When pricing is below the threshold for public solicitation, you can utilize the Quotes section of the DemandStar platform to get pricing quotes from Suppliers.
To review and open new quotes, head to the "Quotes" tab at the top of the DemandStar portal, or to simply start a new quote click "+ Add Quote" at the top right of the portal.
Quotes will be sent out to those with matching commodity codes or any suplemental suppliers you have added (more on that in step 5). Otherwise these posts are not publicly searchable.
Click on "Add Quote" or the same button from the homepage of the portal" to get started.
If you are wondering how to award a quote, click here.
Step One - Quote Information
This will be the basic information of your quote. It will require:
Quote Name: what you want to name the quote
Quote Number: this has to be a numerical entry, it will not accept text
Fiscal Year: a drop down to mark which fiscal year the quote is in
Quote Due Date: this will be the date upon which the quote "closes" and stops taking new submissions
and optionally you can use the "Days to deliver after receipt of order" and "Shipping Notes" fields if needed.
Below the quote's information will be the contact information. This will automatically be pulled from your agency's info but can be edited as needed. Below that is your shipping information which by default will be checked to match your contact info. Uncheck this option and enter it manually if needed.
please note that quotes are uneditable after they've been published so double check that all the info is correct.
Click "Next" to continue
Step Two - Quote Wire
Here will be where you list out what items you want suppliers to quote prices for. Each line item will have a text field where you can include its full name/descriptor, a field for "Quantity", and a field for "Measure". An example would be for paint, the quantity might be 5 and the measure could be gallons.
You can click "Add Line Item" if you need to add more.
Below the line items you can include longer form context. Those spaces are "Additional Specifications", "Insurance and Additional Requirements", and "Terms and Conditions". It is important to note that unlike Bids, Quotes will not have the documents submission functionality that Bids have.
Quotes will be filled out line by line instead of a document submission by the Supplier.
Step Three - Manage Documents
While suppliers can not submit documents as part of a Quote, you can always provide additional documents for added information. This is a completely optional way for you to provide as much info as you can/want to potential suppliers.
To add a document, enter a document title, click "Choose file" and find the file on your computer.
Click "Upload" to save to the system. And click "+ Add Document" if you wish to add more.
Step Four - Build Broadcast List
You will now select which suppliers will be notified of your new quote. You can either select pre-built lists or generate new lists depending on what you already have setup in your agency. These lists will use the commodity codes that Suppliers have setup to match you with potential businesses.
When generating a new list, use the filters and search options to narrow your search of suppliers to be as exact as you need. When you have all the codes you wish to associate with the new list click "Continue" and you will see how many are about to be included. Since a quote is not public, you can also remove any suppliers you may wish to. Click "Continue" and the suppliers that all meet the code requirements will be added to the quote to be notified.
Click "Next" to proceed to the final step
Step Five - Supplemental Suppliers
Here you can add any supplier that you wish to include specifically by sending them their own notification. Click "Add Individual Supplier" and all you need to enter is their email, all other pieces of info for the contact are optional.
Once you've added all the supplemental suppliers you want to, click "Review" to look over the quote before posting.
When you are ready to make the quote go live, click "Post Quote" at the bottom of the review page. Its imparitive to remember that quotes can not be edited once posted so please be thorough in your review. The quote will be broadcasted within the next 20 minutes.
Once a due date has passed, from the quote details page you can navigate to either the Suppliers tab or the Line Items tab and start awarding the line items. Since suppliers submit their quotes line item by line item, its possible to award each line item to a different supplier.
The difference is really how you prefer to compare and view the line item submissions, here are the two options in more detail:
If you're on the Suppliers tab, you will see a suppliers submission for all line items available in the quote. Using the list of suppliers that submitted on the left you can select and compare what each suppliers full submission looks like. You can select awards from these sections using the checkboxes next to their line item submissions.
If you're on the Line Items tab, it will be inverse from the Suppliers tab. Instead of seeing one Supplier and all their line item submissions, you will see a Line Item and all the suppliers that submitted to that item. You can use the checkboxes next to these suppliers to award appropriately.
Regardless of the tab you're awarding from, once you have the checkboxes filled out for awarding the correct suppliers, click the "Award" button.
A popup window will allow you to view and customize the award notification email. You can add additional information if necessary as well. Once you're ready to send the notification click the "Send this Award Email" to immediately notify the suppliers.
If you would like to review these steps with video please click below