE.
Is the MHEC the same as State Purchasing?
Answer: No. MHEC is a separate and distinct group purchasing organization, not to be confused with the Operational Services Division (OSD) in Boston, MA. OSD is the procurement department for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MHEC has public and private colleges/universities, public, private, charter k-12 schools, municipalities, not for profit educational organizations and libraries throughout New England.
How can I make my bid more attractive to members?
Answer: MHEC encourages bidders to offer in their bid:
- Complete product lines that your company is authorized to sell and service. For certain products, you must be authorized by the manufacturer to sell and service in the education marketplace.
- Extremely competitive pricing based on a discount (include price lists with bid submission) or markup (include cost sheets with bid submission).
- Free shipping
- Online ordering capability
- Dedicated company service contact
- Deeper Discounts based on volume
- Added value options such as rebates, free training and consultation
For more information on how MHEC bids, please refer to MHEC Bid Process
How can I be sure to submit a competitive bid?
Answer: Read over the bid document and instructions carefully. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions during the Q/A period. For additional guidance, click Common Mistakes
After responding to a bid, will I be notified of bid results?
Answer: The MHEC contract manager will notify all bidders of the bid results after the evaluation and award decisions have been finalized.
How will I know what dollar volume to expect from any awarded contract?
Answer: The MHEC does not guarantee any dollar volume commitment since use of the contracts is not mandatory. However, all bid specifications list the historical dollar volume of the prior fiscal year (s) as reported to MHEC by all suppliers on that contract.
Should I be awarded a contract, how will the members know my products/services are available?
Answer: The MHEC posts all contracts on our web site, www.mhec.net and members can view contract pricing and contact information using their login and password. New contract awards are discussed at quarterly member meetings and notices of new or amended contracts are emailed to all members monthly. Copies of each contract will be emailed to each awarded supplier in addition to a member list containing all necessary information to contact each MHEC member’s purchasing department. It is the individual contract holder’s responsibility to market their products and services to the MHEC membership and to continue to promote sales volume through quality and superior service. At the request of our members, MHEC will not provide email addresses.
What marketing opportunities are available to my company if I am awarded an MHEC contract?
Answer: The MHEC offers a variety of Marketing Opportunities to contracted Supply Partners. These opportunities are designed to assist your organization in promoting your existing or newly awarded MHEC contract(s), to highlight a new or discontinued product or service, or to provide members with additional savings opportunities. Click this link for more information : Marketing Opportunities
If my company is awarded a contract, can I add brands to the contract?
Answer: Maybe. Bids are analyzed and awarded based on best pricing for a brand. Therefore, a new brand cannot be added during the term of the contract if it is already on contract. If you would like to add a brand that was not awarded in the original bid, it may be possible however, this is at the discretion of the MHEC Contract Manager. You may add a new model within a brand that you were awarded by providing the MHEC with pertinent information about the new model.
What happens if I use my contract as “a starting point?”
Answer: It is MHEC’s expectation that your bid is offering the best price and contract terms available. If MHEC determines that you are not honoring the contract as awarded which includes “most favored pricing”, your contract may be suspended or canceled.
What happens if I offer a brand to the membership that I have not been awarded?
Answer: Suppliers are awarded specific brands. If you misrepresent your company’s award to MHEC members, your contract may be suspended or canceled.
Does MHEC pay my invoice for services rendered or products delivered to an MHEC member?
Answer: No. Any purchase order issued to a vendor by an MHEC member is an agreement between the individual member and the vendor, not the MHEC organization, or other MHEC Members in part or total.
Does the MHEC accept membership from colleges and universities in other states?
Answer: Yes. Membership is open to eligible entities (colleges/universities, public, charter and not for profit private schools, municipalities and educational not for profit organizations in the six New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island).
Can I add additional states or regions after I am awarded a contract?
Answer: Yes. You must notify the MHEC in writing.