The Purchasing Division provides assistance to City divisions for the cost effective and efficient procurement of goods and services as well as the disposition of surplus property. This division is responsible for the coordination of special programs such as outreach to minority and women business enterprises, prevailing wage compliance, vendor relations, auctions of surplus property, and state cooperative purchasing. 

Current Bid Opportunities

Doing business with the City of Kalamazoo

The City of Kalamazoo is very appreciative of those businesses that bid on City projects and faithfully provide those goods and services contracted for. Quotes and bids for purchases of $25,000 and above are solicited from firms using a bidders list. The list is organized using a commodity code system for the various goods and services needed by the City and is maintained on an on-going basis. The Purchasing Division also maintains a   pdf directory of minority and women-owned enterprises (678 KB) . If your firm is owned (51% or more) by one of the ethnic minority groups as defined by the Public Works Employment Act of 1977 (African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, Eskimos, or Aleuts), please pdf complete this certification (161 KB)  so that we may add you to the directory.

If you are a vendor that would like to receive payments electronically, please complete and return an pdf EFT Enrollment Form (91 KB)

To be added to the bidders list

To be added to the bidders list you must complete the   pdf Bidders List Registration Form (281 KB)  and return the signed form to the Purchasing Division. On the form, you will be asked to indicate which "classes of Equipment, Supplies, Materials and/or Services you desire to bid" by using commodity codes. The City of Kalamazoo currently uses the 5-digit NIGP (National Institute of Governmental Purchasing) commodity codes. The pdf commodity code list (562 KB) can be viewed and/or searched to find all the necessary commodity codes. When you have opened the commodity code list, it can be searched by pressing the "Control" and then "F" keys on your keyboard to find all the necessary commodity codes. These commodity codes must then be indicated on the Bidders List Registration Form. Providing a valid email address on the form is very important, since Purchasing will inform bidders of open bids in their area(s) of interest by sending announcements to the bidder's submitted email address. If a bidder is unable to be contacted via the bidders list information on file, they will be inactivated from the bidders list program until contact information is updated. If your information has changed, please submit a new registration form. 

Bid solicitation

Announcements requesting bids are emailed or sent through traditional mail to vendors on the appropriate bid lists and posted at City Hall and on the Bid Opportunities webpage. Notices may also be sent to Builder's Exchange or other plan houses for construction projects, as special circumstances require. The following methods are used to solicit bids:

  1. Request for quotations (RFQ) : Informal written quotes that include price, terms of sale, and description of goods or services offered by a bidder. Bidders are encouraged to provide an immediate response to an RFQ since the period of time is short and awards are usually prompt.
  2. Invitations for Bids (IFB) : An IFB is a formal bid document available on the City's website to prospective bidders for the submission of sealed bids to provide commodities or services. IFBs include specifications and the City's term and conditions for the purchase. This document will become the purchasing contract.
  3. Request for Proposal (RFP) : This type of formal bid document is also available on the City's website and is most commonly used for professional services or consulting contracts. Provision, including work plan, level of effort, and price may be negotiated.
  4. Request for Qualification (RFQ) : This document is used primarily for professional services, i.e., architectural or engineering as part of a two-step process. The first step is to evaluate the qualifications of the firm and the second step is obtaining proposals.

Each bid document includes instructions on how to prepare and submit a bid. Any bids received after the bid opening cannot be considered. In the event that a vendor will not be bidding on a project, a Statement of No Bid should be returned to the Purchasing Division advising whether  future bid invitations for the type of supplies/services covered by the bid solicitation are desired. Bidders may be removed from the list if they do not respond to bid solicitations.

Award policy

All submissions are evaluated by the Purchasing Division and the user department and the award is made to the low responsive bid from a responsible bidder. The City considers price, responsiveness to the specifications and terms of purchases, qualifications, capability of bidder, and other relevant factors to determine the low responsive and responsible bidder. All awards require approval by the Purchasing Manager, City Manager, or City Commission based upon the dollar amount of the purchase. The City reserves the right to:

    • Make an award on an aggregate or split basis, whichever is in the best interest of the City.
    • Consider any bid non-responsive and reject the bid if all of the requested information and/or technical literature is not submitted with the bid.

Additional details on the process, including information on protesting a bid and invoices, are available in this guide, pdf Doing Business with the City of Kalamazoo (36 KB)

Bidding assistance

Contractors interested in meeting and learning how to do business with local and state buyers can visit the Procurement Technical Assistance Center Office of Southwest Michigan for events and additional information. The Michigan Public Purchasing Officers Association also holds events, which are available on their website.

Surplus auctions

Once a year, or as necessary, the City and other governmental units join together to auction surplus property and items seized in criminal and civil cases. This includes all sorts of furniture, equipment, vehicles, computers and other items no longer needed for government use, sold "as is, where is". 

Upcoming Online Auction:  October 29, 2019 - 8am to 8pm (EDT) at www.biddergy.com.

The City also occasionally offers surplus property for sale on the website www.publicsurplus.com.


City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


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 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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