easySourcing™ Bid Line Item Supplier Reference Guide

This document provides a condensed overview of the supplier bid response process.  It will demonstrate with short text descriptions supported by screen shots for each step explained.

Table of Contents

  1. Registration
  2. Invitation to Bid
  3. Forwarding a Bid Internally
  4. Creation of Bid Response
  5. Responding to a Lot
  6. Import Response
  7. Submitting a Bid Response
  8. Updating Profile Information
  9. Monitor Supplier Response Status
  10. Returning Response
  11. Responding to Addendums
  12. Awards
  13. Reports
  14. Sourcing Event Posting Board



Suppliers can register by going to http://www.esmsolutions.com/suppliers/. Select the appropriate application and complete the profile. An email notification is sent to advise that Supplier Registrations are processed within 24 hours during business days. A secondary email notification arrives when the registration is active.

Suppliers can register for eSchoolMall and/or Mercury Commerce depending on the type of customer serviced.

  1. eSchoolmall: K-12 Schools
  2. Mercury: Higher Education, State and Local Governments, and Commerical entities

It is highly recommended to select the appropriate NIGP codes and classifications when completing the registration. The codes are used by buyers to locate new vendors, making the codes equivalent to keyword searches. The selection of one NIGP code is necessary to register and the selection can be edited under the Profile tab. NIGP codes are nationally recognized and can be searched for a complete list.


Invitation to Bid

If you are looking to respond to a bid, you will need to reach out the publishing customer of the bid as they are the only ones who have the ability to invite you to respond to a bid. ESM does not have the ability to forward these invitations.

If there are questions about the content of the bid, please reach out to the publishing customer as they are the ones who have created the bid.


Forwarding a Bid Internally

If you wish to forward a bid to another person in your company who is also registered in the system, you can select the "Share Response" checkbox next to their name (within the bid) to forward them the bid. The person receiving the bid will have to be registered in the system.

If you do not see the "Share Response" option within the bid, you will need to contact Support at support@esmsolutions.com to request to turn this on.


Creation of Bid Response

Each registered supplier asked to participate will have received an automatic email message that explains the invitation to the bid. The supplier will log with a username (email) and password to complete the response.

  1. View tab: allows suppliers to view all bids that they participated in
  2. Create tab: Default tab which displays active bids awaiting a response
  3. Submit tab: contains all pending bid not sent to the requester
  4. Awards tab: submitted responses will populate under this tab, awaiting the buyer awarding process results
  5. Profile tab: allows suppliers to edit information provided when they registered (Contact, NIGP Codes and Diversity Class)
  6. Subscription tab: allows suppliers to purchase an annual subscription
  7. Reports tab: choice of six reports indicative of bid actions for the supplier
  8. Response Action: directs suppliers to the appropriate pages to respond to a bid
  9. Bid/Request ID: Bid identification number, used to reference the bid to buyers
  10. Response Status: Indicates the progression of the supplier’s response
    1. New: a response has not be created
    2. In Progress: response has been created but not submitted
    3. Submitted: the response has been sent to the buyer
    4. Partially Submitted: originally responded but an Addendum requires a response
    5. Missed: response was not submitted before the Bid Due By date
  11. Event Status: Indicates the progression of the buyer’s bid process
    1. Accepting Responses: bid is open for responses
    2. Awaiting Review: Bid is closed but is still sealed
    3. Under Review: Buyer has opened the responses and is evaluating the response
    4. Awarded: Awards have been published to suppliers

When the supplier opens the bid for the first time, they will be prompted to Accept or Decline the Terms and Conditions of the bid. If they select Decline, the bid cannot be acted upon.

If the supplier agrees to the Terms and Conditions, the supplier can create the response.

Please note the Time Remaining is listed above the Event Information.

  1. Status: displays the progress of the response
  2. Supplier’s Terms and Conditions: fields opportunity for supplier to include their own Terms and Conditions (i.e. discount for quick pay)
  3. Response Submit: link to the Submit tab.

Suppliers should save their Response Terms and Response Payment Terms.


Required Information for Submission

In order to submit the bid, at least one line item will need to have a response. Select the Create Response Action to input the response for each line item.


Fields marked by the Red Asterisk (Manufacturer, Product Number and Price) will need to be filled out before the bid can be submitted. If no information is applicable for these required fields, "NA" is an acceptable response for Manufacturer and Product Number, while 0.01 is an acceptable response for Price.


Under Response Action, Create indicates first opportunity to respond to a line item. Modify indicates a saved response available for editing.

If Create appears below Modify, the buyer has allowed multiple responses for each line item. The number in parentheses represents the saved responses.



Attachments, Terms & Conditions and Notes can be made at the header-level (previous screen) or line-level. Once the information has been entered, the supplier can save and close.


Responding to a Lot

Buyers can create a Lot during the bid creation process

There are two types of Lots

  1. Standard: the ability for the buyer to group items together within a bid
  2. Flex-lot: provides the buyer two possibilities:
    1. Supplier can provide or reject responses on individual line items within the lot
    2. Line items can be awarded individually within the lot

To response to a Lot, select the Lot Code to view the line items

The details will appear with the Lot Information box and Items box.

Create the response using the process outlined in Create a Bid Response. Select Back in the Links box to return to the bid.


Import Response

Suppliers have the option of importing the response to facilitate the response process.

 Note: The response has not yet been submitted to the buyer, the process below creates the response.

The Response Import link is available under the Create tab. Supplier can respond to all items in a list or through an excel file.

Note: If the buyer allowed for multiple responses, the supplier will have to create alternate responses individually following the process outlined in Creation of Bid Response.

1. Importing the Response with an Excel File

The Response Import Worksheet excel file is generated for each bid to allow suppliers to respond to every line item and import the file.  Instructions exist in the excel file for the upload process.

  1. Response Import Worksheet: select Generate to receive the Excel file via email to complete the response to all items. The completed Excel file must be saved in the Excel 2003.xls format.
    1. Note: Follow the instructions in the Excel file; Do not change the format or it will cause the import to fail.

2. File Path: Choose the Excel 2003.xls file and Upload.

3. Import to Response: select to complete the upload of the line items.

2. Importing the Response using the Items Box

The supplier can enter the response to all of the line items within the Items Box

  1. Items: Suppliers can respond to the individual line items and import all of the responses
  2. Save and Import To Response: allows suppliers to save the completed responses and Import the completed lines


Submitting a Bid Response

Suppliers can start the submission process from two locations:

  1. Response Submit Link

2. Submit Tab: Select the bid to submit by clicking on the Response ID

After selecting option 1 or 2, the supplier will be directed to the screen below to assign the PO Contact and Fee Contact from the drop-down menu. If the buyer included a Vendor Check List, the checkbox must be responded to for submission.

Suppliers can view the response before submitting.

Select Submit under the Actions menu or at the bottom of the screen.

Upon successful submission of the bid, suppliers the “Congratulations” screen will appear.

Suppliers can contact the buyer to verify the submission of the response.


Updating Profile Information

If any of the information on your profile needs to be changed before submitting the bid, please reference the "Editing the Supplier Profile" section on the Supplier Management Reference Guide, linked below:



Monitor Supplier Response Status

The buyer is able to monitor the supplier activity under by time-stamped statuses:


  1. Notified of the bid
  2. Accepted or rejected the Terms and Conditions
  3. Has a response in progress
  4. Has missed the deadline for response
  5. Has submitted a response


Returning Response

In the case that you need your bid returned to you after you have already submitted your bid, you will need to reach out to the customer directly and ask that they "Return your response". Support is NOT able to return the response on behalf of the customer, this MUST go through the customer directly.


Responding to Addendums

Buyers can edit an open bid and publish the changes to suppliers. The Addendum can be found under the View tab.

Suppliers will receive an email notification about the Addendum.

An “A” icon next to the Response Action indicates an Addendum.

Suppliers can respond to the Current Catalog or the Addendum (if a bid was already submitted).

  1. Current Catalog/Response: the current bid with the addendum(s) included
  2. Addendum 1: the published change to the bid
  3. Original Attachment: the original bid sent to the suppliers


If the supplier has had their response released back, it will show as a Current Catalog/Response for resubmission.



The submitted Bid will be visible under the Awards Tab. To view a specific award, select the Request ID of the bid.

All suppliers who submitted a response are notified by email of their individual award results. The buyer has an option to display all or individual supplier responses to each participating supplier. The results are visible under the Awards tab.

Monitoring Buyer activity by Event Status:

  1. Accepting Responses: Bid is still open and sealed
  2. Awaiting Review: Bid is closed but is still sealed
  3. Under Review: Buyer has opened the responses and is evaluating the response
  4. Awarded: Awards have been published to suppliers

The Ribbon Icon indicates an award to the line item.

Bids can be awarded by:

  1. Award All As-Specified Lowest Bids
  2. Partial Quantity
  3. Award All (to one Supplier)
  4. No Award (prompts buyer for a reason)



The Reports tab has six reports available for suppliers to run. Reports are saved in the system for 24 hours. Suppliers can export if needed

To run a report:

  1. Select a report and click on the Select button.
  2. Select the Criteria to run the report, click Next
  3. Select the Delivery Options, click Next
  4. A green message will appear under the Instructions confirming the request
  5. An email notification will arrive when the report has been processed. The file will be attached to the email. The report will also be visible under Status with a floppy-disk icon when it is available.

Selecting the icon allows the report to be viewed by the user.


Sourcing Event Posting Board

Some buyers can create Sourcing Event Posting Boards, which allow them to share information about bids that are in process to suppliers without issuing an invitation.

Note: All bids follow the process outlined above. The Sourcing Event Posting Board is a communication tool for viewing the event. Suppliers still require an invitation to participate in the bid.

The Sourcing Event Posting Board links are specific to the buyer entity.

  1. Event ID: Identification number that matches the Bid/Quote ID
  2. Type: Bid, Quote, Project etc.
  3. Purchasing Entity: Buyer
  4. Description: matches the Description of the bid/quote
  5. Posted Date: creation of posting event
  6. Published Date: publishing date of the bid/quote
  7. Opening Date: Open for supplier participation.
  8. Status: Event status of the bid/quote

The Summary Event Information report contains the details of the bid.



Please select the link below to access the PDF.

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