Market Research Vendor Instructions
**IMPORTANT: Please read this in full BEFORE responding! **
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Program Contracting Activity Central (PCAC) is in the process of planning a requirement in which a contractor will be required to provide portable handheld blood analyzers for the activation of the new Phoenix Outpatient Clinic. Please see Statement of Work document.
The VA is conducting market research and is seeking written responses with information to assist with identifying potential sources that are interested in, and capable of, providing the products described. Please review the information contained herein and identify whether your company has the capability and interest to provide the brand name items listed or equivalent items that possess the salient characteristics as described. Please utilize the Market Research Vendor Response Form when responding to ensure all required information is included in your response. Please note, this request is for market research purposes only. Please do not submit quotes or offers.
Set-Asides, Limits on subcontracting, and the Non-Manufacturer Rule
Complete responses to this notice will assist the VA in determining any potential set-aside for the requirement. Not providing all information requested in response to this notice may result in the VA being unable to determine a vendor potentially capable of satisfying the requirement and, subsequently, if the rule of two criteria is not met, a specific set-aside category may not be decided by the Contracting Officer. To qualify as a small business under a small business set-aside contract, the offeror must be considered a small business under the NAICS code assigned to the procurement. In addition, the small business must either (1) be the manufacturer of the end item being produced (and the end item must be produced in the US) or (2) comply with the non-manufacturing regulations in 13 CFR 121.406.
Summary of Non-Manufacturing regulations:
The small business cannot exceed 500 employees;
The small business is primarily engaged in the retail or wholesale trade and normally sells the type of item being supplied;
The small business takes ownership or possession of the item(s) with its personnel, equipment, or facilities in a manner consistent with industry practices; and
The small business will supply the end item of a small business manufacturer, processor, or producer made in the United States, unless the SBA has issued a waiver to this requirement. When multiple items are being acquired, a waiver is not required if at least 50% of the estimated contract value is composed of items that are manufactured by small businesses.
Additional information can be found on SBA s website (www.sba.gov) and in SBA s Contracting Guide (https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-guide).
Essential Information Regarding Small Business Set-Asides for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
VA s Veterans First Contracting Program: The Veterans First Contracting Program applies to VA contracts only. VA has a preference to award contracts to verified Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) first then to verified Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) when market research indicates provides a reasonable expectation that the VA will receive two or more offers from eligible SDVOSB/VOSB firms at a fair and reasonable price. To be eligible for a VA SDVOSB or VOSB set-aside, the firm must be verified in the VA s Office of Small Business Utilization s (OSDBU) Veteran Information Pages (VIP) database as an SDVOSB or VOSB at the time the firm submits its offer to the VA. Additional information on VA s Veterans First Contracting Program can be found on OSDBU s website at https://www.va.gov/osdbu/verification/. In addition, the SDVOSB/VOSB must qualify as a small business under SBA s regulations.
AUTHORIZED DEALER/DISTRIBUTOR VERIFICATION
This requirement is for new equipment ONLY; remanufactured or gray market items will not be accepted. Gray market, also known as parallel market is the trade of a commodity through distribution channels which, while legal, are unofficial, unauthorized, or unintended by the original manufacturer.
Gray market items are Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) goods sold through unauthorized channels in direct competition with authorized distributors. This procurement is for new OEM medical supplies, medical equipment and/or services contracts for maintenance of medical equipment (i.e. replacement parts) for VA Medical Centers. No remanufactures or gray market items will be acceptable.
Vendor shall be an OEM, authorized dealer, authorized distributor or authorized reseller for the proposed medical supplies, medical equipment and/or services contracts for maintenance of medical equipment (i.e. replacement parts), verified by an authorization letter or other documents from the OEM, such that the OEM s warranty and service are provided and maintained by the OEM. All software licensing, warranty and service associated with the medical supplies, medical equipment and/or services contracts for maintenance of medical equipment shall be in accordance with the OEM terms and conditions.
The delivery of gray market items to the VA in the fulfillment of an order/award constitutes a breach of contract. Accordingly, the VA reserves the right enforce any of its contractual remedies. This includes termination of the contract or, solely at the VA s election, allowing the Vendor to replace, at no cost to the Government, any remanufactured or gray market item(s) delivered to a VA medical facility upon discovery of such items.
To assist the VA in determining any potential set-aside, we are requesting vendors provide the authorized dealer/distributor letter (or similar) in response to this Request for Information (RFI). Any future solicitation will include the requirement for vendors to provide authorized distributor verification for all items of equipment. The documentation must verify that the OEM s warranty and services are provided and maintained by the OEM. To satisfy this requirement, the vendor shall provide the original documentation from the manufacturer stating they are an authorized dealer/distributor for the items being procured. This letter shall be on the manufacturers official letter head or from an official manufacturer email and guarantees the products are safe, are not counterfeit or adulterated devices, have maintained adequate storage conditions, and that:
All product warranties and service and/or preventative maintenance agreements transfer to the VA and will be honored by the OEM or
Guarantees that the OEM gives authorization to the vendor to fulfill all warranty, service, and/or preventative maintenance obligations for the equipment.
SALIENT CHARACTERISTICS/DELIVERY SPECIFICATIONS/WARRANTY SPECIFICATIONS
Please reference Statement of Work document.
SUBMITTAL OF RFI RESPONSE
Please complete and submit the attached Market Research Vendor Response Form and provide an authorized dealer/distributor letter FROM the OEM. Additionally, please provide cut sheets that verify the equipment meets the salient characteristics provided in the Statement of Work.
NOTE: This Request for Information (RFI) is solely for information and planning purposes and does not constitute a solicitation or obligation on the part of the Government. Per FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not considered offers, shall not be used as a proposal, and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Neither unsolicited proposals nor any other kinds of offers will be considered in response to this notice. No evaluation letters and/or results will be issued to the respondents; however, the Government does reserve the right to contact any respondent and/or respondent reference to obtain additional information. At this time, no solicitation exists; therefore, please do not request a copy of the solicitation. Any resulting procurement action will be the subject of a separate, future announcement. The information is provided for discussion purposes and any potential strategy for this acquisition may change prior to any solicitation release. The acquisition strategy, evaluation methodology, contract type, and any other acquisition decisions are to be determined.