Bid Management is a supply-chain management tool designed to help districts more easily prepare bid specification reports as well as identify "Equivalent" items from GDSN to meet procurement regulations and improve product quality and pricing from their vendors.
Districts create bids by starting with items from their Item Database, enter the estimated quantities of each item to include on the bid, and then generate a PDF or Excel report showing the product specifications of all items on the bid including any associated Equivalent items. This report can be included/attached to the vendor RFP as the product specifications.
To meet USDA procurement regulations designed to increase competition and obtain better pricing, districts can take one of two approaches when using the bid specification reports from Bid Management:
- Specify at least one Equivalent item from a different brand for each item on your bid. Searching for Equivalent Items in the Nourish to Flourish Database makes it easy to find and select these items. This approach is easy and provides respondents with the specific product (by GTIN) that you want, as well as which specific products (by GTIN) you are willing to accept.
- Specify the key requirements (referred to as "Salient Requirements" in USDA regulations) for each item, which may include factors like meal pattern credits, calories, sodium, saturated fat, etc. Respondents can then propose any alternate product as long as it matches those criteria.
inTEAM recommends that districts require all respondents to provide GTINs (when available for a product) in their response, as that will make it very easy to compare the proposed product to the initial product on the bid spec report.
Functionality within Bid Management will continue to improve and expand over time to make it easier to use and more functional.