|by Willy Wang
Looking for a good deal? You can save time and money with SuperQUOTE™. A public/private partnership between University of Hawaii and CommercePoint Inc. has resulted in an electronic quotation system that was launched February 2001. There are many benefits to this nearly paperless system:
- Obtain the lowest prices available.
- Improvements in accountability process with instantaneous review of all bids.
- Ensures that all vendors have access to every buying opportunity.
- Savings to UH when compared to previous paper and step-laden purchasing process.
Through SuperQUOTE™, purchasers enter their requirements into an easy-to-use Web site. Vendors receive the request immediately via email and then may enter their quotations via the Web. At the deadline for bids, purchasers view all quotations at a glance and award purchase to the vendor with the lowest qualified quotation.
SuperQUOTE™ is directly interfaced with UH's ePurchasing system. After an award is made, winning vendors will receive an email notice, once they accept the award, data is transferred to the UH ePuchasing system within 10 minutes. This means buyers can get price quotes, award the request, and go to ePuchasing for requisition approval/purchase order process without having to enter duplicate data. The result is a true seamless integrated system that makes UH a leader in provider of e-procurement solutions.
Alternatively, once the award is acknowledged by a vendor, purchase can be made immediately with a UH P-Card (departmental credit card). In either case, the winning vendor pays a small fee to the system operator to cover the costs of implementing and operating the electronic marketplace, resulting in further savings to UH. This fee is usually absorbed by the vendor like credit card fees, in the interest of increasing their opportunities and efficiency.
With over 1,600 vendors in the database, UH has conducted a wide range of requests for products and services, most popular are the high tech items such as laser printers, toners, LCD projectors to digital cameras, other purchases includes:
As of July 2004, buyers from UH, Oahu Transit Services (TheBus), The State Judiciary and Department of Education have conducted over $15M in transactions (4,800 awards). SuperQUOTE™ has resulted in an estimated savings of 15% (over $2M) for UH; "street price" checks with leading shopping engines showed a savings of 8% - 24%.
- Office supplies (from shredders, calculators to annual paper purchases)
- Furniture (from office desk, credenzas to ergonomic chairs)
- Moving and storage (moving services for island bound professors to inter-office moves to storage of old records)
- Printing (included are very large to the small mom & pop printers on the islands)
- Janitorial (trash bags, hand soap, brooms to vacuum cleaners)
- Grounds maintenance (lawn mowers, ladders to water hose)
- Clothing (printed T-shirts/Polo shirts to athletics uniform)
- Events (award lunch and dinner banquets, hotel meeting room with breakfast)
- Air conditioners, dehumidifiers to HEPA filters
- Lease and purchase of photocopiers
- Lab and research equipment (from microscope, astronomy equip to lab supplies)
- Restaurant supplies (microwave ovens to plates and utensils for student dorms)
- Chartered bus service (from the regular yellow bus to air-conditioned tour buses)
- Vehicles (pickup trucks, motorcycles to golf carts)
- Others: door mats, boat trailers, fireproof safes, widescreen TVs, tools, car batteries, tires, welding equipment, washer/dryer, pest control, etc.