January 29, 2019

Agency RFP Suspension Lifted

Effective January 11, 2019, Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitations from Wisconsin State agencies may be posted to eSupplier (including RFPs suspended after November 27, 2018). Actions that may be taken on RFPs that had been previously suspended depends upon its status.

RFPs canceled during the suspension may be reactivated using copy functions in STAR. Agencies can work with STAR by sending an SSO ticket. SBOP will work with STAR to assist agencies with reactivating their canceled events as needed.

The official site for information about Wisconsin State agency solicitations continues to be the eSupplier Portal, with the exception of the UW System and its campuses. Questions related to a specific RFP should be directed to the named agency RFP manager. General questions can be referred to doawispro@wisconsin.gov.


Wisconsin eSignature Update

In December 2018, the State Bureau of Procurement (SBOP) launched Wisconsin eSignature for procurement using DocuSign. This tool is available to all State and campus procurement groups to automate the collection of electronic signatures and approvals. Several agencies have already begun to implement Wisconsin eSignature and have found that it can improve procurement processes by reducing the amount of time staff have to spend routing documents for physical signatures and decreasing the amount of time it takes for approvals.

SBOP’s Knowledge Management, Improvement and Training (KIT) section is working to develop a robust set of resources for Wisconsin eSignature, including templates for commonly used documents and a training guide for users and administrators. In addition, SBOP plans to host a Wisconsin eSignature User Group that will meet regularly to discuss best practices, share experiences and troubleshoot any system issues. More information will be communicated as these resources are released.

Those interested in learning about this tool may sign up to attend the DocuSign Overview Webinar on February 6 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (space is limited to the first thirty registrations). For more information about the webinar, contact Jessica Vieira at (608) 266-5452. If your agency or campus wants to know how this tool can be used to improve your procurement processes, contact Dan Kramarz at (608) 267-2715.


SPM Reform Project Update

The interagency workgroup for the State Procurement Manual project has completed its regularly scheduled meetings. Drafts are now being finalized by the State Bureau of Procurement and will be released, with a new web page and a series of informational training events, target Spring 2019. More information will be shared as it becomes available. Questions about this project can be directed to doawispro@wisconsin.gov.


New eSupplier FAQ Guide Available!

The State Bureau of Procurement has published the eSupplier Frequently Asked Questions Guide. In this guide, users will find detailed registration instructions, as well as answers to questions commonly asked by eSupplier users. Topics include WAMS registration, eSupplier registration, NIGP codes and automatic notifications, bidder communication and submitting a response. The guide is available on the SBOP homepage (https://doa.wi.gov/procurement) and questions about this resource may be addressed to doawispro@wisconsin.gov.


Marketplace Recap

In December, the State Bureau of Procurement participated in Marketplace, the Governor’s annual conference on minority business development. Contract manager Cathy Neidner traveled to the Milwaukee event and held many one-on-one sessions with businesses, connecting them to information about the State bidding process, bidder registration, and possible matches to the goods or services they offer. Dan Kramarz hosted a booth in the expo portion of Marketplace, providing information to businesses about registering in the eSupplier portal and navigating VendorNet.


Strategic Sourcing: Tips and Tricks

Using Tables: When including tables in your solicitations, it’s recommended that you build the table within the Strategic Souring module. Attempting to copy a table from a Word document and paste it into the module may cause the table to appear too large when viewing it as a Word or PDF document. Alternatively, you may create your table in Word and take a picture of it using the Snipping tool, then paste the picture into your solicitation using the “Insert Image from File” button. This will allow bidders to view the table, but will not allow anyone to enter additional information into it.

Looking for additional resources for Strategic Sourcing? STAR agencies can access a variety of job aids, tools and resources on STARConnection (STAR Connection > Resources > Finance and Procurement > Job Aids > Search for “Strategic Sourcing”). If you would like to share a Strategic Sourcing tip or trick you’ve learned, please email your ideas to Jessica Vieira.


Staffing Updates

Marcy Schmelzer retired from the State Bureau of Procurement on December 28 after a distinguished career of service to the Department of Administration. Marcy was a policy expert who was relied upon to not only educate new procurement professionals about state processes and rules, but also management on the institutional history of our policies and procedures as they have evolved over the years.

Amy Schroeder also retired from state service on December 28. Amy has worked in SBOP on two occasions in the last decade, previously in what is now the Enterprise Sourcing Section and most recently in CAPS where she was assigned to manage procurement activities for the Department of Military Affairs and the Office of the State Public Defender. Amy’s subject matter expertise in public procurement has helped many of her colleagues navigate complicated issues over the years.

Dennis Mattson has also retired from State service on January 16 after 34 years employment. Dennis served as a purchasing associate for the State Bureau of Procurement where he used his vast knowledge of State procurement to answer inquiries for the VendorNet Help desk and assisted the IT Sourcing Section.

Brenda Derge has been selected as the 2019 President of the Wisconsin Association for Public Procurement (WAPP). WAPP is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the professional growth of Wisconsin procurement staff in the public sector and is the Wisconsin chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing. In her role as President, Brenda will be responsible for the overall leadership of WAPP, setting priorities and organizing events for the group over the next year.