Vendor Formal Solicitations

Vendor FAQs for Formal Solicitations

For procurements valued at $25,000 or more requiring a formal solicitation, ERS posts notice of such opportunities requesting responses from qualified vendors. To ensure that your organization is contacted for relevant future solicitation opportunities, please register with the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL) Centralized Master Bidders List. You do not have to be registered on the CMBL to respond to solicitations. However, proper registration may result in you receiving notification from ERS. You are responsible for properly listing the products and/or services you provide when registering with the CMBL to ensure you receive appropriate notices.

To receive notifications regarding solicitations and to have access once they have been published, please register with Bonfire, ERS’ e-procurement portal located at https://erstexas.bonfirehub.com/. Please note the proper registration instructions in FAQ 2.
 
You will only receive a notification of upcoming procurement opportunities for the products and/or services for which you have properly registered. This notification will contain instructions on how to properly retrieve the solicitation. To properly register, the Bonfire system requires you to enter specific NIGP Class and Item numbers. You should enter all applicable NIGP Class and Item numbers.

The Class and Item numbers are the first five digits of an eleven-digit code known as a "Commodity Code". Agencies use the Class and Item numbering and descriptions found in the "commodity book" to properly code products or services on their requisitions and purchases, so solicitations will reach vendors that have indicated they are capable of furnishing the required materials, equipment, supplies, and services. For additional information, please review the Texas Comptroller’s information at the following link: https://comptroller.texas.gov/purchasing/nigp/.
 
Yes, if you would still like to receive notifications for ERS’ current and upcoming solicitations, please register with Bonfire at https://erstexas.bonfirehub.com/. If you do not register on Bonfire, you can still search for ERS’ solicitations on ERS’ website (https://www.ers.texas.gov/Doing-Business-with-ERS/Vendor-Information/Current-and-Upcoming-Opportunities) and the Texas Comptroller’s Electronic State Business Daily website (http://www.txsmartbuy.com/sp).
As long as an entity is properly registered with Bonfire for the specific product or service, Bonfire will send notice once a solicitation has been published containing instructions to access the solicitation.

A list of ERS’ current opportunities will be viewable under the “Open Public Opportunities” tab on Bonfire. This list may be viewed by anyone that visits the Bonfire portal, but you must register with Bonfire to access each solicitation’s documents. 
ERS publishes solicitation notices on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD), as well as on ERS’ Opportunities webpage. Please see FAQ 6 for information on searching the ESBD. 
To search the ESBD, visit the Electronic State Business Daily. To view solicitations for a specific agency, use the drop-down menu in the section entitled "Agency" drop-down menu. You can search for solicitations within all State of Texas agencies for a specific Class & Item by entering the specific Class & Item in the field entitled, "NIGP Class-Item Number".

The Class & Item numbers are the first five digits of an eleven-digit code known as a "Commodity Code". Agencies use the Class & Item numbering and descriptions found in the "commodity book" to properly code products or services on their requisitions and purchases, so solicitations will reach vendors that have indicated they are capable of furnishing the required materials, equipment, supplies, and services.

Vendors are encouraged to become familiar with the format and contents of this book as they apply to the Centralized Master Bidders List search and vendor profiling. It is extremely important to both agencies and potential bidders that bidder class-item selections are correct. The State of Texas encourages agencies to make the most efficient use of tax dollars and this includes judicious use of printing and postage for solicitation invitations.
 

For more information, visit the procurement toolkit.

Questions regarding the solicitation process and/or solicitation material should be sent to ERS’ procurement mailbox at ivendorquestions@ers.texas.gov if the solicitation is open. Questions regarding any closed solicitations should be sent to the Public Information Act Coordinator at orr@ers.texas.gov .
For protests, dispute resolution and hearings, see the ERS Bid Protest Procedures.