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Empire Library Delivery RFP

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Vendor Questions & Answers

What is the budget ESLN has set for this delivery service starting in July of 2020?

The yearly budget for delivery service beginning July of 2020 is $560,000. (Revised)


Please confirm that this service is currently being done? Assuming it is, what is the reason behind releasing the RFP? (ex: Is there a current issue with the current provider, contract is expiring and you are not renewing, etc..)

Yes, this is a current service that is being provided. We are going out to bid at this time as the contract will expire in July 2020.


Can you say who the incumbent vendor is?

The incumbent is Custom Courier Solutions.


Can you provide the contract values (or spend) for fiscal years 2016 and 2017?

$560,000 (Revised)


What type of vehicles is used currently? Are cargo/minivans the standard vehicles used? Is the vendor required to run trucks?

The majority of vehicles are personal cars used by independent contractors. Vans and truck are used for line hauls between hubs.


What is the weight/size/dimension of the largest piece of cargo you normally ship?

See images and sizes of bags in RFP. Occasionally a location will need to ship a box/bin but it is very rare. Estimate 16”x12” as the largest.


What is your payment term and are you open to an early payment discount?

30 days, we would be open to discussing early payment discounts.


Are background checks required for drivers? What criteria are acceptable?

See ESLN Required Contract Terms document section 12.


VENDOR is not obligated to clear any particular employee with ESLN, but shall exercise its full rights under New York state law when conducting background checks and confirming that no person with a background suggestive of a current risk of criminal activity, especially in regards to children, the elderly, and entrusted property, is granted access to ESLN member property per this contract.


In addition to your labeling specifications, are you open to a barcode and scanning option?

Yes absolutely. We would prefer it.


Based on the site information you provided, only 3 locations require keys or card swipe. Please confirm.

Correct, only 3 currently.


How many locations are closed for lunch?

None, the libraries do not close for lunch.


What method do you use to record/track touch points throughout the supply chain? Do you have an internal (paper or electronic) validation process?

There is currently no process or tracking at touch points. The shipping and receiving locations keep their own records of what has been sent but there is no way to track them.


What happens if there’s an unlabeled or mislabeled package?

Unlabeled or mislabeled packages are sent to my attention at the Capital District Library Council in Albany for correction.


How do you handle missing items?

Due to the lack of tracking, in most situations, we are currently unable to track down and determine the reason the item has gone missing. When the vendor is clearly at fault for the missing item they are charged back for the value plus $10 processing fee. Going forward we are proposing that the courier is responsible for payment of the item if not delivered in 10 days, see section 3.4 in the ESLN required conditions for service agreement and 20.17 in the RFP.


Who is responsible for missing items when multiple vendors touch the cargo?

The contracting vendor (not subcontractors).


How do you want us to present cost if we are partnering with other vendors? Do you want us to include it in our pricing or should we present it as a separate line item?

If partnering with another vendor it should be presented together under one proposal with one vendor as the contractor vendor and other (s) as subcontractors. The arrangement would be made between the vendors involved and ESLN would be contracting with only one vendor.


Do you track what time drivers arrive and leave? Is there a sign-in/sign-out log at your locations?

We encourage locations to have a log sheet for recording time and number of items delivered and shipped, although it is not required. Drivers are also required to get a paper or electronic signature for the pod information.


Is it okay to contact the other service partners? Are there any restrictions?

Yes, we encourage you to do so if you cannot cover the entire state.


For a vendor to qualify, is there a minimum number of locations that must be selected? For instance, would you say if 33% (or 45 locations) a qualifying number? Or, do just go by regions?

We require that the entire state be covered by the combination of contractors and sub-contractors. Again it should be one contract with the agreement being made between vendors.


Are there instances when you require the vendor to provide shipping containers?

No we do not require the vendor to provide shipping containers per se. Our locations are required to put items in ELD bags. They do have white bins as well to put these bags in. However, it is up to the vendor to determine how to pick up these bags and get them between hubs without damage.

Who is currently providing these services to ELD?

Custom Courier Solutions


What is the current yearly contract price for the existing services to ELD?

$560,000 (revised with current number).


What is the current per stop charge in place for existing services?  

Annual spend $560,000 for 135 locations. Price per stop varies between NYC and the rest of the state.


Are the existing services being provided to ELD the same as what is outlined in this RFP?

Yes, the service is the same as outlined. We would like to enhance the service with tracking if vendors are able to provide that option.


Are the Reimbursement level for lost and damaged materials / Invoice Adjustment parameters outlined in the RFP (Sections 21.4 through 21.14 in the RFP)  the same as what is currently in place?

No, these are stricter than what we have in place as we found there was no accountability under the current model.


$500,000.00 is the quoted budget for this project: Is $500,000 the maximum that will be paid on a yearly basis or may the budget be increased based on a higher awarded dollar amount?

The budget may increase dependent on the bids and service levels that the bidders are offering. For example, quicker turnaround times, tracking or other enhanced services. Vendors may submit multiple bids with different options and pricing.


Would ELD consider using more robust & weather proof bins to ship materials in?

Over the past two years, we have invested in replacing bags with new thicker bags. Although not waterproof they should protect the books very well. The bins used to transport items between hubs would be provided by the courier and it would be up to them to determine what is needed to keep the books from getting wet.


On average how many items are lost / damaged each year?

In 2018, 131 items were reported. However, I would guess that at least 35% of them eventually showed up and were not reported. We have found that sometimes books reappear after being in transit for a month or sometimes even 3 or 4.

Can a different price per stop be submitted for “challenging” locations?

Yes, you may submit a different price for locations that require more resources/time to make deliveries such as New York City, North Country, other locations in remote areas. You may also propose alternative solutions to servicing these locations.


Can locations put multiple items in a bag?

Yes, if a location has multiple items going to the same location they may put them in the same bag. In fact, we encourage them to do so. This is more likely in high volume locations as there is more of a chance something will be going to the same place.


How will questions be answered? Will all questions be available to see?

ELD will respond directly to the vendor asking the question and also post under Q & A on the ELD RFP Website.


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