ONLINE QUOTATION / BIDDING & CUSTOM PRODUCT SYSTEM

This system functionality is an optional add-on to the basic SendSafe system.

This function allows you to automate the process of bidding wholesale orders, custom products, services, and more. The system includes customer questionnaire, bid preparation, bid acceptance + payment capture, and bid templates.

See also: Bidding Admin page for more information on using the Bidding admin page.

Sections:
Bid order structure
Steps to process a bid
Bid System Configuration
Bid System Dealer Setup
How Bid LineItems are identified
How Bid items are setup
Templates
Monitoring Bid Activity
Bidding admin page
Free-Form-Parameters (FFP)

*Bidding system chart can be clicked on to open an enlarged view

The following matching descriptions contain additional details for each process in the flow chart.

A1. Customer uses standard e-commerce product browsing to selecting one or more pieces of equipment for which they want to receive a quote. Equipment is selected by pressing a “Request Quote” button on the search results and / or browsing pages.

A2. This is the standard SendSafe (e-commerce) logon. If the customer is new, they will pick a userid and password. If the custom is a return, they would use the userid/password which they previously selected.

A3. This is a combination of a standard e-commerce product showcase page with fields for entry of all the custom information needed to quote the equipment. Each piece of equipment in the database will be able to have a varying number of custom data fields and allowable values. All entries fields will be dropdown lists to simply range checking and allow for total flexibility in configuring each product’s request for quote information.

A4. This is where the customer finalizes their requests for quotes. This process uses the standard SendSafe e-commerce shopping cart checkout pages to collect contact information AND finalize the request for quote.

Note: Collection of customer contract information will only occur for new customers. For returning customers, this information will already be in the system and there will be no need for them to reenter this information.

A5. The customer will receive an acknowledgment that their quote has been received (this acknowledgement will be the same e-mail that goes out to acknowledge sales). the business will be e-mailed a cc: copy of the notice that is sent to a customer.

B1. This is a standard admin login used by the business or partner dealers.

B2. A page will be displayed which lists all quotes for the dealer OR all quotes in the system (for superusers only). The page will contain search criteria which are used to display the list (i.e. a specific quote number or a date range). One a specific quote is selected it is loaded into a webpage where it can be viewed and / or completed.

B3. The quote is displayed and / or edited (completed). Entry field selections made by customers can be changed and prices can be added. A comment field on the OrderLineItem Admin page can be used by the Superuser (or Dealer with permission) to add addtional notes.

B4. The Dealer sends an e-mail to their customer with a link to the quote display webpage.

C1. Customer logs into the system

C3. The customer sees a list of all quotes and their status (very similar to the reorder / past order pages). The customer selects a quote to view by clicking on it. The quote is displayed in a printable format to the customer. The customer can add a quote to the shopping the cart from the list (which is still displayed at the same time as the printable quote).

C4. The purchase of this equipment can be Credit card, line of credit, or COD (no payment required). Through an optional system customnization, the ability for the credit card sale of the equipment could be processed through a dealer's account (instead of the businesses merchant account).


STEPS TO PROCESS A BID

The steps outlined below is the general process which is followed for handling a bid.

There is one key Bid Admin pages which will be used for modifying bids and several other standard admin pages which may also be used for various related tasks. These pages are:

Admin Bidding
Admin Order
Admin OrderLineItem
Admin Items

*All these admin pages can be found in the main Navigation links on any admin page. To open your admin pages type the appropriate URL into your web browser

BID Step 1 You have recieved a cc: e-mail indicating a request for bid (RFB) has been submitted by a customer.

BID Step 2 Open the Bidding abmin page and load the bid.

BID Step 3 Assign the bid to a dealer by entering their Dealer Id# into the form. Dealer assignments cannot be split in an order. Only the entire order can be assigned to a dealer. Superuser access is reqired to make dealer assginments.

BID Step 4 Send the dealer an e-mail with a link to the Admin page and the order number.

BID Step 5 The dealer opens the bid and modify the bid as desired.

BID Step 6 The dealer sends the customer an e-mail with a link to their Bidding List page. If the customer accepts the bid they will place it into their shopping cart and purchase it

BID Step 7 If the customer accepts the bid they will place it into their shopping cart and purchase it


BID ORDER STRUCTURE

Bid order records are the same as normal sales orders except that they contain no price and use what are called Free-Form-Parameters (FFP) do define the custom parameters of an item to be bid.

Bid orders have a zero dollar amount unlike sales order. This zero amount will not effect sales figures and will not require the entry of any type of credit card information.


TO SETUP A DEALER

A dealer must have both a customer account and a dealer account. The userid/password for these accounts should initially be the same. The customer credentials are what is used to control logon to both the site and the admin pages. See: the Dealer Admin page for information on setting up a dealer account.


CONFIGURATION

See Free-Form-Parameters (FFP) for item configuration information.

Reserved Keyword Action
Application("BiddingSysEnabled") = true Enabled/disable the bidding system functions.
Application("SignatureLineIncfile") = "signatureLine.inc.htm"

The name of a HTML file that is included at the end of printed bids. This file typically contains a sign off line and some disclaimer text. This file must exist, but it can be an empty file if no signature line or other content is needed.

Note: This file must be located in the approproate internationalization language subdirectory (i.e. /en/ for English, /es/ for Spanish, etc.



HOW A BID LINEITEM IS IDENTIFIED

See Free-Form-Parameters in OrderLineItems (FFP) for information on how orders line items containing a bid are identified (flagged) by the SendSafe system.




HOW BID ITEMS ARE SETUP

Requests for Bids (RFB) contain items just like any other order. The items are the same as any other item with custom parameters (see for more information). You will need to create one item in the Items Table for every type of product or service that will be bid.

Recommended miscellaneous settings:

These custom parameters control what information a customer provides to complete an RFB. These parameters are carried by the order through the entire system and can be reviewed by any number of admin pages and customer order display pages.

See Free-Form-Parameter Packing (FFP) for information on how to pack FFP information into an item in the database. See also: use existing items as a template.



MONITORING BID ACTIVITY

Bids activity can be monitored in several ways. The key things to look for are:

  1. The initial request for bid (order) which will include the date.
  2. The completion of the FFP bid information by the employee or dealer.
  3. The adding of the completed bid to the cart by the customer (final product order) which will include the date.

In addition to the above online information, SendSafe keeps detailed audit offline records of all customer and admin activity. These audit records can be reviewed if a dispute or any questions arise.