Your questions answered to show the flexibility and cost-saving behind PEPPM cooperative purchasing

How do I use PEPPM to order the items I want?

Once logged in, a buyer can search for products and see the PEPPM bid price for items under contract.

Desired items should be put on a Purchase Order (PO) addressed to the proper vendor as identified within ordering instructions. When ready, the PO must be sent to the PEPPM clearinghouse by fax or email.

Buyers can also use PEPPM’s shopping list function to gather all their desired products into one document. PEPPM lists can be conveniently updated and shared. Lists contain a unique ID number and can be attached to a PO to avoid retyping and extra paperwork.

How do I search for a product?

There are two main ways to search for specific products, plus a third Browse function which is similar to flipping through a paper catalog.

From the home page, a buyer can search for items by entering a precisely spelled keyword, brand name, or SKU number.

Any results can be narrowed by using the “Search within These Results” box. In addition, a user can re-sort found items by Product Name, Manufacturer Name, and Manufacturer SKU Number.

From the Table of Contracts, a registered buyer can see all eligible PEPPM contracts associated with their state and agency type. Clicking on the Contract Name in the first column takes the user to a list of all items under contract.

Once again, all of the line items returned can be refined by using the “Search Within These Results” box or sorted by Product Name or Manufacturer SKU.

Search results are dependent on the integrity of data provided to PEPPM by the Awarded Vendor.

From the Browse Page, click on a category of items and drill down on more narrow categories until line items appear. Again, results can be sorted or narrowed using the “Search Within These Results” box.

Note, the Browse function does not list all items under contract, but approximately only those 500,000 items for which PEPPM has photographs and expanded decryptions.

How do I send my purchase order to PEPPM?

Fax or email your Purchase Order to PEPPM along with all attachments. Please do not send purchase orders directly to the vendor. Make sure to include the date and "As Per PEPPM" on your purchase order and all PEPPM quotes.

  • Fax to (800) 636-3779
  • Email orders@peppm.org

Can I order online instead of sending physical purchase orders?

Yes, PEPPM’s website is integrated with Epylon eCommerce software. Buyers can use this software to obtain internal agency approvals, request quotes, and send their purchase order forms to PEPPM vendors directly, bypassing the PEPPM clearinghouse. A version of the software -- unintegrated with financial systems -- is free to PEPPM buying agencies. Contact Epylon Customer Service for details at (888) 211-7438. Epylon works on Pacific time.

What if I cannot find an item that I know is associated with a particular product line?

Most PEPPM contracts authorize an Awarded Vendor to sell all products available under a manufacturer’s brand based on a bid discount formula. If the SKU does not show up in PEPPM’s database, use the ordering instructions to find the Vendor’s contact information and ask for a PEPPM price quote. PEPPM will verify this price when the PO comes through the clearinghouse.

Where do I find ordering instructions?

From the Table of Contracts, find the applicable contract name. In the far-right column, click on the Contract number. This takes you to a summary page of information about the contract. The page displays multiple tabs representing different categories of information. Ordering Instructions are located under the tab labeled “Vendor Contact/Ordering Instructions.”

How do I process E-rate purchases?

Buyers taking advantage of E-rate discounts must indicate the use of E-rate funds on their PO by using the words "E-rate Purchase Order" whether it is a PO coming through the PEPPM clearinghouse or through Epylon eCommerce. This notation enables vendors to act on the PO appropriately.

Orders will be processed the same as any other PEPPM order, the only real difference being the funding the buyer is entitled to through the E-rate program, and the potential delayed delivery of the product(s).

Make sure you get your E-rate purchase orders in and file your Form 471 by the deadline.

What does the PEPPM clearinghouse do with our Purchase Orders?

The PEPPM clearinghouse checks pricing on each PO to ensure prices are the most up to date and lowest available.

PEPPM’s second set of eyes looks for potential errors on a PO so that orders can be filled by Awarded Vendors without delay. This procedure also prevents returns to the Awarded Vendor due to ordering errors.

Then we immediately send the purchase order to the named Awarded Vendor or Authorized Reseller. Our promised turn-around time is 24 hours, but our average turn-around time is one to two hours.

Finally, we maintain a database of all purchase orders that go through our system, so we can assist you in case that you are audited and also to provide reports back to ordering agencies.

Why do we need bid protection on smaller purchases?

When using PEPPM, an agency making small purchases under a bid threshold will still get the protections of PEPPM Terms and Conditions, ensuring benefits such as warranties, specified return rights, and the availability of replacement parts, just to name a few.

If an agency purchases less than the amount required amount for a bid for a given product in one month and later needs to purchase more, the agency may be in jeopardy of violating bids laws by exceeding the required bid threshold.

Sending even small orders through PEPPM ensures continuous bid protection and the added benefits enumerated in Contract Terms and Conditions.

Is spot pricing part of the PEPPM bid?

Yes. If you are purchasing a large volume of product, contact the vendor to request a reduced-price quote. Make sure the quote states: "As per PEPPM volume discount". Fax or email both the quote and the Purchase Order to PEPPM along with all attachments.

 If you send your purchase order and quote via the PEPPM fax process, you are bid protected – as long as the price on your purchase order is less than that day’s posted price for the product. PEPPM maintains a record of these purchases and the quotation documents.

Are shipping costs included in the PEPPM price?

PEPPM posted prices are the total prices you will pay for items purchased, on orders over $500. Purchase orders under $500 are subject to freight charges if your vendor decides to add that cost.

What is a SKU?

The acronym “SKU” stands for Stock Keeping Unit, and represents the unique identifying number associated with a particular unit. A manufacturer assigns a unique SKU to their products; this is the Manufacturer SKU. Resellers may assign their own ordering number to a product; this is the Vendor SKU.

How do I get notices of bid opportunities?

Register on the PEPPM website as a vendor company or the employee of a vendor. All registrants will get an email notice of all published Requests for Bids with instructions.  All bids are conducted using Epylon eCommerce software.

 

The PEPPM staff is a group of experienced public sector employees of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit in Milton, Pennsylvania. They are leaders in educational purchasing and informaton technology. As purchasing agents, the group solicits bids, evaluates responses, and recommends awards to the agency’s board of directors.


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