Managing a Sourcing Event
A Sourcing Event is the most important part of a Sourcing Project. It is where the buyer can establish the bidding dates and time, as well as compile all pertinent information to which the vendors will need to respond, as guided by a template established by the State. Notification of this Event can then be posted in IPS so that interested vendors can respond electronically in a consistent format and that questions and answers can be exchanged through the Sourcing Event if further clarification is needed by either side. Finally, responses can be reviewed, and a contract can be awarded.
For more detailed step-by-step information regarding this topic in a printable format, see the following job aid.
The Sourcing Event template is found within the 'Documents' tab. Users will navigate to that tab, click on the event template, and edit it to begin the process of managing their Sourcing Event.
The first of four sections to edit and set in a Sourcing Event are the Event ‘Rules.’ Most importantly, the rules section allows the buyer to establish the ‘Timing Rules’ outlining when the bidding starts and stops. Many of the fields within the six sub-sections on this page are pre-populated, and it is advised that users leave them as is.
The ‘Content’ section of the Event is where the user can share all information about the products or services they wish to receive bids on, as well as provide a framework of questions for vendors to answer to help the buyer choose the most-deserving bidder to award the contract to. The State has created an extensive template in this section, and it is advised that users follow the suggested outline.
If the user needs their Event approved before publishing, they should return to the Project at this point and do so within Phase 4 on the ‘Tasks’ tab.
After the Sourcing Event has been approved, the user will access the Event and choose to ‘Edit’ it. At this point they will be ready to go back to the section they previously skipped, section 2, the ‘Suppliers’ section. This section will ask the user to ‘Create a Supplier Research Posting.’
When all required information has been added to this section, the user will click the yellow ‘Publish on Ariba Discovery’ button at the bottom of the page. Once the Sourcing Event is later published, a URL will be available, and the user can copy and paste that URL in the ‘NCEP URL’ field within the IPS posting. Vendors wishing to respond to the solicitation will then follow that URL and respond within this Sourcing Event.
Additionally, this information, when published on ‘Ariba Discovery,’ will reach an audience of prospective bidders who may not currently be registered in IPS, thus expanding the pool of potential bidders.
When section 2 is completed, the user can return to the fourth and final ‘Summary’ section. This contains the summary of the first three sections and allows the user to review and edit before clicking ‘Publish’ to finalize the Event.
Once the Event has been published, Phase 4 of the Sourcing Project will automatically be recorded as complete as noted by a checkmark. The first task in Phase 5 is to ‘Post Sourcing Event Summary and Link to Sourcing Event on IPS.’ Posting the link within IPS will give vendors interested in responding the ability to access the Event via their Ariba Network accounts and a path to an electronic response.
During the Event, if responders have any questions, they will submit them via the Event message board, and if necessary, the user can address those questions by posting an ‘Addendum’ in the Event before responders submit their final bids.
Sourcing Agents have the ability to change the timing on a published Event if necessary. Although it is not advised to reduce the amount of time vendors have to respond, there might be some scenarios where the timing needs to be extended.
When the Event reaches the response due date, the event status becomes ‘Pending Selection.’ At this point the user can begin to open the ‘Envelopes’ to review the responses.
After all information has been received and considered, the user can develop an ‘Award Recommendation’ and post the final Bid Tabulation and Award Notification on IPS. The Event has ‘Scenario’ and ‘Award’ tabs on it, but those are not used at this time. All decisions will be made offline with the information gathered in the Event, though the ‘Award Recommendation Template’ can be found on the ‘Documents’ tab of the Project.