Vendor Portal Information
The City of Mobile maintains a vendor self-service site where a vendor can register self-register and provide those categories that they wish to be on the bid list for. This may be a little lengthy, so please read all of our helpful hints and suggestions listed below.
The site or link is located here.
You can create your own entry at this location.
You will also need to select and enter those categories that you wish to be on the bid list for, more on this later.
We recommend that a vendor pre-think as to how they wish to be in our system, that includes contact information, addresses, and how you will be paid if we issue a purchase order.
We recommend that the contact not be a salesperson that may leave, nor that a salesperson be the one holding the I.D. and password for the company, as the quote requests will be sent to contact information that may no longer be relevant to the company.
Determine who will also be maintaining the contact information on our site. If personnel change/leave the company, that information needs to be changed, the same is true for telephone numbers, fax numbers and the methods you wish to receive quotes and orders for your company.
When you register notate the name and password that you create.
To enter your company in our system, you will need to be sure that the name of the company matches your W-9 form.
If the system refuses to allow you to enter your company once you enter either or both the company name and the W-9 / FEIN number, that is because someone has already registered your company into our system. Please check with your accounting department to see if they or the owners know the I.D. and or passwords.
Here is a really important part: The City uses a 5 digit product category code system to categorize our vendors so we can find them. This is being used by all the departments and the look up resides in Purchasing.
The numbering system is known as the NIGP product category code. We use the 5 digit version. Today with the thousands of vendors in our system, keeping a letter on file or us looking through the thousands of requests to be on the bid list for vendors is just impossible.
We use the 5 digit codes to search for the vendors who possibly handle the items we are looking for. It is our teaser file system.
How do I find the codes that relate to my company? That is a very good question. Trufully, the look up on our website is not very easy to use or follow, so we have found the following to be the best way.
Using your favorite search engine, Yahoo, Google, etc., search using the following key words, TEXAS, COMPTROLLER, NIGP.
We are searching for the State of Texas Comptroller’s site, which is really one of the best lookups for the NIGP Commodity Codes that we have found.
As of August 1, 2018 the following link address was active: https://cmblreg.cpa.state.tx.us/commodity_book/Alpha_index_inquiry.cfm
(you may need to cut and paste the address your computer)
You are looking for the “alpha” lookup for the commodities.
Select the result with the alpha look up and search for the general description of what you sell. This is not a specific item look up, but a general “commodity” look up. Yes some item names may appear as some commodities may be the same name as some items.
Remember you are looking for general descriptions. The Texas site has some really great cross references to items.
Think somewhat out of the box here, a bulldozer may be found in the following type descriptions : tractor tracked, tractor ground engaging, tracked. These are samples of how to look up and what you will find.
Feel free to select as few or as many categories that describe your company, but be sure to select those that your company will actively respond to. In Alabama, by State law, we can remove a vendor from the bid list, and we mean all the categories, and delete them from the bid list if you fail to respond to 3 requests for quotations.
Now that you have these, what do you do with them? There will be a point in the process where you are registering the company where you are prompted to add them.
We recommend you look the numbers up first before starting the process, that way you get everything done at one time.
You, the vendor, will be responsible to select and maintain the codes that pertain to your company.
We receive calls all the time that a vendor registered in vendor self service and is upset (many times mad) because they registered with vendor self service, but were not notified of a quotation, usually when we check, we find that either they did not select and add any codes or that they did not select the code for the commodity we issued the quotation for.
Another issue is that we find their company information is incorrect, addresses changed, that location closed, phone numbers and fax numbers changed or the email address is different.
The most common reason outside of no Commodity Codes, is that the information at registration was done by a salesperson or an employee, who holds the I.D. and password access and the company never really was registered and the person who registered is no longer with the company.
The City of Mobile pretty much quotes all needs and all the departments have access to these codes and are encouraged to use them to select vendors for quotes.
All sealed bids are listed on the City’s bid page, cityofmobile.org/bids .