Welcome to Central Services/Purchasing Services - Vendor Guide

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Doing business with the County of Solano...

This guide will outline our purchasing operation, buying procedures, policies affecting purchasing, and completing a vendor application with the County.

Vendor Registration

To be added to the County's vendor list, please complete the vendor application form. Applications can be printed for your convenience. Applications may be submitted via fax or regular mail. Once the application is received, the information is entered into our database. Please be sure to enter the commodity or service codes on the application. The commodity/service codes are also available as downloadable documents.

There is also a "Buyers by Major Commodity" form available for your use to determine which buyer could best help with your needs.

If your firm has any changes to company name, representative, address, phone numbers, etc., please let us know to keep your information current.

What the County buys...

It is helpful to look at the functions of the County in determining what it must purchase to fill its needs. The County operates:

       Buildings and institutions, which require maintenance equipment and supplies, plumbing and electrical supplies, lights and controls, heating and air conditioning equipment, carpets, draperies and floor tile.

       Offices, which require furniture, data automation equipment, office machines and supplies, filing, printing and mailing equipment.

       Institutions and health facilities, which require educational materials, laboratory medical supplies and equipment, athletic and recreational materials, clothing, bedding, food and food processing items.

       Parks and grounds, which require off-the-road equipment, tools, and machinery, fencing, seed and plantings and fertilizer.

       Car and truck fleets, which require fuel and oil, replacement parts, tires, batteries and body and engine services.

       Highways which require road materials, signs, markers and maintenance equipment.

Purchasing Services does not contract for public works, construction or repairs. With the exception of some electronic data processing acquisitions, it does not contract for personal services, technical services, rentals or leases of real property. Such contracts and leases are negotiated by the individual County agencies requiring the service involved such as the following.

Public Works - Roads Projects
Architectural Services - Planning/Construction Projects
Facilities Operations - Building Maintenance


Competition is the key word in doing business with the County of Solano. Most awards are made on a low bid meeting specifications basis. There are times, however, when the low bid may not be awarded. Such things as delivery time, cash discounts (over 10 days), previous experience with the vendor, may be considered in awarding the bid.

You must be competitive. The County deals primarily with manufacturers and wholesalers, and purchases at highly competitive prices. Usually retailers have difficulty in competing for County business. Read the request for price quotations carefully. The County explicitly and fully explains what it wants. Read the price requests and bid invitations carefully and be sure you can comply with all the requirements before bidding. If the material is unclear or other complications arise, contact Purchasing Services as soon as possible. Do not wait until the date of the bid opening.

Most procurement actions with a dollar value over five thousand ($5,000.00) to twenty-five thousand ($25,000.00) will be bid informally. This may be in the form of a written bid, fax or telephone bid unless specified otherwise. Those procurements over twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) are formal bids and must be submitted in writing with original signatures. (No faxes, email or telephone bids will be accepted.) All bidders responding to formal bids will be advised in writing of notice of award. Our most recent purchase records are available for public inspection at our office.

Bonding and sureties...

While there may be cases where bid bonds, payment bonds or performance bonds are required, by statute or by policy, the County is committed to use bonds only when specifically justified. Bonding is recognized as a possible impediment to a new or small business enterprise and, as such, is not called for on a routine general basis.

Insurance requirements...

Normally, property damage and public liability insurance are required of those vendors performing services within Solano County. You will be notified before the contract is awarded if insurance is required. Workers compensation is also required for your employees.

Buyer/seller relations...

The promotion of good vendor relations is an important function in the County's procurement of supplies and services. Much of the County's and your time will be saved by observing the following rules and principles:

  1. All sales representatives should deal directly with Purchasing Services. When appropriate, Purchasing staff will arrange interviews between County departments and sales representatives.

  2. All County department's requests for prices, catalogs, samples and demonstrations are to be made through Purchasing Services. If you receive an inquiry from a County department, please contact Purchasing Services.

  3. No one outside Purchasing Services can commit the County to purchase commodities or services costing more than $5,000.00. Do not ship materials or initiate any services without a purchase order number or a signed contract.

  4. Purchasing Services maintains a bid list for vendors who ask to be notified when certain types of goods or services are bid. You may ask to be listed by submitting a list of supplies or services you are capable of offering, together with your firm's name, address and telephone number. When the County solicits bids, firms on the mailing list will be notified. Failure to respond to three consecutive bid invitations may be cause for removal of your firm's name from the bidder's mailing list.

  5. Every employee of the County is required to keep free of obligation by refusing to accept entertainment or gifts if offered by vendors or their representatives. Therefore, vendors shall not offer any type of gifts. California Reform Act subjects County employees and vendors to investigation and penalties if it is found that solicitation or acceptance of a gift influenced an employee's action taken with a vendor. If a County employee solicits a personal gift or discount from you, please give Purchasing Services notification of details with the employee's name.

  6. Make your sales investments wisely. Sometimes a vendor will devote considerable time and money in presenting a product to an individual County department in hope of making a sale. If you do this, remember that the purchase will eventually be made by competitive bid and what you spend for expensive designs, demonstrations, layouts, etc., does not guarantee you an order. Specifications prepared by County departments are carefully reviewed by Purchasing Services to eliminate undue restrictions and other limitations which unnecessarily reduce competition. The purchase will eventually be made from the lowest responsible bidder meeting these objective specifications.

The help you offer the department in developing their purchase request cannot be considered when we make the purchase. We recommend, if you are called upon to provide expensive pre-purchase service, that you consider contracting separately with the department for this service, and also, that you always ask the department which you assisted to list you as a "reference vendor" on their requisition so we can send you a bid invitation.


The County of Solano desires to pay its bills in a prompt manner. The payment is contingent upon receiving a proper invoice and delivery of goods or services. Invoices should be mailed to the using department as indicated on the purchase order form. Invoices are approved by the using department after receipt of goods and forwarded to Accounts Payment for payment. Payment is usually made within three (3) weeks after invoice approval. Partial payments will be made on partial shipments. Do not mail invoices to Purchasing Services, as it only delays payment.

How you can sell to the County most effectively...

Purchasing Services maintains its offices in Fairfield, California. There is no substitute for a personal call at our office to find out which of the many County agencies may need your product. The buyers in Purchasing Services can advise you on where and to whom to show your products. By acquainting our buyers with your product you can be sure of not missing a chance to quote on future bids for the type of product you offer.

Sales representatives' hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, by appointment. We look forward to seeing you, and our staff will be happy to help you get started selling to the County of Solano.

Listed below are the vendor application form and informational forms to help complete the vendor application.

Vendor Application
Buyer Assignments

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