Division of Procurement Services
2597 Avery Avenue, Room 126 ● Memphis, Tennessee 38112 ● T: 901.416.5376 ● F: 901.416.5325
The Division of Procurement Services hopes this guide will help vendors understand “How to do Business with the District” and become acquainted with the District’s
policies and procedures. It is intended to promote goodwill with the vendor community and to serve as a guide for doing business with the district. The Vendor
Guide does not, nor is it intended to, reflect all operating policies and procedures of the District. This vendor guide shall not be construed, nor is it intended, to create
any legal rights or interests whatsoever in vendors, or impose legal duties or obligations on the Memphis City Schools Board of Education.
Memphis City Schools (MCS) is the largest public school system in the State of Tennessee and the 23rd largest school
system in the nation. It serves 105,000 students in its 209 schools, ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
MCS owns over 200 facilities. It was created as a special school district by a private act of the Tennessee General
Assembly in 1869, MCS employs approximately 16,000 people, including more than 6,000 full-time teachers, making it
the second largest employer in the City of Memphis.
The Memphis City Schools Procurement Services Division is responsible for the purchase of all commodities, goods and
services at the best value within an environment of fair and open competition. The Division of Procurement Services
operates under the administration of the Department of Business Operations. Procurement Services personnel are
governed by Federal and State laws, city ordinances, and Memphis City Schools Policy.
The purpose of this vendor manual is to acquaint prospective vendors with the purchasing procedures and policies used
by the district.
The authority to approve responsible vendors to transact business with the District lies within Procurement Services.
Prospective vendors must complete a Vendor Application Form, which may be obtained from our webpage at or by
visiting our office. This form must be on file prior to receiving an award or purchase order. See “Electronic Bidding”
section of this guide for registering and receiving electronic notifications.
The Procurement Services Division maintains an open door policy for vendors. Our business hours are 7:30 a.m. until
4:45 p.m. We welcome vendors from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Vendors who would like to review any bids or proposals
are encouraged to call ahead and talk with the appropriate buyer prior to arriving in Procurement Services. This will
afford us the opportunity to serve our customers more quickly by having all documents ready for review.
Vendors may call on our schools, given that the Principal has agreed to see the salesperson before the salesperson
arrives at the school. Please remember, schools are busy places, with the most important task of all, which is educating
our children.
Vendors are encouraged to call on the Procurement Services Division before visiting a school we may save the vendor a
trip by answering any questions that arise.
The Procurement Services Division is located at 2597 Avery, Memphis, Tennessee, 38112. Room 126. We are housed in
the Frances E. Coe Administration Building between Union and Central.
Employees are prohibited from accepting gifts, gratuities, lunches, etc.. which might potentially influence their decision
to purchase from a specific vendor, with the exception of promotional items bearing company logos or advertising.
All purchases of supplies, furniture, fixtures, equipment, and material of every kind in excess of ten thousand dollars
($10,000), including those of individual schools, shall be based on competitive bids.
All contracts for non-professional services that exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) shall be based on competitive
Bids shall be solicited by the use of a comprehensive vendor list provided that the vendors are given notice to bid.
Procurement Services periodically advertises in a newspaper of general circulation in the county for vendors and shall
update the list of vendors periodically following such advertisement. The newspaper advertisement and solicitation of
bids by vendor list may be waived in the event of an emergency. The purchasing agent shall advertise for bids and
receive quotations.
The following are exceptions to the competitive bidding requirement:
1. Professional service contracts such as contracts for legal services and educational consultants shall not be based
upon competitive bids but shall be awarded on the basis of recognized competence and integrity. This may be
facilitated through a request for qualifications (RFQ) or request for proposals (RFP) process;
2. Liability Insurance purchased through a plan authorized and approved by any organization of governmental
entities representing cities and counties;
3. Purchases of goods or contracts for services from sole source and single source providers;
4. Purchases of equipment under the same terms of a legal bid initiated by any other Local Education Agency (LEA) in
Tennessee. The district shall provide a rationale documenting a justifiable benefit to the district; or
5. Purchases of supplies, equipment, and services under a competitive bid issued by any municipality, county, utility
district, or other local governmental unit of the state for the district (the “procuring entity”) subject to the
following requirements:
a. The purchases shall be made on the same terms and under the same rules and regulations as regular
purchases of the procuring entity.
b. Where the district would otherwise be required to advertise and receive bids, it shall be sufficient for
these purposes that the procuring entity has complied only with its own purchasing requirements.
c. The district shall provide a rationale documenting a justifiable benefit to the district.
Vendors who wish to participate in bidding with MCS are required to register with eSchoolMall, the electronic bidding
system in order to participate in our on-line bidding process. In order to receive email notifications for bids that will be
on-line, you must follow the three specific steps listed below:
1. Register: To register, please go to eSchoolMall
and click on the “Register” button.
2. Classify: The registration process will allow you to select the category description of the products and services
that you provide.
3. Respond: When you see an opportunity communicated to you through email, we hope that you will respond
and offer us your valuable products and services.
Our on-line bids will still be descriptively advertised on our website. For those who do not have access to a computer,
Procurement Services has a computer workstation available for our vendors. Please call (901) 416-5376 to reserve a
If you should have any questions regarding registration, please do not hesitate to contact eSchoolMall at (877) 9697246. If you have any questions concerning email notification for any on-line bid advertised on our website, please
contact Procurement Services at (901) 416-5376.
NOTE: To access other MCS bids and RFPs that are not on-line, please go to the MCS website at and
click on Community, then Procurement Services
Non-electronic bids may be returned in a sealed envelope via U.S. Mail, private carrier services or hand delivered to the
Procurement Services located at 2597 Avery Avenue, Room 126, Memphis, TN 38112. The envelope must the addressed
with the Company Name, the Bid Name, Date Due and the Nature of the Bid. Once the bids are received they are
stamped with the date and time received. LATE BIDS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
You may NOT return a non-electronic sealed bid invitation by email or fax. Price Quotations are accepted via fax or
email. Please refer to bid documentation for delivery acceptance methods.
Please Note: The Procurement Services Department is not responsible for the reliability or performance of the U.S.
Postal Service, private carrier services, or other mail systems. It is solely the vendor’s responsibility to ensure that its bid
is received prior to the deadline specified in the bid documentation. You may call to confirm the delivery of your bid.
All bids are available for review. After sealed bids are open, the bid information becomes public record and may be
Unless governed by the policy on Local Preference Purchasing (#2.8091), the best and lowest bid shall be accepted,
provided that the district reserves the right to reject any or all bids or any part of any bid and, if applicable, to accept
that bid which is best as evidenced by reasons relative to the purpose of the purchase. Any bid response may be
withdrawn prior to the scheduled time for the opening of bids. Any bid response received after the time and date
specified shall not be considered. Memphis City Schools reserves the right to accept or reject any bid as deemed to be in
the best interests of Memphis City Schools.
The bidder to whom the award is made may be required to enter into a written contract before the purchase order is
Once bids are evaluated, the Purchasing Department sends out a Notice of Intent to Award to all interested parties.
After the Procurement Services Department receives Approval of award from the Board, letters will be sent to the
awardee(s). Bidders may contact the department for this information
In compliance with the resolution requiring the establishment of a Local Preference Purchasing Program adopted by the
Board of Commissioners at the regular meeting of March 26, 2013, Memphis City Schools has determined that it is in the
best interest of the city to give a Local Preference to Local Businesses in Shelby County, Tennessee.
Local Preference means that if the lowest responsive bidder is a regional or non-local business, then all bids received
from responsive Local Businesses shall be decreased by five (5) percent. The original bid is not changed; the five (5)
percent decrease is calculated only for the purposes of determining the Local Preference. The Local Preference cost
differential is not to exceed $100,000.00.
This preference shall only apply when:
1. The total dollar purchase is $10,000 or more;
2. The vendor has a valid Shelby County business license, issued by Shelby County at least six (6) months prior to bid
or proposal opening date;
3. The vendor has a physical business address located within the limits of said locality (excluding P.O. Boxes); the
vendor has been doing business in Shelby County, Tennessee for a year or more;
4. In the case of Request for Proposals and other selected competitive negotiation, Local Businesses shall be assigned
five (5) percent of the total points of the total evaluation points up to a maximum of five (5) points.
In the event of a tie between a local and non-local vendor, the tie shall be broken in favor of the local vendor.
In order to receive or be considered for Local Preference the following is required:
1. Each vendor must provide a copy of Shelby County Business License; and
2. Each vendor must provide proof of payment of Shelby County Personal Property Taxes.
Exclusions – This preference shall not apply to purchases:
1. Funded in whole or part by a governmental entity;
2. Purchases or contracts made under emergency or non competitive situations; or
3. Application of the Local Preference may be waived upon written justification and recommendation of Memphis
City Schools Board of Commissioners