What information does a Supplier need to know before DOING BUSINESS WITH US?

Solicitation of Senior Leaders, Clinicians, or Staff

Often suppliers (both incumbent and prospective) want to demonstrate the benefits of their products or services to senior leaders, clinicians and staff throughout the organization, or engage with these key influencers in order to better understand the hospital's strategic direction. The ultimate goal is to establish a match between the supplier's offering and the hospital's needs. The obvious benefit of these interactions is the potential to solve a problem. The challenge is that there must be good process around any engagement with a supplier, and the process must be fair and transparent.

In these circumstances, suppliers are advised to notify HMMS in advance of their activities and discussions with senior leaders and clinicians, and inform HMMS as to the content and intent of their discussions.

Under no circumstances should supplier — leader/clinician/staff solicitations or discussions be construed to imply that any work has been awarded, or that any trials or activity may begin without the engagement of HMMS.

Competitive Bidding

HMMS is responsible for managing the competitive bidding process on behalf of the hospitals. The competitive bidding process includes the qualification of bidders, the solicitation and analysis of bids, negotiations and contract awards. A competitive bidding process will be used for the purchase Of goods and services in accordance with hospital approved spending thresholds, and fair business practices will be observed in dealing with suppliers.

Initiation of a competitive bidding process does not indicate dissatisfaction with an incumbent supplier's performance, but is the outcome of the expiration of a contract and any negotiated option years, or is necessitated by the overall value of a procurement that is not covered by an existing agreement.

In accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Finance Broader Public Sector Procurement Directives, HMMS will conduct competitive bidding in an open, fair and transparent manner. To ensure an ethical, professional and accountable supply chain, HMMS has adopted a supply chain code of ethics for all HMMS employees involved in supply chain activities.

Competitive procurements with total contract value of $100,000 or more will be posted publicly on either Biddingo.com or the Ontario Tenders portal. For procurements valued less than $100,000, HMMS reserves the right to solicit competitive proposals through an invitational process, or to post publicly.

HMMS will form evaluation committees for the purpose of determining the size and scope of the procurement, developing competitive bidding requirements, an evaluation matrix, and reviewing and evaluating RFP submissions. HMMS does not disclose the names or titles of members of the evaluation committee. HMMS strives to obtain the best overall quality and value for dollar spent on the goods and services procured for the hospital. Clinical and operational requirements will drive the need to purchase, the scope of the competitive procurement, and will have an  appropriate weighting on the final scorecard. The financial component of scorecards will be given the maximum justifiable weighting, and will not be lower than 35 percent of the scorecard weighting.

The competitive process begins when the competitive procurement documents are issued (start date), and ends when an organization signs an agreement with a supplier (end date). In order to minimize undue influence, supplier communications with end users will become restricted when the committee has been established and the competitive procurement documents are being created. Throughout the competitive procurement process, all communications with suppliers involved in the process must occur formally, through the HMMS contact person identified in the competitive documents. suppliers who disregard the appropriate HMMS contact and seek direct contact with evaluation committee members regarding the competitive process, may be disqualified from the competitive process.

Addendums, questions and answers will be posted in the same manner as the competitive procurement documents in order to be available to all proponents. During the evaluation period (between closing date and end date), communications will be limited to clarification of bid submissions or notification and negotiation with the successful supplier.

For competitive procurements with a total contract value of $100,000 or more, HMMS will post contract award notification in the same manner as the competitive documents.

Value adds or supplier incentives may or may not be requested as part of the competitive process. When value adds are specifically requested, they will be assigned a weighting in the competitive document of not more than 5 percent. Leading practice recommends that value adds or supplier incentives be directly relevant to the goods or services being procured. Value adds or supplier incentives will be evaluated after all other rated criteria.

Contract Management

HMMS is the primary contracting agent for all goods and services on behalf of the hospital, and in accordance with the Corporate Signing Authority Policy HMMS is the sole legal signing authority for all hospital procurement contracts. HMMS is responsible for maintaining a database of all approved contracts, tracking expiry dates and ensuring compliance of terms and conditions.

Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Legislation 

The Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act give the public the right to access records within a public organization's custody or control while protecting the unauthorized collection, use and disclosure of personal information. For this reason, the laws may affect the procurement process and the way documents are drafted.

Generally speaking, contract details remain confidential to HMMS and its affiliates; however, under Freedom of Information (FOI), a supplier's final contract details may be shared, if requested through the FOI office. For example, Freedom of Information requests can be made for information on tendering and administration of contracts and it is not unusual for records (which can include notes, emails, memos, letters or any other documentation related to a competitive purchasing activity) to be subject to a Freedom of Information request. Unless the information satisfies the test that it was supplied in confidence, the information may be subject to release.

However, the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Act also protects suppliers from disclosure of trade secrets and scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information. In order for this information to be exempt from an access request, it must pass a three part demonstrable “harms” test that is outlined in the legislation. It is up to the supplier to demonstrate the validity of these harms.

Affiliate Participation

Where appropriate, competitive bidding documents will indicate HMMS' intent to allow affiliates to benefit from the outcome of the procurement process. Unless otherwise indicated, affiliate volumes are not included in the RFP documents and would be in addition to the volumes put forward in the competitive bidding documents. Affiliates may choose to participate in contracts negotiated by HMMS. It is important to note that affiliates are not obliged to sign onto all HMMS agreements. If interested, affiliates would sign a commitment letter with HMMS, and contract details would be shared. The affiliate would then contact the appropriate supplier representative in order to finalize the details of the relationship, and formalize the implementation plan.

Purchasing Procedures

Purchases of goods and services must have a purchase order (PO) number. All requests to purchase items must be initiated via an electronic purchase requisition “eRequisition”. eRequisitions are routed for approval in accordance with hospital signing authority policies. Once approved, HMMS will issue a PO. The purchase order number must be referenced on supplier documents pertaining to the purchase including packing slips and invoices.

Suppliers must not invoice for travel expenses unless approved in advance by HMMS. If travel expenses are approved, they must comply with the Ontario Broader Public Sector Expenses Directive, and hospital travel policy. Under no circumstances will meals or incidentals be reimbursed. Per kilometer charges will be reimbursed up to $0.40 / km according to hospital policy.

HMMS standard delivery terms are Free On Board (FOB) Destination, Prepaid Delivered with No Charge. “Destination” is defined as the delivery location on the purchase order. Suppliers are expected to ship goods in the most economical manner to meet the hospital's required delivery dates.

HMMS is engaged in electronic data interchange (EDI) with major suppliers. If your company does business with HMMS currently, and is EDI capable, or you would like to find out more about what is involved, contact HMMS.

As part of our EDI strategy, HMMS is partnered with GHX using their data exchange to process orders, receipts and invoices. HMMS will work with suppliers to implement GS1 Canada standards which support effective exchange of transactions with suppliers using global location number (GLN) and global trade item number (GTIN).

HMMS standard payment terms are 2%, 15, Net 60. To ensure prompt payment, ensure invoices correctly reference your purchase order number and include your “remit to” information, invoice number and date, product or item or catalogue numbers (if applicable), item descriptions, shipment quantities, contract price, and HST registration.

For additional information, please visit our website at HMMS.on.ca