EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County recently joined Bidnet Direct Service’s Illinois Purchasing Group to improve its services and provide a new electronic bidding system.

In December 2023, the County Board approved a five-year contract with MDF Commerce, Inc. (Bidnet) for $114,059 to join the purchasing group. The system will provide an easy and accessible way to submit bid documents and quotes to the county.

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“Madison County wanted to find ways to bring more companies in to bid on projects,” Madison County Board member and Chairman Pro-tem Mick Madison said.

Madison said the new bidding procedure provides an opportunity for more vendors and puts the county in the position to keep costs down with more bid solicitations coming in.

“I think it simplifies the bidding process in a way that also allows more competition and timely response from vendors,” Purchasing Director Abdul Malik Fazil said.

The county published its first bid with the purchasing group in March and received more than 20 questions before the bid opening, which Fazil said was unprecedented.

“We have never had this many questions about a bid before,” Fazil said.

In total the county received 23 bids for an IT project. Two committees approved the bid and the County Board will take action on the resolution on Wednesday.

Fazil said by joining the Illinois Purchasing Group it connects local governments with vendors looking to do business with public agencies across the state. The group connects more than 300 participating agencies.

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The purchasing group provides a transparent bid process through which the bid is available to all vendors at the same time.

“We can provide all the necessary information instantly to our vendors where everything they need is in one spot,” Fazil said.

Registered vendors can access open bids, related documents, and files, additional addendum, and available award information from all participating agencies. The online portal allows vendors to log in and view everything in real time too.

“This allows us to create a more seamless bid process and provide more participation from vendors across the state,” Fazil said.

In addition, Bidnet offers a value-added service to notify vendors of new bids targeted to their business, including all addenda and advance notification of expiring term contracts.

With one click, Madison County can now see how many vendors match a specific opportunity, how many have downloaded documents, responded and more. Madison County has its own, branded page on the public side of the Illinois Purchasing Group in which taxpayers can view all closed bids and any awarded information.

Vendors of goods and services interested in obtaining information regarding specific solicitations and/or intending to submit a response will be required to register online at https://www.bidnetdirect.com/illinois/madisoncounty/.

There is no cost to register or to submit responses to Madison County solicitation

Madison said this new procedure will include all the county’s invitations for bids, requests for quotes, requests for proposals and requests for qualifications that are open to the public and will be posted and administered via Bidnet direct.

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