The City of Wichita utilizes three types of competitive solicitations for goods and services:
What is the difference between a bid and a proposal?
A bid is a solicitation that is awarded solely by the lowest and best total bid that meets the specification requirements.
A proposal is a solicitation that is not awarded solely by cost, but is instead evaluated based on a list of criteria developed specifically for each proposal called out in the specifications of the proposal. Criteria for evaluation can include, but is not limited to: cost, qualifications, ability to meet required timeline, and approach to the project.
You can find out more at the City's FAQ page.
For purchases less than $50,000
For purchases exceeding $50,000 or more
Request for Proposals (RFP)
For professional, consultant, design/build services and selected products
Before you submit a bid, make sure you have done your homework and met with the right people.
Attend a Pre-Bid Meeting
The purpose of the meeting will be to review the requirements and specifications contained in the solicitation package. It may also be to correct any errors or make any necessary changes. Any addendum(s) that may come out of the pre-bid/pre-proposal conference will be posted on the City's website. At the pre-bid meeting, a representative from the relevant agency will share information about the project requirements, timeline and proposal. This meeting is your opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
Attendance at pre-bid meetings is not mandatory for vendors to bid on any solicitation, however, they are recommended. Even if you decide not to bid on a particular project, pre-bid meetings are a great place to make connections and meet potential partners.
Talk to the Agency
For first-time bidders, meeting with a representative of the relevant City agency or department is an important part of the bidding process. City staff are always happy to answer questions and listen to suggestions. Agencies look to vendors like you for innovative ideas. After all, you are the expert in your field.
Meeting with agency representatives also helps put a face to a name, which can help during the bidding process. It’s also a great way to learn about other upcoming opportunities and resources.
Ask the Right Questions
Make sure to do your research before you meet with an agency representative. Learn what the agency does and how they typically handle contract work. This can help you formulate good questions to ask the agency representative.
If you are a small vendor, you should ask about what kind of experience is needed for a particular contract, or if there are any other special requirements.
Agency representatives have limited time, so use your meeting to focus on learning and listening instead of a sales pitch. If you aren’t prepared to do the work, be honest. If you think your work could be valuable, request a follow-up meeting.