Vendor Guide

How do we buy? What do we buy? What do we expect from our suppliers? This guide will help you become knowledgeable about our policies and procedures. 

Purchasing Division's Role

The main role of the Purchasing Division is to provide purchasing services for all County Departments and agencies. Purchasing services are centralized in one division in order to realize the benefits of volume buying and specialized purchasing expertise.

Committing County Funds: In general, only the Board of Supervisors and the Chief Procurement Officer and the Purchasing Team are authorized to commit County funds for the purchase or rental of any materials and/or services for County use. Committing funds also applies to signing vendor documents (agreements, proposals, leases, etc.). In committing County funds, the Purchasing Division seeks optimum value in expending County funds. It is not mandatory that we accept the lowest bid offered for a purchase, although normally the lowest responsible bid meeting all specifications is accepted.

The Connecting Link: The Purchasing Division may be thought of as the connecting link or catalyst between the many vendors who wish to sell their products to the County, and the County departments that need a great variety of materials and services to help them provide governmental services to the public. It is our responsibility to see that departments get the tools best suited for the jobs to be done, at the least cost, when they are needed.

Buyer Assignments: To meet this responsibility, Buyers are assigned specific commodities to purchase. This makes it possible for them to become familiar with the commodities, and also with the way they are used by County departments. Buyers often contact departments for information about the use of materials requisitioned. What we learn from them helps us make a purchase that will meet their needs.

Vendor Relations: The Purchasing Division also has the responsibility of representing the vendors in their relationships with County departments. It is very important that the County deal fairly and honestly with our vendors so that we become a valued customer and merit best service and prices. Vendors must be able to petition an objective arbitrator in their dealings with the County; the Purchasing Manager and Buyers fill that role, as well. 

The Reason For The Rules: In the placing of County orders with the business community, Purchasing has the responsibility for following good business and ethical practices, as well as for ensuring adherence to the requirements of applicable statutes and County policy. The Purchasing Division is "The County" in the eyes of the business community, and therefore this responsibility is not taken lightly. Vendors making arrangements with departments should be sure they are fully aware of the policies that may affect their transactions. This will insure the proper handling of all negotiations and the procurement of the best value for the County.

Selling to the County

The County's Purchasing Division is your best access point to those who will make decisions affecting you. This is designed to help you understand what it takes to succeed in selling your goods or services to the County.

Our principal objective is the acquisiton of quality goods and service on a timely basis at the lowest cost. We are constantly seeking new, creative, and responsible sources of supply. We encourage your participation in these efforts. 

We are eager to promote a climate of good business relationships in and with the County, and we look forward to working with you. Follow the links below to your steps to success.