@UK PLC recognised early on that for Local Authorities over 60% of all orders are for services and an efficient easy to use quoting system was an essential part of the marketplace.
@Quotes is easy to use, and fully integrated with suppliers so that suppliers are aware of what is going on. There are multiple ways of using the system.
The key is that all quotes once completed become shopping basket items that can be approved as part of a requisition and send out as a purchase order, with the return of a matching invoice.
Both free text orders and negotiation with a single supplier are supported to try end ensure that the correct specification and pricing is agreed up front prior to approval and purchase order.
Quotes can either be closed, only visible to a selected set of suppliers e.g. a framework for print services might have 5 suppliers on the framework, and they would all get the quote. Or the quote is public and any supplier may respond, and the quote is advertised as widely as possible.
Flexible quotes allow buyers to open responses prior to the end date, and do not need to have an end date set so that the process can complete with the first acceptable response. Sealed bids are normally for higher values and require a closing date, bids need to be made prior to the closing date, and can only be opened after the closing date.
Quotes can be go forward into either further negotiation with the supplier or an auction if there are multiple suppliers of a suitable quality
B2C ecommerce systems have to be usable with out training, where as most procurement systems are unusable with out training. @Quotes can be used with out training.
@Quotes tries to ensure that even for free text orders the pricing and specification is correct so that the supplier can check and agree before the order gets approved.
As far as we are aware @UK PLC is the only eProcurement system with connections into all major banks for credit card acceptance. And the use of the system for services such as temporary staff and other services with payment by credit card is a new area for eprocurement.
B2C ecommerce is not a trusted environment, eprocurement is normally a trusted environment and eprocurement processes often have flaws that were exploited at the start of B2C ecommerce. As far as we are aware @UK PLC is the only eprocurement system with PCI/DSS certification.
@UK PLC passed the 1 million user mark back in January 2010, and has achieved critical mass. We believe this is more users that all other UK eprocurement systems added together, and probably the largest eprocurement system globally.