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Guide for Using Simplix-W

Contents


General Overview of EDI

A complete EDI transaction has three basic steps:

  1. Requesting: The buyer sends out information about what they want to purchase in the form of an 840-Request for Quotation electronic form.

  2. Bidding: If your company wishes to sell this item, you will submit your bid in the form of an 843-Response to Request for Quotation electronic form.

  3. Buying: The buyer will send out an 850-Purchase Order form to the winning firm and an 836-Contract Award publicly, naming the winning firm and price.

Other steps may be required to complete the sale. For example you may be required to provide information about shipments, such as the contents, packaging, and carrier information, or you may receive remittance advice concerning payment.


Using Your Client Home Page

Your Client Home Page is broken down into seven sections, each accessible through the grey menu bar near the top of your Client Account Home Page. Click on the menu item to change to that section.

  • News - This section appears when you log on and load your Client Account Home Page. It provides you with information about changes in electronic procurement policies and requirements, sites that are having problems, improvements to Simplix's EDI service, and other information relevant to your ability to conducting business electronically.

  • Mailboxes:

    • Private - This section is for messages that you create, or messages addressed specifically to you. For example, if you enter a bid, a copy of it will be stored here. Likewise, if you receive a purchase order, this is where it will appear.

    • Federal EC Profiled - The messages that appear in this section are broadcast to a large number of recipients. They are public messages in that they can be viewed by anyone. The vast majority of them will be Requests for Quotations and Contract Awards.

    • FedBizOpps Profiled - Like Federal EC Profiled Messages, these are broadcast to a large number of recipients and can be viewed by anyone. They appear on FedBizOpps may not be biddable electronically.

  • Search:

    • Federal EC - Here you can look through Public Requests for Quotations based upon an ad hoc keyword search, the FSC (Federal Stock Class) of the solicitation, or by the buying agency.

    • FedBizOpps - Here you can look through Public Requests for Quotations based upon an ad hoc keyword search or the FSG (Federal Stock Group) of the solicitation.

    • State and Local - Here you can perform a search for Public Requests for Quotations based upon an ad hoc keyword search or you may browse the database by either category or region.

  • Functions & Profiling Opts. - The commands found in this area allow you to perform tasks related to maintaining your account, such as creating account profiles or updating your user information.

  • Help - The help section contains this file and other information about your account, such as EDI information for use with the CCR and other electronic trading partners. It also provides a mechanism to look up DLA drawing information.

  • Send E-Mail to Simplix: This command is on the bottom of every Simplix web page and is the best way to get technical support. You can use it to ask questions, suggest improvements, or pass along information you think we should know. If you have a question or problem, tell us about it!


Understanding Messages

The messages in your Private, Federal EC Profiled, and FedBizOpps Profiled mailboxes are listed in charts, with the following fields:

  • Status - Delivery status, and whether the message is to or from you.

    • N - The message is new. It arrived between the last time last time you logged in and now.
    • u - The message is no longer new, however it is still unread.
    • IN - The message was sent to you.
    • OUT - The message was from you. Outbound messages may contain additional status information:
      • trnst - Simplix has translated your message into X12 format, and sent it out to the government.
      • dlvrd - The government has sent back a delivery acknowledgement. For Air Force quotes, this means delivery to the site. For Army, this means delivery to the Army gateway.
      • awrdd - The government has sent out a 836-Contract Award denoting winning firm and price. Click on the 843 with this status message, and click on 836 in the related messages section at the bottom of the bid, to see the award notification.
      • rjct - The bid was rejected. If you see this status message, please send e-mail to Simplix giving us the UTN number of the rejected bid. Our software does not allow generation of invalid messages and we will want to look into this immediately.
  • Type - X12 Message Type

    • 820 - Payment Order/Remittance Advice The buyer uses these to make a payment, send remittance advice, or make a payment and send remittance advice.
    • 824-AA - Application Advice This message is generated if a site cannot process your message. If you do not understand the message, please let us know and we will explain what it means and how to fix the problem. These messages are very rare.
    • 836-CA - Contract Award This message details who won a bid, and for what price.
    • 838-TPP - Trading Partner Profile These messages are registration messages you submit to the registration agencies, and the confirmations they send back.
    • 840-RFQ - Request For Quote Message requesting bids on items.
    • 843-RRFQ - Response to Request for Quote Your bid on a 840-RFQ.
    • 850-PO - Purchase Order A message stating that you have won a particular bid, with further instructions.
    • 856 - Ship Manifest Used to provide information about shipments, such as the contents, packaging, and carrier information.
    • 860 - Purchase Order Change Request The buyer uses this message type to (1) request a change to a previously submitted purchase order or (2) confirm acceptance of a purchase order change initiated by the seller or by mutual agreement of the buyer and seller.
    • 864-TM - Text Message E-Mail messages either to or from you, such as your monthly billing statement, questions you have sent to Simplix regarding your account, responses to your questions, or e-mail to or from buyers. (Note: Not all buyers can send or receive e-mail. The ability to send email has been disabled for those agencies that cannot receive e-mail.)
    • 865 - Purchase Order Change Acknowledgement Request You use this message to convey acceptance or rejection of changes to a previously issued Purchase Order.

  • FSC - The Federal Supply class the message was in, if applicable.

  • DATE - Date and time the message was created. In messages to you, this is the date the message was created, not the time it arrives at Simplix.

  • Universal Tracking Number (UTN) - This is the number that links an RFQ, your bid, and the subsequent contract award or PO.


Functions & Profiling Options

The commands found in this section allow you to control your account.

FUNCTIONS

Edit Full Registration: Use this command to record changes in your account information, such as your address, telephone number, and contact information. This function allows you to update your company information with Simplix and a number of government registries — without filling out multiple forms. If there are problems with an order, the buyer will use this information to contact you. It is therefore important to keep this information as up-to-date as possible, and update your record when, for example, your telephone area code changes or you move to a new location.

UTN/Skey Lookup: If you know the UTN or SKey of a message you want to bid on, but cannot locate the message, use this option.

Client Account Options
  • Message Display Options:

    1. Choose the sorting criteria for your private messages. Messages may be sorted by date of arrival or type of message.

    2. Choose whether or not you want your keywords highlighted. Keyword Highlighting scans your messages before they are displayed and highlights the words or phrases that match entries in your keywords lists.

    3. Choose whether or not you want to see the menu when displaying message content. Checking the box will result in the menu being hidden.

  • E-mail Notification - Instead of allowing public messages to accumulate on your client home page, you can have them e-mailed to you. To take full advantage of this feature, you should be using a mail reader that supports HTML, such as Netscape Navigator's mail reader. More information on e-mail notification can be found on the client options page.

  • Autofill - There may be certain information you always want to include in your bid notes. Simply type the information in the box provided, and click on Accept Options. That text will always appear in your bid notes. To delete or change the text, simply erase or change the text in the autofill box, and click on the Accept Options button at the bottom of the page.

  • Simplix Password - To change your account password, type your existing password into the Current Password box, type your new password where it says New Password and Re-type New Password, then click on the Accept Options button. Note that the passwords will not be visible when you type them (you will see an asterisk rather than the actual character you typed). The new password must be typed exactly the same way in both new password boxes or the change will not go into effect.

  • Passwords for Other Systems - If you want to submit bids through Simplix on opportunities listed at Progate or DIBBS, you will need to provide your password for those systems.

  • Profile Awards - Select yes if you want to receive Contract Award notifications for items which match your profile. If you select no you will still be able to access Contract Awards from the RFQ.

  • Multiple Windows - If you select this option, you will be able to view your home page in one window and read your messages in a second. This is useful when dealing with a slow network connections, since the entire client home page is not reloaded every time you view a new message.

  • Request Termination of Simplix Client Account - Click on this option and then on the "Delete Account" button to permanently remove your account.

Locating bid opportunities

There are two basic ways that you can search through the available RFQs and FedBizOpps messages. The first way is by linking to lists of the categories or sites that interest you. The second way is by profiling, or having a copy of each message that matches a profile you set up sent directly to your client home page. The Direct Listings option provides short descriptions of the items being requested, so you don't have to download the whole message until you know that it it interests you. The Profiling option is nice if you want to only look at a message once, then be able to delete it. As new messages come in that match the criteria you select, they will be sent directly to the FEDERAL EC PROFILED mailbox on your client home page. You can use a combination of the two options.

Sorting RFQs and FedBizOpps opportunities by Direct Listing
PROFILING OPTIONS
Sorting RFQs and FedBizOpps by Profiling
  • RFQs BY FSC AND SITE - FSC and site selection work in conjunction with each other. You will receive RFQs that are BOTH in an FSC you selected AND from a site you selected. You may choose up to 33 FSCs. You may choose up to 40 sites. Many people want to see quotes from all sites and agencies.

    1. Click on PROFILE RFQ IN CONJUNCTION WITH SITE from the Functions and Profiling Options menu.

    2. Select an area that interests you by clicking on it. A list of classes will appear.

    3. Select the classes that you want profiled on your page by clicking on the boxes next to those FSCs.

    4. Once you have selected the FSCs, click on the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

    5. If you wish to receive the RFQs matching your FSC selection from all the sites, go directly to step 5. If you wish to receive RFQs only from certain sites, click on PROFILE RFQ BY SITE IN CONJUNCTION WITH FSC from the Functions and Profiling Options mean. Select the sites you are interested in by clicking on the appropriate boxes. Once you're done selecting sites, click on Submit at the bottom of the page.

    6. Now messages matching your profile will be sent automatically to you. They are processed as they come in, so you will not immediately see messages in the classes you selected.

    7. To delete any class, simply bring up the list you want to change as detailed above, then deselect the item by re-clicking on its selection box. Once you are done making changes click on submit.

  • RFQs BY KEYWORD AND NSN - You can create a list of keywords. Any RFQ which contains one of these words in the product description will be automatically sent to your home page. Keywords are typically product descriptions, National Stock Numbers (NSNs), the name of your company, names of your competitors, local part numbers, etc. Clients may select up to 2,000 keywords for RFQs and up to 2,000 keywords for FedBizOpps.

    1. Click on PROFILE RFQ BY KEYWORD AND NSN on the FUNCTIONS AND PROFILING OPTS. menu.

    2. Type in your keywords or phrases one per line. Press enter to move between lines.

      A few hints on choosing keywords: Make your keywords specific. To search for all quotes containing the word safe but not safety, enter your keyword as safe with nothing before or after it. The matching is case insensitive so bat and BAT are equivalent.

      EXAMPLE keyword list (comments in italics are for explanation purposes here and should not be a part of your keywords):

      
      baseball bat    matches the phrase "baseball bat"
      safe            matches safe, but not unsafe or safety
      *safe*          matches safe, unsafe, safety, and vouchsafed
      *band           matches band and waistband, but not bandage
      base*           matches basement or base, but not airbase
      pipe            matches pipe, but not pipeline or drainpipe
      pipe?           matches pipe or pipes or piped, but not 
                              piping or pipers
              
    3. Once you have all your keywords typed in, click on the submit button at the bottom of the page.

    4. Once a day, Simplix will go through all incoming public RFQ messages for that day and send any that match your keywords to your client home page under PROFILED PUBLIC MESSAGES. If a message matches both a keyword and a FSC that you have selected, it will only be sent once.

    5. If you wish to delete a keyword, please click on Profile RFQ by Keyword, move your cursor to the line you wish to delete, and press delete until the line disappears. Then click on submit.

    More information about keywords can be found on the keyword help page.

  • PROFILE FedBizOpps

    1. Click on PROFILE FedBizOpps from the Functions and Profiling Options menu.

    2. Select the two-digit areas that you want profiled on your PROFILED FedBizOpps page by clicking on the boxes next to those areas.

    3. Once you have made your selections, click on the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

    4. A confirmation message will appear and new messages matching your profile will be sent to you automatically. They are processed as they come in, so you will not immediately see messages in the classes you selected.

    5. To delete a FedBizOpps category, simply bring up the FedBizOpps profiling list as detailed above, then deselect the item by re-clicking on its selection box. Once you are done making changes click on submit.

    6. If you wish to view older FedBizOpps messages, you can do so through the Browse FedBizOpps Messages menu as described above.

  • FedBizOpps BY KEYWORD - You can enter a list of keywords. Then any FedBizOpps messages that contain one of your keywords will be sent directly to your client home page under FedBizOpps PROFILED Mailbox.

    1. Click on PROFILE FedBizOpps BY KEYWORD from the Functions and Profiling Options menu.

    2. Type in your keywords or phrases one per line, pressing enter to move to the next line. For an explanation of how keywords are matched please refer to section on RFQS BY KEYWORD AND NSN above.

    3. Once you have all your keywords typed in, click on the submit button at the bottom of the page.

    4. Once a day, Simplix will go through all incoming public FedBizOpps messages for that day and send any that match your keywords to your client home page under PROFILED FedBizOpps mailbox. If a message matches on both a keyword and a class that you have selected, it will only be sent once.

    5. If you wish to delete a keyword, please click on PROFILE FedBizOpps BY KEYWORD, move your cursor to the line you wish to delete, and press delete until the line disappears. Then click on submit.

    More information about keywords can be found on the keyword help page.


Using Private Messages

To view your messages, simply click on the one you want to read. You can see all public messages with the same UTN as your bid by going to the related messages section at the bottom of your bid. This is the quick and easy way to see the contract award for a message that has changed to award status.

To delete messages from your private message section, simply click on the little box to the left of the messages you want delete. Once you've selected all the messages you want to delete, click on delete messages at the bottom of the index. If the messages continue to appear on your screen, click the Reload button on your browser.


Browsing Public Messages

  • By FSC - A list of open RFQs will come up on the screen. Individual RFQs are differentiated by alternating shaded and non-shaded areas. If a Request for Quotation (RFQ) contains multiple line items, the entire RFQ will remain the same color. Within each RFQ's area, the individual line items are listed in the following manner:

  • 
    skey       line   fsc        description      quantity   unit  site
    quote #  line #   class    short description   # wanted   size  buyer
      
  • By Site - A list of RFQs will appear on the screen, one per line, in the following format:

  • 
    78934178    96-8-17     closed   7010    DAAD73961111
    SXW QUOTE#  CLOSE DATE  status   FSC     Unique Tracking#
      
  • Looking at Individual Messages - When you find a quote you want to bid on or examine more fully, click on it. This will bring the complete message up on the screen. You can examine it in three different formats:

    • Quick - most of the significant information

    • Extended - contains extra information, such as Ship-To Zip Code, and Contact Information

    • Raw X12 - the untranslated message. You shouldn't ever need to look at a message in this form. Not for the faint of heart.

    The default is quick form. At the top of the message are links you can click on to see the other formats.

A few fields of Special Interest:

  • Issuing Agency: Appears in top right hand corner of RFQ.

  • RFQ Reference Number (also called UTN): the number that links a RFQ to your bid, the purchase order, contract award, and all other messages related to it.

  • Required by: The date that the bid needs to be submitted by. The earlier you bid, the better off you will be.

  • Information Contact (long form only):Name and Telephone number of buyer.

  • Delivery By Date (long form only):Date goods required by.

  • Ship To (long form only): The zip code or address to ship the goods to.


Submitting a Bid

First bring up the RFQ you want to bid on your screen. There are several boxes for you to fill in when you want to bid. Press TAB to move between boxes. It is very important that you don't insert spaces before or after your answers.

  • First Section - Your pricing information

    • The formula used to submit your item price to the government is:

      ((Price * Quantity) + Shipping)/Quantity

      To submit a bid enter:

    • Item Price: Fill in your price for a quantity of one. Do not use a dollar sign or any other non-numeric character. Prices may include up to three decimal places; for example, allowable item prices include 5, 6.01, 7.23, and 8.567.

    • Quantity: Quantity is already filled in for you, as specified in the quote.

    • Shipping: Fill in your total shipping cost. Do not use a dollar sign.

    • Lead Time: Fill in the time needed to get them the items, from when you are notified you have won the award. This is in Calendar Days. Do not type anything in except the number.

    • Manufacturer: Fill in if not specified or different from what was specified in the quote.

    • Manufacturer's Part Number: Fill in if not specified or different from what was specified in the quote.

    • Type of Bid: Choose one of the options below:

      • Bid without Exception: Bid Exactly what was specified.

      • Alternate Bid: Bid something other than what was was specified.

      • Unable to Quote: You do not need to issue one of these on public RFQs you do not wish to bid on.

  • Second Section - Discount Percentage and Contract Information

    • Discount Percent: This is optional. Enter the number with no percent sign. e.g, if you entered a 2, that would be a discount of 2%.

    • Days Due: Number of calendar days to be paid within for discount to be applicable. Just enter the number.

    • Net Days: Days must be paid in regardless of discount. Just enter the number. 30 is standard.

    • Terms Basis Date Code: The date from which the days due corresponds. Click the box on the right to see your options.

    • Federal Supply Schedule/Other Contract Information: Only fill in these fields if you have a government contract for the items specified.

  • Third Section - Bid Qualifications

    • Please read the questions carefully and select the ones that apply to you.

    • Notes: Enter any notes about the bid you wish. You can type in much more info than fits into the tiny box.

Once you have reviewed your information, and are ready to submit your bid, click submit quote at the bottom of the screen. If there are no entry errors, you will receive a message 'Bid Sent!.' If there were problems, a screen will come up telling you what needs to be fixed.

Sending E-Mail to a Buyer About an RFQ

Air Force sites can accept e-mail from vendors. If you wish to send e-mail about an Air Force quote, click on Send E-Mail to the Sender of this Message at the bottom of the quote. Then follow the instructions.


General Information about Web Browsers

Many functions that were typically handled internally by applications, such as printing, maneuvering through messages, etc., are already handled by your browser. To bring up a message, simply click on the short description or information line listed on your client home page. If you want to print one of your bids, a PO, or any other message, you just need to bring that message up on your screen, and press the Print Button on your browser. If you want to go back to a page you were just looking at, most browsers have a Back button that will scroll you back through the web pages you've visited most recently.


Comments and Questions

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Please send e-mail to technical support (www-techsup@edi.com)





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Contact Information

Simplix
2925 Bond Street
Rochester Hills, MI 48309-3517

Phone: +1 248 740 8150
Toll-Free: +1 800 SIMPLIX
FAX: +1 248 740 8180

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