The State of North Carolina purchases a wide variety of goods and services ranging from pencils to temporary labor. Annual purchases total almost $5 billion dollars. The Division of Purchase and Contract is the central purchasing authority for all state departments, agencies, institutions, community colleges, technical institutes, and city or local boards of education. It also makes purchasing services available to local governments, charitable non-profit hospitals, local non-profit community sheltered workshops, volunteer fire departments, and rescue squads.
E-Procurement combines the use of Internet technology with procurement best practices to streamline the purchasing process and reduce costs. This system makes the procurement process more efficient by reducing costs for both businesses and the state. Currently, North Carolina imposes a 1.75 percent funding fee for any goods or services bought through this program. However, local governments are not subject to this fee. Businesses selling commodities may also want to register for E-Quote in order to be considered for online quoting.
Potential suppliers should visit and review the state’s website or search for open bids using the state’s Interactive Purchasing System (IPS). Businesses may choose to have solicitations sent to their e-mail addresses by completing the required registration form at the North Carolina’s Vendorlink registration web site.
Companies that register electronically are included in a vendor database that is available to all state agencies. This service is provided free of charge as a convenience for businesses who register and, in turn, they receive email notification of procurement opportunities for goods and services of interest. Additionally, businesses can register as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) business during registration process.
The division also establishes Term Contracts and disseminates information on these contracts via the Internet to all agencies that buy commonly used products or services. By combining commonly used items into one contract, the division eliminates the need for each agency to independently solicit bids for these products and services, thereby saving millions of dollars. If your product or service is one purchased by term contract you will want to find out the next date for re-competition so that you can compete for a term contract. Visit the NC Term Contract web site for a list of commodities.
NC Business Development Programs
The Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program administers, promotes, and provides assistance to encourage participation by business enterprises that are at least 51 percent owned by minority, women and disabled persons. Registration for this program can be accomplished when they register in Vendor Link. North Carolina has a goal of awarding 13 percent of their contracting dollars to HUB businesses.
The NC Department of Transportation (DOT) administers, promotes, and provides assistance to encourage participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and Small Business Enterprises (SBE). More information can be found at the NC DOT Connect web site. Currently, the NC DOT has a goal of awarding 10 percent of their contract awards to DBEs.
For a list of all North Carolina state government entities (purchasing offices for agencies, departments, community college, institutions, and universities) that purchase goods and services use this link and sort by category.
State Procurement Card
State agencies, including some public schools, universities and community colleges, use a credit card aimed at saving millions of dollars in processing small purchases. This procurement card (P-Card) expedites purchases, reduce paperwork and helps vendors get paid faster after they provide products to state agencies, such as office supplies, computer equipment, maintenance tools and services.