Frequently Asked Questions - Vendor

General Supplier Questions

Why did the State move to electronic procurement?

What types of purchases are included?

Would I have contact with my buyers?

What technical infrastructure do suppliers need in order to participate in NC E-Procurement?

Benefit Questions

What's in it for suppliers?

How does NC E-Procurement affect the relationships I have with my customers?

Enablement

Can suppliers sell to the State if they opt not to participate in NC E-Procurement?

How do I receive orders?

Can I use Ariba Supplier Network (ASN) to receive purchase orders?

Can I receive payment electronically?

Fee Questions

Is there a Participation Fee?

Why should I pay for existing business?

What is the purpose of the 1.75% fee?

Can suppliers transfer the fee onto buyers?

Security Questions

How secure are my transactions?

Will other suppliers be able to see my quote responses?

P-Card Questions

What is a p-card?

How do I know if my company accepts p-cards?

Will accepting p-cards through NC E-Procurement change the agreement I currently have with my financial institution?

Will I receive a separate statement for p-card purchases through NC E-Procurement?

What kinds of p-cards are included?

How will p-card purchase orders be identified?

If the p-card is used with the system, will the vendor pay the 1.75% fee for NC E-Procurement plus the processing fee of the procurement card?

What if my locations accept different types of p-cards?

  

Why did the State move to electronic procurement?

NC E-Procurement provides an innovative, cost-saving, and efficient method of purchasing. NC E-Procurement allows government entities to aggregate their purchases to obtain better prices from suppliers. Electronic state term contract catalogs reduce the time to create a requisition by automatically pre-populating required information, including price. Additionally, NC E-Procurement allows greater visibility into statewide procurement information, allowing the State to negotiate better term contract savings.

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What types of purchases are included?

Suppliers receive purchase orders for both goods and services via fax, email, or the Ariba Supplier Network (ASN) in accordance with the preferences in their registration information.

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Would I have contact with my buyers?

Yes, it is essential that there is a relationship between the suppliers and buyers. With the improved processes from NC E-Procurement, suppliers work directly with North Carolina buyers to review product information and demonstrate new services.

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What technical infrastructure do suppliers need in order to participate in NC E-Procurement?

Suppliers need to have access to the Internet in order to complete the initial registration process. Suppliers can choose to receive purchase orders via fax, email, or ASN.

Suppliers who choose to participate in eQuote need to have Internet access to respond to quotes. eQuote notifications will be delivered via email. If you have any questions about registration, please contact the NC E-Procurement Help Desk at 888-211-7440, option 2.

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What's in it for suppliers?

NC E-Procurement provides suppliers with increased access to markets without additional supplier marketing efforts, a single point of access for North Carolina government organizations, a faster and more efficient method for quoting (eQuote), and increased order accuracy through receipt of electronic orders with a consistent purchase order format. Overall, NC E-Procurement can help realize processing, marketing, and administrative cost savings.

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How does NC E-Procurement affect relationships I have with my customers?

NC E-Procurement can reduce the manual work associated with offline processes and paper-based orders, freeing sales representatives to spend more time building valuable relationships with their customers.

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Can suppliers sell to the State if they opt not to participate in NC E-Procurement?

Suppliers conducting business with the State must register with NC E-Procurement because State of NC purchase orders are generated and transmitted through NC E-Procurement Service.

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How do I receive orders?

During the registration process, suppliers select the method they wish to receive orders. Delivery options include: fax, e-mail, and ASN. Based on existing vendor feedback, email is the most prevalent and efficient method.

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Can I use Ariba Supplier Network(ASN) to receive purchase orders?

Yes, suppliers may choose the ASN as a purchase order delivery mechanism during the registration process. The ASN is configured to accept purchase orders directly into the supplier's order fulfillment system.

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Can I receive payment electronically?

In order to receive payment electronically from State agencies, suppliers need to complete an Office of the State Controller (OSC) Vendor Electronic Payment form in addition to updating the E-Payment Bank Accounts section on the Vendor Registration Locations and Contacts page. This additional form is not required for receiving electronic payments from LEAs and Community Colleges. The OSC Vendor Electronic Payment form, as well as instructions on how to complete it, are available at http://www.osc.nc.gov/vendorepayform/index.html.

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Is there a Participation Fee?

There is a transaction fee of 1.75% on purchase orders for goods only. This fee is applied once the supplier receives a payment from a buying entity on an order issued. There is no registration fee or annual fee to participate. Please see the Billing FAQs for more information.

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Why should I pay for existing business?

North Carolina State Agencies, local governments, and educational institutions have changed the way they conduct business in order to take advantage of significant process efficiencies. Through participation in NC E-Procurement, each supplier is able to secure ongoing business with these entities, while gaining access to new business with other State entities.

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What is the purpose of the 1.75% fee?

The transaction fee supports the development and ongoing operations of NC E-Procurement. These operations are comprised of development and execution of training required for both buyers and suppliers, and the ongoing maintenance and services needed to sustain NC E-Procurement.

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Can suppliers transfer the fee onto buyers?

No. NC E-Procurement represents an opportunity for suppliers to competitively set their pricing based on two factors: the value they receive due to streamlined processes, and the ability to efficiently expand their scope into new markets. Buyers are required to contact the NC E-Procurement Helpdesk at 888-211-7440 if a supplier transfers his/her transaction fee onto the buyer.

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How secure are my transactions?

All transactions are safely protected by an Internet security protocol known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

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Will other suppliers be able to see my quote responses?

All eQuote information is seen by the buying organization. Suppliers are not able to view a competitor's eQuote response. However, upon award, a bid tabulation is sent to all suppliers that participated in the specific quote request. A bid tabulation is a list of all suppliers that participated in the eQuote and their quoted prices.

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What is a p-card?

Procurement/Purchasing cards (or p-cards) are organizational charge cards that give users an alternate, faster method of payment for purchases. P-cards function similar to credit cards, with transaction limits and allowable purchases agreed upon between the using entity and their p-card provider. During the vendor registration process, each supplier can specify whether or not they accept p-cards.

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How do I know if my company accepts p-cards?

Your company's contact responsible for government sales or accounts receivable department can provide more information. He/she will inform you whether your company accepts p-cards and, if so, which p-cards are accepted.

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Will accepting p-cards through NC E-Procurement change the agreement I currently have with my financial institution?

Accepting p-cards in NC E-Procurement will not alter the agreement that exists between a vendor and his/her p-card provider. All terms and conditions apply to p-card purchases made through NC E-Procurement.

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Will I receive a separate statement for p-card purchases through NC E-Procurement?

P-card purchases through NC E-Procurement will appear on the same statement you regularly receive from your p-card provider.

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What kinds of p-cards are included?

Within Vendor Registration, NC E-Procurement allows vendors to indicate that they accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and/or Diners Club cards. When a supplier accesses his/her vendor registration account, he/she will see the choices for acceptable p-cards on the 'Locations' page.

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How will p-card purchases be identified?

P-card orders issued through NC E-Procurement will display information about the relevant p-card, such as card number and expiration date, on the purchase order.

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If the p-card is used with the system, will the vendor pay the 1.75% fee for NC E-Procurement plus the processing fee of the procurement card?

All purchases processed through NC E-Procurement will be evaluated for the 1.75% fee, regardless of payment method.

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What if my locations accept different types of p-cards?

You may specify the type(s) of p-card accepted for each location in Vendor Registration, such as Visa, MasterCard, etc. Each location can accept p-cards from multiple providers. Locations are not required to accept the same p-card type(s), but may do so if desired.

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