|Q. How do I register as a supplier on your website?|
|Q. What is a primary contact, and how does my company change our primary contact?|
|Q. How will I know when my registration is complete?|
|Q. How do I update my contact information?|
|Q. Why is it important to set up commodity codes on my profile?|
|Q. What is a proxy?|
|Q. Why do I get an error message when trying to access your web page?|
Messages and the inbox
|Q. What are messages?|
|Q. How can I manage messages?|
|Q. What are alerts?|
|Q. What is an event?|
|Q. How can I find events to respond to?|
|Q. How can I get more information about an event?|
Responding to an Event
|Q. How do I submit a response?|
|Q. How do I retrieve and submit a response I drafted earlier?|
|Q. How can I see my past responses?|
|Q. How do I add to or change a response I already submitted?|
|Q. Who will see my response?|
|Q. How will I know if my response was successful?|
|Q. What are event metrics?|
|Q. What if I have trouble logging in to the website?|
|Q. What if I forget my user name?|
|Q. How do I change my password?|
|Q. What if I forget my password?|
|Q. Where can I get information about what you require of suppliers?|
|Q. If I exit in the middle of a task, will my work be saved?|
|Q. Why do I get the Warning: Page has Expired error message in my browser?|
To register as a supplier, click the Register link on the home page. Accept our terms and conditions and click Continue. Add your information and click Continue through the registration pages. You must provide information about yourself and your company at a minimum. If you wish, add information such as diversity codes, commodity codes, and so on (this information can also be added later).
Click Continue through the registration pages until you reach the Registration Status: Complete. Click Done. The next time after registration that you and other Supplier Contacts log in, you will be prompted to answer some questions. Your answers will be used to verify your identity later, if you ever forget your password.
If you are the first person registering from your company, you become the "primary contact" - the administrator of your company’s account with us. We require you to accept our terms and conditions on your company’s behalf before you can proceed with registration. You will set up the company information and your own contact information (including e-mail) as the primary contact. You’ll maintain your company’s information in the future using the Update Account Information link. The primary contact can also set up logins for other Supplier Contacts in your company, so you may wish to identify these people before you get started. They will log in later using the login information you set up, and afterward will maintain their own contact information, including changing the password you set up for them. A primary contact cannot view the responses of other people at his or her company.
Only we can change the primary contact at your company. Please use the Contact Us link to contact us if you need to change your primary contact.
Registration is complete when you complete all required fields and reach a Congratulations page. Click done and you are then immediately logged in so you can respond to events if you wish. If you have not completed your registration, you will receive a message and a link to complete the registration. Be aware that if you later delete some required information, your registration status can change back to "Not Complete". Although we send you an e-mail confirming that a login was created for you, this e-mail does not necessarily mean your registration is complete.
Please note: If you get a "Duplicate Tax ID" message when you try to register, this may mean someone has already registered your company as a supplier on our website. In this situation, please use the Contact Us link to contact us.
Most suppliers get their login from the primary contact at their company. After you get a login, you can change your own contact information. First, log in. Click the Update Account Information link and change any of the information you can access. You can change your personal contact information, select commodity codes for items you supply, and designate a proxy if you wish. If you make changes to your name and other details, they will not take effect until the next time you log in.
If you are the primary contact, you can click the Update Account Information link to change your own contact, commodity code, and proxy information. In addition, you can change Company Information and answers to our questions (if any), and use the Add button in Additional Contacts to add or look up other Supplier Contacts (except that you cannot look up existing passwords or view others’ responses to events).
See General Questions for information about changing your password.
If you are going to search for and respond to events, commodity codes allow you to tell us what types of events you want to be notified about. If you have supplied a current e-mail address and indicated that you want to receive e-mail, then it is easier for our purchasing staff to notify you when we release an event matching any of the commodity codes you have indicated. You maintain commodity codes as part of your Supplier Contact profile, so different Supplier Contacts from your company can be notified about different events.
If you are the primary contact, the codes you set up are your own and do not automatically carry over to other Supplier Contacts you may have set up for your company. If you do not set up commodity codes, you may not see all events on our website and are unlikely to receive e-mail notifications alerting you to events of interest. If we have required that you provide commodity codes, you will not be able to complete registration - and bid on events - without providing at least one code.
Use the Commodity Search field to search the commodity code table. You can expand the Commodity Search field’s filtering capabilities by using the * symbol to replace a portion of a number or word. For example, a commodity code may include a Class Code (100) with multiple Item Codes (10, 20, and 30). If you enter 100* in the Commodity Search field, the search results would display 100-10, 100-20, and 100-30.
If you are going to search for and respond to events, you may want to designate a proxy. A proxy is a person who receives a copy of a Supplier Contact’s messages. A Supplier Contact might choose to designate a proxy, for example, before an extended absence when the Suppler Contact may not have immediate access to e-mail or the Web. An office support person who has been set up as a proxy can monitor events and let the Supplier Contact or a colleague know that a bid opportunity has come up. A proxy cannot submit event responses.
You may see a message when you try to access our website if the browser is not maximized or if you have partial pages (such as a bookmarks or Favorites list) displayed. To correct this, click OK until the message box closes, then maximize your browser and close the bookmarks list.
A requirement for registering is that you use a supported browser. If you access our website through an unsupported browser, you may receive unexpected results, or you may see an error message.
It is possible that your computer’s monitor is set to a low screen resolution, which you can increase. In Windows, click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display > Settings > Screen Resolution, and drag the bar until it shows a resolution of at least 1024 x 768 pixels. Click OK. It is not necessary to restart your computer to use this setting. This setting will also resize other programs you run and will remain on your monitor until you change it.
Messages are notifications that display in your inbox. Unread messages also display on the home page. The home page displays up to five of the newest unread messages. Some notifications are automatically generated.
When you read a message by selecting the message title, you can mark a message as read or deleted.
From your inbox, you can mark messages are read or you can delete them. Select one or many messages and then select the Mark As Read or Mark As Deleted button. When it is marked as Read or Deleted, a message no longer displays in your unread messages list. A message that has been marked as deleted displays in the Trash tab. To restore a message from the trash to your inbox, select the message and select the Move To Inbox button. To permanently delete messages, select the message and select the Delete Forever button.
Alerts notify you when a situations requires your attention. Alerts are notices on contracts. For example, if you have a contract that is about to expire, you will see this as an alert in the website.
An event is a request for a bid, information, proposal or other that we choose to make available over our website. An event might have many lines, and you may bid on (respond to) any or all lines. We usually establish terms and conditions specific to each event, which you must agree to before responding. We may also attach questions to an event, which are sometimes required for all who respond to the event.
Anyone viewing our website can click the Browse Open Events link to see an events list. If you have registered and are logged in, you can receive e-mails that notify you immediately when an event is released. To sign up for this, click Update Account Information to select commodity codes that your company supplies. Also make sure you have provided a current e-mail address and selected to receive e-mails from us. When an event is released to our website that matches the commodity codes you have set up, you (and your proxy, if you have one) may be notified by e-mail. If allowed by our policy, our purchasing staff may also choose to make an event visible to you and other selected suppliers that is not visible to everyone who visits our website. You cannot respond to a closed event.
Click an event on an events list to view its details. Select Print to open a PDF version of the event. You can save the file or print it. If you still have questions, you can ask them on the Q & A Forum tab on the event page (if this event contains a Q & A Forum tab). When you submit a question, our purchasing staff will respond to you by e-mail. Be aware that they may also choose to publish it with the other event information if it will help ensure a fair bidding process. In this case, your anonymous question and our answer will be available to any supplier who views the event. Answers to questions asked by others may be viewed on the Q & A Forum panel on the event summary.
Only suppliers who have completed registration may respond to events.
Click Respond Now on an event listing to display the Event Response page. If you decide not to respond, please select No Bid and select a reason code.
View the terms and conditions for this event. If the event allows you to negotiate terms and conditions, you can do so. If you are not presented with an option to negotiate terms and conditions, you must accept the terms and conditions before you can submit a response. Click Continue.
Any response you submit must contain at least one line, and it is possible that an event will require you to respond to all lines. Click the Respond link for a line. When completing lines, you can respond for the full quantity or for a partial quantity. If you choose to respond to some but not all of the lines, please check No Bid and select a reason code for the lines you are not interested in. If you want to indicate that you will not be charging for an item - for example because it is a promotion, or an accessory, or a sample - select "No Charge" at the line level. If the event line allows for alternate responses, you can select "Alternate Only" and create an alternate response by clicking on the Add link that displays under the Alternate Responses column on Line Responses.
An event or line may include required question(s) that you must answer as part of your response.
You can attach a pricing catalog or other information using the Attachments tab of the Event Response page.
When you have nearly completed your response, the website may display a list of messages indicating if you have missing information. When your response is complete, click Submit then OK to send us your response now, or just click Done to save your response in Draft status for submitting later. We are unable to award to responses that are in Draft status. If you click Done without submitting, a message may display reminding you of the submission deadline.
If you want to submit a response by mail or phone instead of online, contact our purchasing staff.
Log in, then click My Responses for responses you have prepared, including responses with a status of Draft. Select the draft event whose response you want to change. Select Actions > Open. The terms and conditions will already be marked as accepted; click Continue. To respond to a line, click the Respond link next to the line. To edit your response to a line, click the Edit Response link next to the line. To manage any attachments to your responses, click Continue. When you are done with all your line edits, select Continue through to the Submit Response page. Click Submit, then Done.
You cannot respond to an event after it is closed, even if your draft was begun before the close date.
Log in, then click the My Responses link to view the My Responses page. To narrow the list, you can complete one or more search fields and click Search. If an event is cancelled after you bid on it, it will continue to be listed on your My Responses page.
Log in, then click My Responses for responses you have submitted. Click the event whose response you want to change. Click Actions > Modify Response to place the response into Draft status. Click Actions > Open. The terms and conditions will already be marked as accepted; click Continue. To edit your response to a line, click the Edit Response link. To manage any attachments to your responses, click Continue. When you are done with all your line edits, click Continue through to the Submit Response page. Don’t forget to click Submit to send us your response again. Each time you reaccess your submitted response via the Edit Responses link - even if you don’t change anything - it returns to Draft status until you click Submit. Click Done.
If you want to withdraw your response from consideration, select the response and click Actions > Withdraw Response. The response will be visible from My Responses with a status of Withdrawn.
After you submit it, your response to a non-sealed-bid event may be viewed by those on our staff who are responsible for the event. However, your response to a formal (sealed-bid) event cannot be viewed by anyone but you until after the response period for the event has closed. Your response is never visible to other suppliers during the response and award phases. It is possible that we may publish some information about a successful response in e-mails and/or on the website as part of Event History, so that suppliers who submitted unsuccessful responses can see the outcome of the award.
If you have indicated that you wish to receive e-mail, you may be informed by e-mail when we have made a decision to award an event or event lines to one or more specific suppliers. However, if your response was not successful you may not receive an e-mail. In this case, you should check the website to see if we have posted award status. If we also choose to post some information about the award to the website, you can see this on the event record under Award Summary. If there is a dispute period for the event, and our decision is successfully disputed, you may receive a subsequent award notice with new information.
Event metrics are counts and calculations based on the number of event invitations you received, event responses you created, and awards you received. There are some simple calculations done for success rates, such as Lines Awarded Success Rate (lines awarded divided by lines bid), Amount Awarded Success Rate (amount awarded divided by amount bid). Note that the amount bid is calculated at the time a response is submitted and the amount awarded is calculated at the time an award is created. Also note that we do not calculate success rates for alternate lines. Event metrics also include a count of Alternate Lines Awarded, Alternate Amounts Awarded, and No Bid responses for events and lines.
The primary contact for your company will set up your account and give you your user name and temporary password. If you can’t log into our website, make sure your computer does not have Numlock or Capslock set, because this changes how your password appears (consult your computer’s documentation for details). Too many toolbars (including the Google toolbar) can also cause problems. Press the F11 key to expand the browser to full screen without toolbars.
Also make sure that your computer monitor’s resolution is set to at least 1024 x 768 pixels (instructions for this are given in the answer to the question, "Why do I get an error message").
If you try multiple times to log in and are not successful, the system will eventually prevent you from trying. Please try again later on. If you still cannot log in after waiting, please use the Contact Us link on the home page to contact us.
If you thought you were registered but now find that you are not, it may be because:
When you originally provided a password, you typed it two different ways
You forgot to provide (or later deleted) commodity codes that were required
You forgot to provide (or later deleted) your answer to a question that was required
If you are still having problems, please use the Contact Us link on the home page. We can offer assistance, register you over the phone, or accept a paper bid.
If you can’t remember your user name, click the Forgot User Name? link on the home page. Provide your e-mail address. Your user name (login) will be emailed to you.
Log in. Click Change Password. You will be prompted for your old password, then you must type the new password twice. Click Save. You can use the new password immediately the next time you log in.
If you forget your password, provide your user name on the Login page, then click the If you forgot your password, click here to reset link. You will be prompted to answer the question(s) for which we stored your previous answers. After answering them, you can type your new password twice, then click Save to log in.
If you forget your password before you have had a chance to answer the security question(s), the system will generate a random password and e-mail it to you. Then you can log in, reset your password, and answer the security questions.
Select the Register link to view a page containing a link to our terms and conditions. You must accept them before you can proceed with registration. Also, we usually attach additional terms and conditions to each event, which you can view by clicking the Browse Open Events link, then clicking an event and viewing the terms and conditions.
There may be times when unforeseen circumstances prevent you from responding to an event or completing registration in one session. While responding to an event, if you exit or click Done before submitting the response, your bid will be saved in Draft status on the My Responses page.
During registration, if you click Cancel or close your browser before providing contact information for your company and yourself, there is no record of you in our system. Click Continue until you reach the Registration Status: Complete page. You can go back to add information like Commodity Codes the next time you log in. Click the Update Account Information link.
This is caused by using your browser’s back button. Use the navigation buttons across the top of the page to avoid this (or return to the Home page).