University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2001
Russell Miyake, 808 956-7161, firstname.lastname@example.org
|SuperQuote: UH adopts electronic, Web-based bidding system|
The University of Hawai'i is phasing in an online system for posting requests for prices on goods and services. The system, called SuperQuote, was developed in partnership with CommercePoint, Inc., a private technology firm founded in Hawai'i and incorporated in New York.
Based on successful trials by users in the university's Information Technology Services operation, UH is training additional employee users and signing up additional vendors as it prepares to expand the procurement model system-wide.
Use of the Web-based system is expected to open UH procurement to more vendors, thus generating more competitive prices, and create efficiencies over manual, paper-based processing of quotation requests. Instead of obtaining prices from three specified vendors, UH buyers will post their specifications on a CommercePoint Web site, and any vendor registered with CommercePoint can review the request and submit a price quotation.
A more complete description of the SuperQuote system and comments from UH employees and vendors who have used the system are in the attached article.
Vendors can choose between free basic membership and the additional benefits of a fee-based professional membership. To register or obtain more information, vendors should visit the CommercePoint Web site, www.commercepoint.com, or contact the CommercePoint Help Desk, located on the Manoa campus at 1380 Lower Campus Road Room 58, by phone, 808 956-5934; fax, 956-3110, or e-mail, email@example.com.
UH Adopts SuperQUOTE for Online Price Quotations
The University of Hawai'i, in partnership with CommercePoint, is launching a new electronic, online system for requesting price quotations in the purchase of goods and services. The university's Information Technology Services has been using the system, called SuperQUOTE, since Feb. 1. Plans call for phasing in other users, with the UH Community Colleges starting this month, followed later by UH system offices, UH Hilo, UH West O'ahu and UH Manoa.
"This electronic system will replace the current labor-intensive, manual process for obtaining quotations and will open up the process, allowing more vendors to participate," notes UH Senior Vice President for Administration Eugene Imai. SuperQUOTE will benefit the University in two ways, he adds. Use of the electronic form should increase efficiency and speed in processing requests for price quotations on goods and services. Also, the increased supplier competition in responding to online requests should result in lower prices. "This is an excellent working example of how technology can be used to help government do business more effectively with the private sector," Imai says.
University staff members are receiving training to use the online purchasing system, which, with some exceptions, will be used for purchase of goods and services between $1,000 and $25,000. As the buyers, UH users fill out an on-screen requisition form on the Web, listing their specifications. Instead of having to make multiple, individually addressed copies for faxing to vendors, they simply submit the request for automatic posting on the system. Any vendor registered on the system can then bid on the requested goods or services by submitting a quotation electronically. After reviewing the submitted quotations, the buyer selects the desired quotation and inserts any special instructions. They selected vendor is notified by e-mail.
Vendors need only an e-mail address and Internet connection to use the system-no additional software is required. To register, vendors must verify their iedntity and select a membership level. Basic membership is provided at no charge; it allows vendors to log onto the system to view all UH requests, submit quotations and receive notification via e-mail. Vendors can also opt for a professional membership, which entails a fee but provides automatic notification whenever a request is posted in their product or service category. Professional membership holders also receive space on the CommercePoint Web site to store their quotations, advertising space in an online vendor directory and a link to their company Web site. As a special introductory offer, vendors who register during May will receive professional membership benefits for a free, trial period.
So far, the UH experience has been positive. "It's a good way to get prices," says Lloyd Tsukano, Netlab manager for the College of Business Administration, one of the UH employees who used the system during the initial phase.
"I have found SuperQuote to be faster and easier than having to fax requests and call vendors," adds Sharon Suzuki, a secretary in the Information Technology Services Telecommunications operation. Prices were competitive, she says, and she received quotations from vendors that she hadn't been aware of previously. Cori Kobayashi, the UH site license administrator, finds the system easy to work with. "It has expanded our vendor base for computer software, especially locally," she says. "It helps them get awareness for their products and services."
As trial buyers, both employees found CommercePoint receptive to their suggestions for improvements. So have early users on the vendor side.
"It saves a lot of paperwork," agrees Melvin Teruya, president of Honolulu Electronics, a family business that has used the SuperQuote system. "It is faster." Bob Tappy, of Kailua-based Jarrett Technology Solutions, agrees. "I think this is a good tool. We have the opportunity to bid on jobs we didn't know about before." Tappy commends the CommercePoint office on the Manoa campus for providing assistance and computer access to all interested vendors. "The response was excellent," he says. Getting help walking through the steps the first time made the system easy to use.
CommercePoint, founded in Hawai'i and incorporated in New York, develops sourcing modules for business, government and university communities. "The goal of our company is to provide an easy-to-use, cost-effective and widely available electronic quotation solution to the global e-commerce community, allowing buyers and sellers to work more efficiently, shorten the sourcing and buying cycle, lower costs and expand opportunities for all parties," says founder William Wang.
The University will benefit from further efficiencies when the SuperQUOTE system is linked to the Financial Management Information System (FMIS) so that data from the selected quotation can be automatically inserted into FMIS-generated purchase orders.
Additional information is available on SuperQUOTE at www.commercepoint.com.
Also, the CommercePoint Help Desk at UH Manoa can be reached by phone, 808
956-5934; fax, 808 956-3110; or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.