Supplier Guide - How to do Business on the portal
Posted by James Heath, Last modified by David Malloy on 01 June 2017 10:22 AM
Registering on the ProContract Portal
To take part in any exercise and to be able to express an interest in a contract opportunity, first you must register on ProContract with details of yourself and also the company that you work for. This process is covered, in detail, in the following section, with explanations of all the key sections and actions required.
Note: When registering on a portal used by several organisations you only need to register once to be able to do business with anyone using the portal and anyone that may join in the future.
On the opportunities portal home page there is an option to “Register Free” link in the top right hand corner of the screen, highlighted below.
Click this to begin the registration process, which is step by step where you need to enter your details and your own companies details and is covered in full by the user guide.
Supplier Registration Introduction
This page is an introduction to the process that you will be taken through in order to complete your registration onto the portal. Please read this text carefully before proceeding through this process. If you wish to proceed, click “Next” from the options at the bottom of the page, or if you want to abort the registration process click “Cancel”
Contact Information & Security Section (Step 1 of 5)
At this stage of the registration process you need to enter your own contact details and a security question and answer in the “Contact Information & Security” section. You will be the primary account holder for this company (although details can be changed post registration) so this account will be able to modify the details for the company and add more accounts, which is detailed in another section of the guide.
In this section your contact information is entered along with your job details. Complete all mandatory fields as required (denoted by *). Note: Further help regarding the fields can be found in the Help section on the right hand side of the screen throughout this process.
E-mail- This is the e-mail address that messages will be sent to confirming registration details, and all other system communication that may take place in the tender process. It is recommended in most instances that a GENERIC EMAIL ADDRESS be used, so that communication will not be lost if that person is away or leaves their position, so to a sales@ address if that is possible. Also this must be of standard email format e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
The second section on this page is the Security information section. This is where you asked to specify a security question and answer of your choice, which will be held with this account. It must be something that is secure and also that is memorable.
When the details are complete then please click on the “Next” button to proceed at the bottom of the page, or the “Cancel” button to cancel registration.
In this step you will need to populate details regarding the company you work for/are registering on behalf of. The screen will look as follows, (broken into four sections).
In the first section, company information you are required to enter the name of the company you work for and also details of the location.
If any of the fields do not apply but are mandatory, such as “Postcode/ZIP” for companies based outside of the United Kingdom, by entering “N/A” here you can still proceed.
Note: Some of the fields (County/State and Country) are chosen using a dropdown menu. To select a County/State click the arrow to the right of the box to reveal a drop down menu containing all the possibilities that can be chosen
From the list select the required county by clicking on its name and this will populate the field as required.
The country is chosen in exactly the same way, although note that the default selection is the United
The next three fields are all optional, but if possible they should be filled out as the more information that can be initially provided, the better it is for the contracting organisation. Your organisation may not have details for all these sections, in which case just leave them blank. They are Company Registration Number, VAT Registration Number and Website.
The next section asks for a Company Description. Here more information on the supplier is entered to help the contracting organisation understand what it is your company does.
Note: A description and at least one keyword are required in this section. This is free text and as much information as required can be entered here.
This is important as the procuring organisations can search for a company based on the description or keywords specified.
The next section is Company Affiliations. This is a section that gives firms a chance to show that they have certain affiliations or memberships with companies that are of interest to the procuring organisation. For some portals there will be no affiliates listed in the drop down list, and for others there will be a varying list here, as this list is defined per portal.
Here you can select the affiliate that is recognised by the contracting organisation as the drop down is populated by the supplier, and the associated membership or reference number to prove this.
Note: If you do not have any of the Affiliate I.D’s that are in the drop down options, then leave the drop down lists as “Please Select”.
The final selection is Company Classification section, although the list can change depending what the procuring organisation(s) have chosen to ask for.
This is the section where the supplier can show the classifications that the company belongs to, which helps as sometimes an organisation must contract a certain amount of work to certain classifications of company. To select a classification then hover over the relevant box and left click on the mouse to mark the box to the left with a tick.
Note: Company Classification is a mandatory section which must be populated.
Once happy with this section move onto Step 3 by clicking “Next” from the options at the bottom of the screen. To go back to the previous page of the wizard click “Previous”.
Category Selection (Step 3 of 5)
This is the category selection step of the supplier registration, which will look as shown, to select your chosen categories click the ‘Search / Select Categories’ button.
Contract Category Interest
This section is where you can register your company to receive automatic e-mail notifications of new opportunities that have been published that may be of interest to your company. This will greatly assist you when using the portal and mean that relevant opportunities are not missed. If nothing is selected then no e-mail notifications will be sent. The category will differ per portal, depending on what classification is being used, e.g. UNSPSC, CPV, and ProClass etc.
Category: The top level categories that you can register to receive updates under are all listed. To select a top level category, mark the box to the left of the category by clicking it. You can select multiple categories if required. Ensure that you click on “Select Categories” to add this to the list. If you are not sure or if you want to put your company against lower level classifications, you may use the search facility at the top of the page to search specific words to help you narrow down the categories you require to add to your account.
This can also be done by clicking on the blue code to the left of the category and this will take you down to the next level. This can be repeated up to four levels in some classifications. Another way refine your categories, is to click on the blue code to ‘drill down’ to the next level. Continue to do so until you find the required category.
Note: When selecting categories, only categories relevant to the goods or services you can offer as a supplier should be selected. Category selection can be revisited at anytime to carry out required amendments, searches of advertised opportunities for all categories can also be carried out at anytime.
When all required categories have been chosen, click “Select Categories” from the options at the bottom of the page.
Selected categories are now shown as above. Once all categories have been added click “Finish” followed by “Next” to proceed.
Note: If a category has been added in error this can be removed by clicking the button.
Also further lists/categories may now also be found (if the procuring organisation/portal have used these) This allows you to register against further supplier lists, as set up by the procuring organisation(s) to allow you to be further categorised and found more easily by procurers.
Note: This is totally independent of the Contract Category Interest that is chosen and this will NOT generate any email notifications.
Each list will show up with the title, followed by a classification structure, which you can register your company against, an example of which is shown below. Tick the options that are applicable from this list, this may be done for several lists.
Organisation Selection (Step 4 of 5)
This step is the organisation selection page, which will appear as below. This is where the area/organisation that you want to receive automatic e-mail updates from, which works in conjunction with the categories that were selected on the previous page. This allows you to make sure that you receive updates only from the relevant areas/organisations as well as categories.
Note: For some portal registrations there will only be one organisation to select.
By Area: This will select all organisations within the portal to receive new opportunity information from.
By Sub Region:
This will allow you to select certain geographical sub regions to receive new opportunity information from. Select Sub Region and then click “Next” from the options at the bottom of the page.
This will list all the relevant Individual Regions to select from, as shown below. Note this list will differ depending on the portal. To select a region, click in the box to the left of the relevant region to mark it with a tick.
By selecting a region this will select all of the organisations within this region to receive new opportunity information from. When all the required regions have been selected, as shown below click “Next” from the options at the bottom of the page to move onto the next step.
This will allow you to select individual organisations from which you would like to receive new opportunity information from. Select “By Organisation” from the drop down menu and click “Next” to display all available organisations.
They will appear in a list as below, to select an organisation to receive new opportunity information about click the box to the left of the organisation name to mark it with a tick.
When all the required organisations have been selected, as shown below click “Next” from the options at the bottom of the page to move onto the next step.
Conditions and Privacy (Step 5 of 5)
Once complete then click on the “Next” button to continue with the registration or the “Cancel” button to abort the registration.
Wizard Summary- Completion and Editing Details
The final screen will be a summary of the details that have already been entered into the system, that need to be checked before completion of registration.
If you are unhappy or would like to change any of the information in the sections then this can be done by clicking on the relevant button in the top right hand corner of the chosen section.
Note on Chosen Contract Organisations
If you have chosen to select “All” or “by Sub Region” in this section earlier you will not have been shown a list of the individual organisations that you have actually chosen within these options. On the summary page in the “Chosen Contract Organisations” section you will be able to see all the organisations that you have chosen, to ensure this is correct. Also any organisations that join the portal from this point will also be added.
Once you are happy all details are complete and correct the Registration needs to be submitted to the procuring organisation.
This is done in the options at the bottom of the summary page.
If you no longer want to submit this registration, click “Cancel” to abort without anything being saved or submitted.
To submit this registration, click on “Submit Registration” to finalise and send to the procuring organisation for approval.
This will bring the Supplier Registration Confirmation page as shown.
The system will then send a confirmation e mail to say the application is being considered by the contracting organisation. The email will also contain an application reference number for your own records.
Click “OK” to return to the supplier portal.
When the registration is accepted then you will receive e mails containing your log in details for the opportunity portal.