COSTARS SUPPLIER FAQS
How does my company become a COSTARS Member?
COSTARS membership is for purchasers, not suppliers, and it is exclusive to local public procurement units (LPPUs) and state-affiliated entities, as those terms are defined in the Commonwealth Procurement Code.
How does my company participate as a COSTARS supplier?
Suppliers participate in the COSTARS Program as contractors. To become a COSTARS supplier, one needs to respond to bidding opportunities that are published on the DGS COSTARS or PA eMarketplace web-pages. A supplier that successfully responds to a contract solicitation may be awarded a contract.
Why is DGS issuing Invitations For Bids for various types of goods when DGS has already awarded statewide contracts for these goods?
DGS awards specific Contracts for Commonwealth agencies' use statewide. In general, LPPUs and state-affiliated entities may also purchase from many of those statewide contracts. In 2004, the Pennsylvania General Assembly, via the code, directed DGS to issue special contracts solely for the use of LPPUs and state-affiliated entities for certain goods and services. DGS has included these special non-Commonwealth agency contracts, known as "COSTARS-exclusive contracts", as part of the COSTARS program. All DGS contracts through which LPPUs and state-affiliated entities may make purchases, including specific statewide contracts as well as COSTARS-exclusive contracts, are part of the COSTARS Program. Local purchasers using these contracts must be registered COSTARS members.
We are not able to offer items in all product categories of the Contract Scope. Can we submit a bid for only for those items we can offer?
Yes. Bidders need not offer the full spectrum of items encompassed in the procurement; however, DGS encourages bidders to offer the widest possible selection of items under the Contract.
If a bidder's product offerings are contained in multiple price lists, not consolidated into a single pricelist, may the bidder identify more than one price list on its Bid Item Sheet?
The bidder must submit each price list on a separate Bid Item Sheet. If the bidder is offering part but not all of the items on any specified price list for its COSTARS-exclusive contract, the bidder must clearly identify the offered items and clearly mark the items not offered under the contract.
May a manufacturer respond to the bid with a direction that orders and billing be done through a local dealer network?
Yes. However, any manufacturer's authorized dealer is also eligible to respond to the COSTARS Invitation for Bids and to receive its own separate contract award. Please refer to the Instructions to Bidders for COSTARS Contracts and the COSTARS Contract Special Terms and Conditions for complete information.
If resellers bid the contract, are they allowed to bid more than one manufacturer's product line?
Yes. Resellers may bid as many manufacturers' product lines as they are authorized to sell. Please refer to the Instructions to Bidders for COSTARS Contracts for complete information.
If the bidder is a reseller, and the reseller's distributor holds the contract with the manufacturer, the distributor may choose to authorize the reseller on behalf of the manufacturer to sell the manufacturer's goods and materials. In this situation, will DGS accept the distributor's written authorization for the bidder to sell the manufacturer's goods and materials?
Yes. DGS will accept written proof of the bidder's authorization to sell the manufacturer's goods and materials from the distributor on behalf of the manufacturer. The written proof from the distributor must state that the distributor is authorized to act on behalf of the manufacturer, and as such, is authorizing the reseller to sell the manufacturer's goods and materials. Such written proof need not be specific to this procurement.
Are resellers permitted to reduce the discount percentage on an item if the manufacturer changes the list price on that item?
No. The bidder's percent discount(s) or mark-ups from the bid documents should remain firm for the entire contract period, including renewals. The actual cost to the Purchaser may fluctuate based on changes to the Manufacturer or Distributor's price list or Distributor's cost sheet. This does not take into account the changes in contract pricing permitted periodically based on the time period for price adjustments specified in the COSTARS-exclusive contract special terms and conditions.
How will DGS compare and score bid pricing? Will DGS use a pricing matrix?
DGS awards COSTARS-exclusive contracts to all responsible and responsive bidders. Because DGS awards a COSTARS-exclusive contract to each responsible and responsive bidder, DGS does not score bid price submittals in COSTARS procurements, though DGS does evaluate the pricing to ensure conformity to bid requirements. Although comparative pricing among bidders is not a factor in contract awards, pricing may be a consideration for COSTARS purchasers to select a contractor and place their orders. Consequently, each bidder should present its very best response to the COSTARS invitation for bids.
Why is the supplier required to furnish sales reports to DGS?
DGS collects sales report data to assist DGS in reporting COSTARS contract use to the appropriate reviewing organizations. In addition, this sales data is the primary accountability measure of the overall effectiveness of the COSTARS Program and assists DGS to institute program improvements.