Collecting waste paper

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May 30th, 2013 at 7:57:59 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9746
In recent weeks and at WoVCon I have been questioned as to the nature of my job. Would there be any interest in a detailed description of what I do? That would take several posts, some quite long, and I'd get to it only after I leave Vegas.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 31st, 2013 at 3:38:46 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 46
Posts: 3785
Its obvious that you are unhappy with a job that involves paperwork rather than cooking and, most particularly, useless and unnecessary paperwork. If you want to post further about it, go ahead. If you want to use the time to look for a better job...well, The Venetian needs line cooks and sous chefs right now.
June 6th, 2013 at 4:51:25 PM permalink
AcesAndEights
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 5
Posts: 238
Quote: Nareed
In recent weeks and at WoVCon I have been questioned as to the nature of my job. Would there be any interest in a detailed description of what I do? That would take several posts, some quite long, and I'd get to it only after I leave Vegas.

I would be quite interested. Despite your best efforts up 'till now to explain it, I'm still pretty mystified.
"You think I'm joking." -EvenBob
June 7th, 2013 at 6:10:17 AM permalink
Mission146
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 6
Posts: 137
I wouldn't mind hearing about it.
I think that last post just got you in Tedda's notebook. You don't want to be in Tedda's notebook.
June 10th, 2013 at 7:31:52 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9746
Good (?) I'll post about it in installments as time and mood permit ;)

The basics seem pretty simple: a government agency issues a request for a proposal, then we, and usually other companies, assemble one and present it. The agency then decides which proposal to accept, if any, depending on certain criteria, and a contract is signed.

Right.

The devil is in the details. I'll get to that soon. Right now I've got to unpack, do some grocery shopping, visit several banks, and get used to the idea of returning to work on Wednesday.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
June 21st, 2013 at 1:04:34 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9746
Let's start at the beginning, as the March Hare advised Alice:

To begin with, government agencies are vast bureaucracies with set policies en procedures. So nothing moves unless the papers get shuffled first. THis includes the acquisition of goods and services. Next, we sell food and related services, such as meal preparation on site, delivery of prepared meals (hot or cold), operating on site commisaries, etc.

Ok. So let's say a government agency, call it BLOAT, wants to buy meats, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, dry goods and such for its on-site commisary. Just the food, not the service. What does it do? First it determines what kind of agency it is. That is, local, state or federal (yes, there is a federal Mexican government). Why? Because on that depends how it puts together its request for porposals. If it's a local agency, it will follow whatever laws and rules exist in that locality. A state agency follows state laws. A federal one follows federal laws. Of course, a local or state agency using federal funds for 35% or mroe of its budget for this acquisition is required to follow federal law. Some states, but not all, place simialr rules on local agencies.

Having determined this, the agency determines what products it needs, what requirements the supplier must meet, what kind of procedure to follow (more on that once we're done), how much it's willing to spend, whether it needs samples or not, etc. Once that's done, an internal comittee signs off on the request.

Then the request must be published somehow. Let's stick to federal alw, as that's the most clear. Under this law, the request has to be published in the "Diario Oficial de la Federación." This is a daily tabloid published by the federal government and available only by subscription. The request must also be published in a website called COMPRANET (call it BUYNET and you get a good idea of what it is).

Suppliers check COMPRANET daily (at least we do). The Diario is not as useful as it used to be (more on that striclty on request). If we find a request we're interested in, like our hypothetical BLOAT one, we do what I'll describe next.

First I download the file or files uploaded to COMPRANET. Usually it's just one, usually a Word or PDF document. an agency like BLOAT would publish about 250+ pages per request, give or take. These get printed and ditributed within the office, the files carefully filed in a numbered subfolder within a folder for the year.

What does the request contain?

Leaving aside the boilerplate, it contains the myriad papers the prospective suppliers must rpesent. Typically for BLOAT these include:

1) A large number of letters where we state under oath we will do any number of things required by BLOAT. Things like delivering fresh goods, exchanging defective ro unsatisfactory goods within four hours, provide personnel to unload the delivery truck, provide these personnel with a company ID and a uniform (with photos of the uniform and exemplars od the ID), respect the terms fo the contract, accept the sanctions contained int he contract should it come to that, promise to present a bond for 10% of the maximum contracted amount, promise to sign the contract in time (I kid you not), etc.

These are the easiest part. Pretty much you just copy and paste and add the date and the signature of the company's legal rep. The trikc is not to miss one. It happens sometimes. Once we won a project for a local agency ebacuse everyone else missed a letter promisning not to deliver frozen goods (I'm dead serious).

2) Papers to demonstrate experience. These are suually copies of similar contracts, but may include also invoices related to such contracts, letters of recommendation from existing or past clients, etc. Also a business curriculum.

3) Papers to demonstrate capacity. This is both logical and ridiculous. For example, we may be required to present the lease for our warehouses and processing plant. Sounds reasonable, yes? But also photographs of the premises, invoices for the equipment, maintenance logs, invoices for regualr maintenance, proof we callibrate the scales once a year at a minimum, invoices or leases for the deivery vehicles, proof of the application of pest control by a licensed pest control company (or our license for pest control if we have it).

This section may also include letters from our suppliers promising to support us during the term of the contract, alongisde copies of one or more of their licenses or certificates.

I'll continue this shrotly. There is still much to cover.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
July 14th, 2013 at 6:05:26 PM permalink
AcesAndEights
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 5
Posts: 238
Quote: Nareed
I'll continue this shrotly. There is still much to cover.

Yes, please do. I've been MIA recently but this is fascinating to me.
"You think I'm joking." -EvenBob
July 14th, 2013 at 8:08:46 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9746
As soon, ironically, as work lets up :)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
November 30th, 2013 at 7:21:03 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9746
Work hasn't let up so much.

I neglected to mention one thing. Once the rules and requirements are posted, you need to wither purchase them or register with the agency.

For federal level acquisitions, purchases are no longer required. But one must fill out a form called, loosely translated, "Letter of intent to participate in the contest." This little letter runs two pages, usually, and requires listing the following:

Company's name, address, phone and fax number, email, tax ID number and supplier number (if applicable)

The names of the partners

The number, date and brief description of the papers establishing the company, plus any modifications made as regards capital, business object, partners, address and other things; the name, number and locality of the notary public which wrote up and certified these papers; plus the number under which they're registered in something called, again loose translation, the Public Registry of Property (whatever the hell that is, I've no idea).

The number and description of the particular contest

The name of the legal representative, plus the number of the paper granting the rep the power to represent the company, plus the name, number and locality of the notary public which wrote up and certified these papers

And lastly the reps signature.

This really isn't as hard as it sounds, as you make one such letter and then just adapt it to the particulars of each contest. But it's also redundant, as all contests require something called "Letter of accreditation of personality," which contains exactly the same information.

For state and local contests, purchase is necessary. The payment is supposed to be nominal and it should amount to covering the cost of drawing up and publishing the rules and requirements. The amounts actually charged vary wildly. We can pay as little as US $50, say, or as much as $1,900 US. But I've seen some requiring payment of as much as $6,500

Usually you can obtain the rules and requirements for free. But if a receipt for the payment isn't included in your proposal, then it won't be considered.

Paying for them can be an adventure all by itself, too. BUYNET used to handle that, but it doesn't anymore (changes to federal laws). It depends on the agency, and the law it operates under. It can be as simple as making a deposit at a specific bank, including a particular reference (there are only a few banks in all of Mexico), or as complicated as having to hand over a cashier's or certified check personally at the agency's offices.

By far the worst if the state of Nuevo Leon, which requires cash or a cashier's/certified check to be paid at a state treasury office. Then the receipt has to be presented at the agency along with some letters and papers, and exchanged for a payment receipt. When that happens, someone in our office has to hop on a plane to Monterrey and make the payment (I've had the duty a few times).

In fact, just this week I had a problem paying for one set right here in Mexico City. Uncharacteristically, this agency provided for either a cashier's/certified check at their offices, or a bank deposit. I opted for the latter. But it turned out the account given wasn't the right one. So I had to return the cash to our company and ask for a certified check. This delayed payment for one day; which was fine since we had until last Friday to pay and I'd have the check on Thursday. But the boss for some reason went bat-crap crazy about the payment not having been made yet. You'd think he'd be used to the deadlines, stress and all else that happens regularly by now.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
November 30th, 2013 at 7:29:39 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9746
Ok, moving on.

4) Most agencies, and BLOAT in particular, require lots and lots of lab analyses of: Beef, chicken, pork, cold meats, dairy products, tap water used in the processing plant, of the inside of the delivery vehicles, inside of refrigeration chambers, instruments used in processing or packing, work tables, and other things. These contain things like bacterial counts, physical and chemical stuff and so on, according to a set of norms.

5) Clinical analyses of the employees who will be handling the products in the plant, be it for processing or packing, and those who will make the deliveries. All must show the employees in question are healthy. You can try to justify these any number of ways. But they include blood chemistry analyses, which include things like cholesterol and blood sugar levels; neither of which are in any way contagious.

6) Health inspections carried out by a laboratory, of the processing/packing plant and delivery vehicles.

Well, this is getting em depressed. I'll continue it some other time.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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