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Government Contracting in Arkansas

As you may or may not know, Arkansas is divided into six regions: Ozarks, River Valley, Ouachitas, Timberlands, Central, and Delta. If you want to bid in any of those regions for state bids, you will need to go through the vendor registration process. Becoming a vendor with Arkansas is a pretty simple process and it is done on their website. You will need to submit your information including username, password, company name and federal id number.  The state of Arkansas requires that you pay a one-time $25 registration fee, which can be sent via credit card or an electronic check. If you have any questions about the process, you should contact the main office about vendor registration 501-324-9316 or email


So what about the bidding process? It is an easy to understand process where you fill out the supplied bidding documents.  You will find information for the bid documents on our website and there will you will find detailed instructions on how bids are selected, what is expected, and how the information should be presented. The questions asked will all pertain to your own company's information and your ability to complete the job including price and timeline. You should always be comfortable calling the acting procurement officer about any questions you have about the bid package. It is their job to clarify any issue and act a resource in your quest to do business with Arkansas. Additionally, there are usually pre-bid conferences where you are able to ask questions about the bid package and learn more about the job. The bid document will list whether or not the pre-bid meetings are required or if there will be a mandatory walk-through. A walk-through is almost always associated with a construction bid and it is a mandatory time and date set-aside to go over the potential job site. 




Some helpful tips to keep in mind when finishing everything are the 7 goals of the State of Arkansas Procurement Office. These are guidelines purchases follow in selecting the winning bid.


1. Right Price - The right price is obtained from the marketplace through competitive bidding, which assures contracts with responsive and responsible suppliers at the lowest



2. Right Quantity - The Right Quantity is a very important aspect of the purchasing process. When issuing a solicitation or quote, it is essential that the quantity reflect the actual numbers of items to be purchased or contain a disclaimer informing the vendorthat the numbers contained in the bid are ESTIMATES only.


3. Right Quality - Quality is a hard concept to define in written terms. Quality is the expected levelof performance an item is to possess. Quality is normally determined by the

requestor and defined in the specifications. If the quality is too low, additional quantities may be required to compensate for the inferiorities. This means you may have to buy more of the product because they may break, wear out too soon, or not work in the manner for which they were intended.


4. Right Time - Timing is everything. In markets that are extremely volatile, procurements must be timed to avoid buying when prices are on the upswing. This may apply in the

fuel market, food market, and any other field that is tied to a national index or commodity market. The buyer must have knowledge of the market and trends and the varied factors that affect the flow of the prices. Buyers need to be aware of the world around them and not be closed in on the world just outside the door.


5. Right Place - Delivery and logistics is a specialty all on its own. There are companies that specialize in nothing but delivery and logistics issues (JB Hunt for example).Buyers need to be aware of the overall concepts of delivery in order to assist the receiving and warehouse teams when problems arise with a purchase order or transaction.


6. Right Source - Vendors play an important role in the procurement process. Identifying the “Right Source” for each solicitation and transaction is one of the most important

elements of the process. When responding to a solicitation or quote, vendors must be able to meet all of the requirements of the solicitation or quote and not just some of them. If any one mandatory requirement has not been meet, then the vendor’s response must be determined to be “non-responsive” and disqualified from any further consideration. When it comes to the mandatory requirements, it’s “all or none.”


7. Right Service - Service is becoming more and more a determining factor in solicitations and quotes. Vendor’s are required to service the commodities that they sale. Service before and after a particular procurement can solidify or destroy a seller-buyer relationship, therefore it is incumbent upon the vendor to maintain a good seller buyer relationship.





Once you have put together your perfect bid package, you should mail it in!  The state of Arkansas requests that they be mailed to their physical address: Office of State Procurement 1509 West Seventh Street, Room 300 Little Rock, AR 72201-4222. Sealed bids are to be received by the approved date and time, no later. Legally they are not allowed to include bid proposals or quotes that have arrived late so be prompt. The bids will be read aloud and usually the bid decisions are based on lowest-price plus best quality. You have a better chance of succeeding when you provide your lowest possible price while still maintaining your great quality. 


If you are truly interested in bidding with Arkansas, you should read the Procurement 101 catalog. It includes information on a number of issues from how to fill out the bid package to a discussion of the procurement language. Basic Procurement is the manual used by buyers for Arkansas so it a great resource to understand exactly what they want. Good luck!