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TxSmartBuy Ordering System

TXMAS Frequently Asked Questions regarding TxSmartBuy

Is TxSmartBuy mandatory? What if we do not submit an electronic catalog?
The Comptroller’s office is required to establish contracts for goods and services for the state and make them available to our customers through term contracts, when appropriate. TxSmartBuy will be the interface for our customers to access these term and TXMAS contracts. Therefore, contractors will need to have their term and TXMAS contracts loaded onto TxSmartBuy in order for them to sell goods and services to the state.

We will maintain a dual system through August 31, 2009. However, after that date contracts need to be on TxSmartBuy unless special circumstances warrant an exception.
The Excel format will require a lot of work. We have developed online tools for various states, but they have usually involved a significantly reduced product offering. By leveraging GSA, the state of Texas has access to virtually our entire product line (that is, with finish options, over 500 billion unique SKU’s). Can your system connect to GSA, or how do you suggest we proceed with submitting a large number of catalog items via Excel?
We understand the difficulty in providing the catalog information in the format needed for the TxSmartBuy Web site. Once this information is loaded into the system, your customers will not see the spreadsheet, but instead they will view Web pages and search results that are easy to navigate and use.

If you have too many items to reasonably include in the spreadsheet, we encourage you to focus on those items that represent the majority of your sales through TXMAS. We will also have a process in place for customers to purchase items through TxSmartBuy that are not listed in your electronic catalog.
The TxSmartBuy supplier catalog template instructions state: “If you have items that come in different colors or fabrics, please list the items on separate lines, as shown in the example.” We have many options that not only include fabric options but also edge detail, lock options, trim molding options, etc. How can we possibly show all of those options?
We recognize that there is much complexity and variation in your merchandise, specifically furniture. You may want to focus on listing your items with the options most frequently ordered to ensure that those are easily accessed on TxSmartBuy. We can continue to add to your catalog as time goes by.
Do we have to add all of our products to this Excel spreadsheet as it may take a long time to add this information?
We suggest high volume items be added as soon as possible, and other items can be added as time allows.
For items like furniture, orders usually require representative assistance in order to ensure accurate specifying and ordering of product. In addition, a majority of our orders are a mixture of catalogued and custom products. How will the system impact this process?
Customers will be required to place the order through TxSmartBuy. They will have the ability to issue a purchase order to the contractor containing a single line item for the total amount of the purchase (after receiving a quote from the contractor). The quote document can be attached to the purchase order that is sent to the contractor. This type of transaction will be convenient for furniture, construction and other companies that require a representative to interact with potential purchasers.
How will TxSmartBuy account for furniture delivery and installation? One of the basic services an office furniture dealer provides is his or her product recommendation based upon an assessment of the customer’s needs, budget and goals.
TXMAS contractors are still able to meet with prospective customers to resolve these issues. The purchaser will have the opportunity to enter separate delivery and installation line items directly on the purchase order after receiving a quote from the contractor.
Why do we need to provide “Supplier Information” on the spreadsheet?
The term “supplier” means “TXMAS vendor,” which also is the “contractor.” We apologize for any confusion our wording caused. The “supplier information” is important since it establishes your organization’s contact information, including the e-mail address where purchase orders from the system will be routed.
Where do I find my “Supplier IDs” for the supplier information?
The supplier ID is your FEIN with a “1” placed in front of it and a check digit placed on the end of it by the Comptroller’s office. This is your vendor ID that is listed in the CMBL Search.
Do we input the supplier information for each line in the vendor catalog, or will once suffice?
The supplier information should be entered on one line only.
Do we list all of our TXMAS-authorized dealers on the spreadsheet on the “Supplier Info” tab?
Upon the initial system launch, only your contractor (vendor/supplier) information should be listed on the supplier information tab. Dealer information will be loaded into the system separately.
May we submit multiple e-mail addresses for receiving electronic POs for each dealer?
No, only a single e-mail address for your business should be provided. Contact information (including the e-mail address to receive electronic purchase orders) is being requested from dealers and will be loaded into the system separately.
If a company is currently doing business through HUB dealers who accept orders on behalf of the manufacturer and invoice customers directly etc., will the status of those HUB dealers change for the sake of online orders? For example, will the HUB dealers no longer accept PO’s or invoice customers?
Dealer information will be loaded into the system. Upon the initial launch of the system, if a purchaser wishes to buy from a dealer that is loaded in the system, the purchaser will obtain a quote from the dealer and will enter the total quote amount directly on the purchase order. The dealer will receive the purchase order and will be paid directly by the state or customer.
Will non-online orders flow to HUB dealers in the conventional way? If not, how will agencies get HUB credit through the distributors, since payment will not go directly to the HUB distributors?
All orders should be placed through the system. An order to a dealer will be entered in the system based on a quote obtained from the dealer. The purchase order will have the total purchase amount entered as a single line item and will reference the quote. The purchase order will then be routed to the dealer who will fulfill the order, invoice the purchasing entity and will receive payment from the state or customer. This will ensure that purchasers can work with dealers and reporting (including HUB reporting) will be accurate.
How do we match the pictures we have with the vendor catalog? How do we make sure the right picture gets to the right item?
On the details page, please list the jpeg name on the line with the item that it goes with. Save all of the jpegs on the CD using the same names that are listed on the details page. They will be matched up when they are loaded into the shopping cart.
How will we be able to update catalogs as items and pricing changes, and what is the turnaround time for this update to be visible?
Right now, catalog items and pricing will be updated through spreadsheets; we are working on a way to automate the process.
How often will we be able to add products?
As often as they are approved and added to the GSA contract. TXMAS contracts and associated catalogs may only be affected by valid changes to the GSA contract.
Who enters all the pricing? The TXMAS contractor or the state?
Contractors supply the catalog pricing through the spreadsheets they submit.
Can anyone view the pricing, or is there a password?
Anyone can view the pricing.
Would you consider a punch-out supplier catalog?
Yes, we will be working to identify contractors for punch-out capabilities.
In addition to the online catalog shopping environment, will “non-catalog” requisitioning and purchase order generation be allowed by buyers for large projects made up of many parts and pieces?
Purchasers will have the ability to issue a purchase order to the contractor containing a single line item for the total amount of the purchase (after receiving a quote from the contractor). This will ensure a simple ordering process when placing orders for large projects. Please see the response for a similar question for more information.
Concerning the online format provided by CPA, is there flexibility in reporting monthly sales after the 10-day requirement?
Because this information is used for reconciliation to determine the amount that Texas NICUSA, LLC will invoice, the sales information needs to be received timely. Exceptions to the 10-day requirement will be handled on a case by case basis.
How will negative returns be handled?
Manually, outside of the online ordering system.
What about the fuel surcharge? Are we to increase the net price to include it also?
Contractors can address this when working with purchasers to provide contractor quotes.
What about projects that were quoted and budgeted without the 1.5 percent additional charge?
The administrative fee will apply to all purchases made after December 20, 2008. If a firm, fixed quote was provided to a customer prior to this date, TxSmartBuy will allow for the attachment of the quote and will honor the price without the administrative fee as long as the customer enters the order into TxSmartBuy within 30 days of receiving the quote.
Will any of the Administrative Fee (1.5 percent) go to the Comptroller’s office or the TXMAS program?
No. The administrative fee is paid directly to Texas NICUSA, LLC, the TexasOnline vendor, for the development of TxSmartBuy. Neither the Comptroller’s office nor the TXMAS program receives any funds from the administrative fee.
If we change our pricing to reflect the 1.5228 percent, how does this affect out GSA terms seeing as how TXMAS and GSA go hand in hand?
The 1.5228 percent is the increase allowed by the Comptroller’s office to cover the administrative fee of 1.5 percent which will be charged by Texas NICUSA, LLC. This fee has no relevance to your GSA contract.  TXMAS items/services are not bought through your GSA contract as TXMAS merely attempts to “mirror” your GSA contract.  Therefore, your GSA contract is not affected at all.
We list our standard pricing in the Excel product listing sheet that you requested. Do we just add the 1.5 percent to the invoice only when we invoice?
The prices that show in the shopping cart should include the 1.5228 percent adjustment. The shopping cart price should always be the same as the invoice price.
How will the TXMAS Sales Rebate be handled? Who will notify us of the amount that the TXMAS contractor should pay?
TXMAS Contractors are responsible for paying for their TXMAS Sales Rebates to the state. Contractors are not invoiced for their rebate amounts. The amount owed and remittance destination is found by selecting the “View Contractor Sales Summary Information Report” link on the Dashboard.
Why must we report our sales on a monthly basis?
This is to handle the administrative fee invoice properly. Under the TexasOnline project, the contractor is paid on a monthly basis. We need the sales figures to verify the administrative fee that is due each month.
Is there a different template to report sales or is the same information required (NIGP codes & Agency codes)?
The sales report template is almost complete and will be available at www.txsmartbuy.com. It is different than the catalog template.
How do I find my NIGP Codes?
You may locate a particular NIGP Code by opening the whole “NIGP Commodity Book.”

Once there, press the “Ctrl” and “F” keys simultaneously (or “Command” and “F” on Mac) to open the “Find” window. Type in the item or service that you are looking for and hit the “Find Next” button. You may be required to hit the “Find Next” button many times to find the item or service you seek. Once you find the item or service you seek, your NIGP code will consist of the “Class” (3 digits) and the “Item Number” (2 digits). For example, the NIGP Code for “Abrasive Equipment and Tools” would be 005-05.
In attempting to provide our information in the required format (Updated Supplier Catalog Template), a significant problem has arisen: the unit pricing presumes a “freight included” price and our pricing is FOB Origin. How do I submit our pricing information and identify that the cost of shipping will be added to the total order amount?
In cases where delivery is not built into the unit price, the system will have the ability for the purchaser to enter a shipping/delivery charge to the total price of the items being ordered. We recommend you add language to your item descriptions instructing purchasers to contact the supplier for delivery fees prior to ordering. The purchaser can then simply enter the delivery amount to the order prior to submitting it.
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