Purchasing

FAQS
Q
2018 Device Purchasing FAQ
A

2018 REMC Device Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions
(updated 7/21/2018)


1.  How do I get questions answered?
2.  Does purchasing off the REMC Device Purchasing Bid using SPOT automatically negate  the need to 
solicit competitive bids for devices within my district? Does purchasing off  the REMC Device 
Purchasing Bid meet the Best Practice of obtaining competitive bids  for the provision of 
non-instructional services?
3.  Am I obligated to purchase if I fill out a forecast?
4.  Will I be able to purchase devices if I did not forecast? Will I be able to purchase  different 
devices than I forecast?
5.  How do I register as a SPOT user?
6.  How do I use SPOT to forecast?
7.  How do I find information on the items awarded items on the REMC Device Purchasing  Bid?
8.  How do I use SPOT to purchase devices?
9.  What do I need to include on my purchase order?
10. When do I have to have my purchase order submitted?
11. Are there incentives for devices purchased during the 2018 purchasing window?
12. How are device specifications defined for the SPOT bid?
13. Why can't I have feature XYZ?
14. What is the benefit of using SPOT?
15. What money can we use to purchase devices?
16. Can agencies that are not K-12 public schools, e.g., private/parochial schools, public  
libraries, pre-schools, and medical facilities, order off the SPOT bid?

1. Question: How do I get questions answered?
Answer: Please email spothelp@remc.org.    


2. Question: Does purchasing off of the REMC Device Purchasing Bid using SPOT
automatically negate the need to solicit competitive bids for devices for my district? Does 
purchasing off of the REMC Device Purchasing Bid meet the Best Practice of obtaining competitive 
bids for the provision of non-instructional services?
Answer: Per the MDE Budget Office, "It depends on the district's bidding policy. If it has a
e collaborative bid process to obtain services, it meets the requirement." Each district should check their local board policy to see if it allows them to use a collaborative bid process. If so, use of the REMC Device Purchasing Bid and other REMC Bids, e.g., Computers & Networking, to purchase devices would meet this best practice.   
   
3. Question: Am I obligated to purchase if I fill out a forecast?
Answer: No, but the goal is to aggregate volume and we provide this information to vendors. We 
strongly encourage districts to fill out the forecast in SPOT so that we can get the highest 
possible discounts from vendors.     

4. Question: Will I be able to purchase devices if I did not forecast? Will I be able to purchase 
different devices than I forecast?
Answer: Yes, and yes. The forecast is non-binding.     


5. Question: How do I register as a SPOT user?
Answer:
If you do NOT have a REMC account:
1.  Go to http://www.remcbids.org/.
2.  Click on SPOT in the upper right corner.
3.  Click on Login or Register in the upper right corner of SPOT.
4.  Click on Click Here below Need to Register.
5.  Complete the form and make sure to select Yes in the SPOT User dropdown.
6.  If you are a non-public school or a public library (even though it seems contradictory), select 
Yes in the Non-Public dropdown and make sure to input your school or library name in the Building 
field. [I'm sure it seems odd to select Yes in the Non-Public field if you are a public library, 
but this year, that's the way the system is set up. Thank you for bearing with our quirks:)]
7.  Click Save at the bottom of the form.


If you already HAVE an account on the REMC bid site but are not a SPOT user:
1.  Go to http://www.remcbids.org/.
2.  Click on SPOT in the upper right corner.
3.  Log in to SPOT.
4.  Click on Profile in the upper right corner of the screen.
5.  Review your information, and update any information that needs to be changed. It is important 
that the district and email address noted are correct. Note: If your email address has changed, you will need to set up a new account. Also, after you select a district while 
setting up your account, it cannot be changed.
6.  Select Yes in the SPOT User dropdown.
7.  Click Save at the bottom of the screen.


6. Question: How do I use SPOT to forecast?
Answer: Once logged in to SPOT. Click on Forecast on the left menu, and then click the
blue Change Forecast Quantities button, and then fill in your projected device purchases for the 
upcoming purchase window. When you are finished, click Save. There is no commitment to buy what you 
forecast, but the higher the numbers, the better discounts we can get from vendors!
But PLEASE be honest in forecasting what you may purchase.  

7. Question: How do I find information on the items awarded items on the REMC Device Purchasing Bid?
Answer:
1.  Go to http://www.remcbids.org/.
2.  Click on SPOT in the upper right corner.
3.  Click on View Catalog in the left menu.
4.  Click on Device Purchasing on the left to see the entire catalog OR click on a category of 
interest below Device Purchasing.
5.  Devices and descriptions will show in the right pane. To see more details on a specific device, 
click on the device name to access the detail page.
6.  If you are looking for accessories or upgrades, go to the detail page as noted in step #5 
above, and click on Product Specification Document. The first page(s) will give the product 
specifications, and the accessories and upgrades are found on the pages following the 
specifications. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact the vendor. You may also purchase 
items from other parts of the REMC catalog, e.g., Computers & Networking.
7.  NOTE: You must be logged in to SPOT to place an order.  


8. Question: How do I use SPOT to purchase devices?
Answer:
You must be registered as a SPOT user to upload a purchase order. Use the following steps:
1.  Go to http://www.remcbids.org/.
2.  Click on SPOT in the upper right corner.
3.  Click on Login in the upper right corner of SPOT and log in.
4.  Click on SPOT in the greenish menu near the top of the screen.


5.  Create a purchase order as you usually would. Please make sure that your purchase order is 
itemized and that it includes the following: the item number, model number/name, reseller 
product/part number, quantity of item that you want to purchase, bid unit price and contact info. 
All items for a vendor may go on the same PO, even if they are from different REMC bids. For 
example, you may include items from the Device Purchasing catalog as well as other parts of the 
REMC catalog such as Computers & Networking.
6.  Click on Submit PO under the 2018 Device Purchasing heading in the left menu and you will be 
taken through four steps.
7.  In Step 1, enter the PO Number, PO Total, PO Date and select the vendor from the dropdown box, 
and then click Next.
8. In Step 2, the list of DEVICES awarded to the selected vendor will be listed. Enter the quantity 
of each device that you are ordering, and then click Next. (Note: Quantities of accessories and 
options or devices from other REMC bids may still be included on the PO even though they are not 
listed in Step 2.)
9.  In Step 3, confirm that the device quantities you entered are correct. If they are not correct, 
click the Back button to go back to Step 2, make the necessary revisions and click Next. When the 
quantities are correct in Step 3, click Next.
10. In Step 4, upload your PO by clicking on Choose File to select the file from your computer, and 
then click Submit PO. Once your PO is submitted, you will be on the Purchase Order Status screen. 
The Purchase Order Status screen displays all purchase orders that you have uploaded. A link to the 
PO file that you uploaded is now available from this screen. Additionally, you may edit or cancel 
an order from this screen. This screen is also available via the View PO link on the left menu.     
 
9. Question: What do I need to include on my purchase order?
Answer: Please make sure your purchase order is itemized and includes the item number, the model 
number/name, the reseller product number (if available), the quantity of each item to be purchased 
and the unit price. All of this information is available in the REMC Device Purchasing Catalog. A 
quote may be attached, but the purchase order should still be itemized.    

10. Question: When do I have to have my purchase order submitted?
Answer: The purchase window for the 2018 Device Purchasing Bid is scheduled to open April 18, 2018 
and will be open through September 30, 2018. All purchase orders must be submitted by 11:59 PM on 
the last day of the purchase window. After 11:59 PM on September 30, 2018, the PO upload feature in 
SPOT will no longer be available.     

11. Question: Are there incentives for devices purchased during the 2018 Device Purchasing Bid 
purchasing window?

Answer: No. In 2018, there are no incentive funds available. However, by aggregating volume
across the state, we can get the best discounts and you may not have to go out to bid for larger 
purchases. Check with your Board policy to confirm that the REMC Device Purchasing Bid qualifies as 
a bid.   


12. Question: How are device specifications defined for the SPOT bid?
Answer: Specifications are defined by the REMC Device Purchasing Bid Specifications Committee, 
which consists of volunteers from ISDs and local districts from around the state. The Committee 
determined that except for the mini tablets, the specifications of the devices bid must meet or 
exceed the Michigan Department of Education Online Testing Device Requirements. 


13. Question: Why can't I have feature XYZ?
Answer: The goal is to create specifications to aggregate volume, so unfortunately, we will not be 
able to include everybody's desired features. The specifications are determined by the REMC Device 
Purchasing Bid Specifications Committee with representatives from across the state with the goal of 
meeting the needs of the majority while aligning with the Michigan Department of Education Testing 
Device Requirements. Most vendors offer a variety of upgrades and options though, so you can 
usually find a device that meets your needs. 

13. Question: What is the benefit of using SPOT?
Answer: The benefit of using the Statewide Purchasing Online Tool (SPOT) is that it enables us to 
leverage the aggregated volume from the entire state of Michigan to obtain larger discounts from 
device vendors.    


14. Question: What money can we use to purchase devices?
Answer: Any funds approved by the district for technology purchases (bond funding, general fund, 
etc.) can be used to purchase devices and accessories off of the REMC Device Purchasing Bid.     

15. Question: Can agencies that are not K-12 public schools, e.g., private/parochial schools,
public libraries, pre-schools, and medical facilities, order off the SPOT bid?
Answer: Yes. When you set up your SPOT account, select Nonpublic for your district and
 

Q
How do I purchase off REMC SAVE contracts?
A

Locate products you wish to order and you can add them to a shopping list. The shopping list feature allows you to organize all the items you would like to order by vendor along with the vendor contact information for ordering.  The REMC SAVE website does not allow for direct ordering of products from the vendor. 

Shopping List Tutorial  

Q
Can I place an order on the website?
A

The REMC SAVE website does not allow for direct ordering of products from the vendor.

Q
I ordered something three months ago and have not received it, what should I do?
A

Please start by contacting the vendor. If you do not receive satisfaction from the vendor, please reach out to your REMC SAVE contact for assistance. If you do not know who your REMC SAVE contact is, please navigate to "Contact Your Local REMC Center" at remcsave.org and type in your zip code. 

Q
Do I need to send my order to the local REMC for processing?
A

No.

Q
Can people buy personally from the bid?
A

That is on a case by case basis. Please contact the vendor directly.

Q
Do I need an account to order?
A

No.

Q
Do I need to send my order to the local REMC for processing?
A

No.

Q
I need help ordering, who do I contact?
A

If your questions in general in nature, please contact your REMC SAVE contact. If your question is product or vendor related, please contact the vendor directly. Vendor contact information is listed with each product or in the vendor listing at "View All Vendors" at remcsave.org

Q
Are high volume discounts available?
A

High Volume pricing is available for some items. When high volume pricing is available, it is listed in the description and/or Product Notes.

Q
What is a general catalog discount?
A

A general catalog discount applies to a vendors complete catalog. For office supply vendors are awarded a general catalog discount for everything they carry. Some vendors may include exclusions in their description but for the most part everything they sell is included.

Q
What is a category catalog discount?
A

A category catalog discount applies to a specific category that was included in the bid. For example, the Printers category includes catalog discounts for all Epson and Hewlett Packard Printers.

Q
If a non-REMC awarded vendor offers to match REMC pricing, does this still meet the state bid requirements?
A

The purchase would fall outside of the REMC SAVE bid.