purchasing

Vendor Performance
Tracking System (VPTS)

Vendors

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' (CPA) Vendor Performance Tracking System (VPTS) is a comprehensive and effective tool that helps the state procurement community reduce purchase risk and maximize overall value. Basic VPTS capabilities typically involve evaluating supplier quality, cost competitiveness, potential delivery performance and technological capability. In addition, VPTS records and ranks the performance of a vendor in a variety of other categories, such as delivery performance and the quality of the items.

See an overview of the full VPTS process.


How to be a Successful Vendor
Checklist
Number
Description
1 Follow the basic contracted rules to help build and maintain strong working relationships with customers. Maintaining positive customer relationships can productively affect a vendor's industry and market reputation.
2 Fulfill the agreement. Creating a contract checklist and contract milestones can help vendors pinpoint agreed delivery dates, quantities, obligations and points of contact to make it easier to fulfill the contract. Vendors who don't fulfill the contracted obligation are potentially overlooked for future purchases opportunities and develop a reputation for subpar work. When a contract is unfulfilled due to lack of cooperation or breach of contract by the customer, vendors should seek legal counsel.
3 Deliver on time. Risks to timely delivery include shortages of products, parts or materials. Planning ahead can reduce the number of shortages and in some cases, circumvent them to help vendors deliver products on time. For example, a discussion regarding the key stock items based on the past needs of a client can reduce the time to reorder and restock. Vendors can deliver on time by closely monitoring delivery schedules and project milestones, then identifying possible obstacles to a delivery date and developing alternatives to overcome delays. For instance, creating a backup team to fulfill service needs when delays occur due to employee illness or vacation can keep delivery times on target, maintaining customer satisfaction.
4 Communicate with the customer on a regular basis. Communication can avert problems and keep the vendor aware of customer needs or changes in expectation. A weekly phone call, a monthly request for evaluation or a reminder to contact the vendor in case of a problem with delivery lets customers know they will be heard. Develop a point of contact and a system to receive complaints or suggestions to monitor the customer-vendor relationship. For example, an account manager can effectively maintain open communication with a personalized touch.
5 Price goods and services fairly. Keep consistent pricing rather than setting arbitrary purchase amounts. Charging one customer more than another is inconsistent and unethical and possibly illegal. In addition to setting a fair price, include price breaks where appropriate by evaluating the cost of producing the product or service and the quantity the customer is requesting. Remain aware of market fluctuations, trends and competitor prices before setting or adjusting your pricing.
6 Respond to customers in a professional manner and avoid arguments, verbal outbursts and accusations. Train all employees and management in effective communication to ensure all possess the same set of essential skills. Good vendors know to look at the broader picture, working with the varied personalities of the customer base despite individual challenges while still providing timely and quality products or services.

Vendor Performance Process

Vendor Performance reports that are given “A” – “C” are auto generated, require no response and none will be accepted.

Vendor Performance reports (VPRs)that are given “D” or “F” will be placed on hold for 30 calendar days to allow vendors the opportunity to submit a vendor response.

  • Vendor responses are forwarded to the agency that initially submitted the vendor performance report for review.
  • Once an agency determination is made, vendor and agency comments are added to the report. Vendor comments are limited to 4,000 characters.

CPA’s Statewide Purchasing Division (SPD) will send two email notifications for vendor responses. The initial email notification will notify vendors the VPR has been placed on hold. The second email notification, which is auto generated, serves as a reminder to submit a vendor response. If the vendor has received the second email notification and a vendor response has already been submitted, please disregard the email notification.

If a vendor response is not submitted within 30 calendar days, the report will be processed and published as initially submitted.

A vendor response received within 30 calendar days is forwarded to the submitting agency for review and consideration. The agency will decide whether to change the report or let it stand as is.

The vendor can submit a vendor response during a 30-day cycle if negative performance issues are raised. The SPD's Vendor Performance Program will work with the agency and vendor to resolve any concerns raised.

CPA reserves the right to eliminate any derogatory or otherwise inappropriate language from submitted comments and reserves the right to redact or modify personally identifying information submitted in vendor or agency comments.

Vendor Protest

By rule, vendor protests for report grades of “A,” “B” and “C” will not be accepted and cannot be protested.

A vendor protest may be submitted for a report grades “D” or “F.” Vendor protests must be submitted for vendor performance reports within 10 days of a published report. Vendor protests submitted prior to the referring published VPRs and/or submitted after the 10 days will not be accepted. Vendor protest forms are limited to 4,000 characters.

To file a vendor protest, please submit the Vendor Protest Form via e-mail.

Vendor Performance Report Search

FAQs

Does CPA have a scoring system to determine a report grade?

Each agency uses its discretion to determine its scoring system and report grade. Vendors are welcome to request this information from the agency.

Where do I find my vendor report grade on CPA's website?

Vendor reports are available within the VPTS Search on Texas SmartBuy.
(Note: Using the vendor ID is the most accurate way to find a vendor.)

How will the vendor be notified when a VPR has been submitted?

The vendor receives an email with the report details - that's why it's imperative that the vendor provide updated contact information to the agency and/or VPTS.

What happens to a vendor response after it is submitted?

The vendor response is forwarded to the submitting agency for review and consideration. The state agency will determine whether to change the report or let the report stand as is.

What happens if a vendor response is not submitted?

If a vendor response is not submitted within the 30 calendar days, the report will be processed in accordance with 34 TAC §20.115(c).

How long are VPRs available?

VPRs are available on TxSmartBuy.com for four years from the date they are submitted. To view any reports older than four years, anopen records request must be submitted.

Whom does the vendor contact about details on the vendor performance report?

The vendor will contact the agency contact representative listed on the email or the representative the vendor contacts on a regular basis at the agency. The agency contact representative's name, phone number and email address are listed on the email notification the vendor receives.

What is the difference between a vendor grade and report grade?

A vendor grade is an average score of historical reports submitted. A numeric formula was created to determine the A-F letter grade. For the most recent 48 months, each letter grade is given a numerical score (TAC §20.115). This total score is divided by the number of letter grades to determine a single report grade based on the vendor's performance for a reporting agency. The vendor can submit a vendor response during a 30-day cycle if negative performance issues are raised. The SPD's Vendor Performance Program will work with the agency and vendor to resolve any concerns raised.

What is the VPTS grading system?
VPTS Grading System
Grade Description
Grade
A
A state agency shall assign an “A” when it determines that the vendor significantly exceeded the requirements of the purchase order or contract to the state's benefit, that any problems with the purchase order or contract were minor, and that corrective actions taken by the vendor to address such problems were highly effective. If the best value standard was used to award the purchase order or contract, an "A" means that the vendor satisfied that standard.
Grade
B
A state agency shall assign a “B” when it determines that the vendor exceeded some requirements of the purchase order or contract to the state's benefit, that any problems with the purchase order or contract were minor, and that corrective actions taken by the vendor to address such problems were effective. If the best value standard was used to award the purchase order or contract, a "B" means that the vendor satisfied that standard.
Grade
C
A state agency shall assign a “C” when it determines that the vendor met the requirements of the purchase order or contract and that corrective actions taken by the vendor to address minor problems were satisfactory. If the best value standard was used to award the purchase order or contract, a “C” means that the vendor satisfied that standard but that the vendor's performance did not merit an “A” or “B.”
Grade
D
A state agency shall assign a “D" when it determines that the vendor did not meet some of the requirements of the purchase order or contract, that problems with the purchase order or contract were serious, and that corrective actions taken by the vendor to address such problems were only marginally effective or not fully implemented. If the best value standard was used to award the purchase order or contract, a “D” means that the vendor did not satisfy that standard.
Grade
F
A state agency shall assign an “F” when it determines that the vendor did not meet the requirements of the purchase order or contract, that problems with the purchase order or contract were serious, and that corrective actions taken by the vendor to address such problems were ineffective. If the best value standard was used to award the purchase order or contract, an "F" means that the vendor did not satisfy that standard.

VPTS Customer Service

Phone: 512-463-3913
Available: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. CST

Vendor inquiries,responses and protests: vendor.performance@cpa.texas.gov.

Questions?

We're available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.