NC BIDS FAQs for Vendors What is NC BIDS? The North Carolina Business Invitation Delivery System (NC BIDS) is North Carolina's new electronic bidding system. NC BIDS provides vendors the opportunity to respond electronically to specified solicitations. NC BIDS is part of our ongoing procurement modernization effort, as we continue to strive to improve the process of doing business with the state of North Carolina. What are the benefits of NC BIDS? Until we move to a complete procurement solution, NC BIDS will enable vendors to respond to specified solicitations electronically. Responding electronically will save vendors time and money by eliminating the need to print and ship paper proposal packages, which should also translate to lower prices for state agencies. Is there a cost to use NC BIDS? There is no cost to use NC BIDS. What do I need to do to use NC BIDS? To be able to submit bids electronically through NC BIDS, vendors must be registered in the North Carolina electronic Vendor Portal (eVP). The eVP is an online application used by vendors who are registering to do business with the State of North Carolina. How do I create my electronic Vendor Portal account? electronic Vendor Portal Training Materials Who do I contact for assistance with or questions on my eVP registration? If you have any questions during the registration process, please contact the NC electronic Vendor Portal Help Desk at 888-211-7440, option 2, or email@example.com. What do the different registration types mean? The different registration types allow a vendor to register for different services, including: NC E-Procurement @ Your Service - Vendors can register to receive purchase orders from State Entities, Local Education Authorities (K-12 Schools Systems), Community Colleges, and participating Local Governments. Interactive Purchasing System (IPS) - Vendors can register to receive e-mail notifications of procurement and construction opportunities based on designated commodity/construction codes, and respond to specified solicitations electronically by using the NC BIDS feature of the IPS website (www.ips.state.nc.us). HUB Certification - Vendors must request certification through the electronic Vendor Portal if they wish to be certified as a Historically Underutilized Business. How does NC BIDS work? When an agency participates in NC BIDS: For all solicitations posted by or for that agency, an optional eBid button can be displayed in IPS. NC BIDS is a feature of IPS. When posting a solicitation, Purchase & Contract or the agency will specify whether the eBid button should be displayed for that solicitation. The presence or absence of the eBid button determines whether vendors can submit bids electronically, but P&C or the agency should also explicitly specify how bids are to be submitted. For each solicitation handled by or through P&C: Each individual solicitation document will indicate whether responses must be submitted electronically through NC BIDS or whether paper responses are required. One of the following instructions will also be included in the Special Instructions field: Electronic responses ONLY will be accepted Mailed responses ONLY will be accepted Submissions that do not comply with the stated submissions method will be deemed non-responsive. For solicitations under the delegation of an agency, P&C strongly recommends that they also choose to accept only electronic or only paper bids for each solicitation using the guidelines above. However, each agency will need to update their policy based on the decision made by their procurement leader. Vendors must always check the special instructions and solicitation document for each solicitation to verify whether electronic or paper bids are required for that solicitation: If electronic bids are required, respond electronically to that solicitation using the eBid button displayed in IPS for that solicitation. If paper bids are required, do not use the eBid button, you must submit a paper bid. Can the eBid button for a solicitation be used to respond to any solicitation? No, the eBid button for a solicitation can be used to respond to that solicitation only, and only when electronic responses are required/permitted for that solicitation. Always check the special instructions and solicitation document for each solicitation to verify whether electronic or paper bids are required for that solicitation, and only use the eBid button when electronic responses are required/permitted. What happens when I click the eBid button? You will be asked to log in using your eVP credentials. After logging in, there are three basic actions: Uploading documents When uploading a document, first specify a Document Name for the file that describes the content of the file. The maximum length of a Document Name is 30 characters. Alternate bid responses should be denoted in the Document Name. Use the Browse button to locate and select the document. After the proper document is selected, click Submit Document to upload the document. You will see a list of the uploaded documents. If you want to remove a document that you have uploaded, use the Remove link associated with the document in the list of documents. If you want to review or display a document that you have uploaded, click on the Document Name in the list of documents. At bid opening, all documents in the document list will be considered part of your bid package. After all required documents are in the document list, no further action is required. The document list can be modified as long as the Remaining Time Before Bid Opening clock has not expired. The clock displays the number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds remaining to submit bids. If desired, capture a screen shot of the Bid Documents page for your records, as no email confirmation will be sent. The audit log will have a record of your submission. When your document list is complete, close your browser to log out of NC BIDS. After I've uploaded my bid, can I view it and/or modify it? Submissions can be viewed until the Remaining Time Before Bid Opening clock expires. Files can be uploaded and removed until the Remaining Time Before Bid Opening clock expires. After the Remaining Time Before Bid Opening clock expires, bids cannot be viewed or updated. If I have not uploaded my bid document prior to expiration of the Remaining Time Before Bid Opening clock, can I still submit a bid? No, submissions are disabled automatically when the clock expires. What types of files can I upload, and what is the maximum size per file? The maximum file size is 24 MB, but you can upload as many files as needed. Acceptable file types are PDF files and image files (JPG, GIF, etc.) How can I minimize the size of a file? When scanning a document, the size of the resulting file can be minimized by reducing the DPI resolution setting prior to scanning the document. The default setting can vary and reducing the DPI to 200, for example, can produce a smaller file. Be sure to view the scanned file and verify that it is readable. If the lower resolution does not adequately reduce the file size, divide the document into multiple files for uploading. Is there a fillable PDF form that I can submit? No, there is no fillable PDF form available. What is the recommended naming convention to be used when uploading files? P&C recommends the following naming conventions: BidNumber-Bid Response-VendorName BidNumber-Bid Response-Specs-VendorName For example: 201900000-Bid Response-XyzCorporation 201900000-Bid Response-Specs-XyzCorporation How do I sign my electronic bid? As per the EXECUTION page, there are two signature options: Vendor may apply a wet signature, scan, and then upload this attestation page as an attachment for submission through NC BIDS Vendor may apply a digital/electronic signature in the designated box, scan, and then upload as an attachment along with its bid Who do I contact if I have problems with NC BIDS? Please contact the NC electronic Vendor Portal Help Desk at 1-888-211-7440, option 2, or firstname.lastname@example.org.