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REMC Device Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question: Help! I can't see the SPOT link in the gray menu bar! What do I do?

Answer:

  1. If you do not have an account in the system, set up a SPOT account following the instructions at http://22itrig.org/activities/device-purchasing/spot-faqs/#Register.
  2. If you do already have a REMC account, log in to http://remcbids.org and check your profile by clicking on the Profile link in the upper right corner of the page. Make sure that you have selected Yes for SPOT User.
  3. If you have a REMC account but are not a SPOT user, update your profile and click Save. IMPORTANT: You must log out and then log back in in order to see what you should see in SPOT.   Back to Top

Question: How do I get questions answered?

Answer: Please email spothelp@remc.org.     Back to Top

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 2016-2017 non-instructional services?

Answer: Per the MDE Budget Office, "It depends on the district's bidding policy. If it has a district policy that indicates that the district uses some 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 to purchase devices would meet this best practice.      Back to Top

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.     Back to Top

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.     Back to Top

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 Login or Register in the upper right hand corner.
  3. Click on Click Here below Need to Register.
  4. Complete the form and make sure to select Yes in the SPOT User dropdown.
  5. 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:)]
  6. Click Save at the bottom of the form.
  7. IMPORTANT: Log out and then log back in to see the SPOT link in the gray menu bar near the top of the screen.

 If you already HAVE an account on the REMC bid site but are not a SPOT user:

  1. Log in at http://www.remcbids.org/.
  2. Click on Profile in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. 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.
  4. Select Yes in the SPOT User dropdown.
  5. Click Save at the bottom of the screen.
  6. IMPORTANT: Log out and then log back in to see the SPOT link in the gray menu bar near the top of the screen.  Back to Top

Question: How do I use SPOT to forecast?

Answer: Once logged in to the http://www.remcbids.org site, click on SPOT in the upper right hand gray bar. 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!     Back to Top

Question: How do I find information on the awarded items on the SPOT bid?

Answer:

  1. Once logged in to the http://www.remcbids.org site, click on SPOT in the upper right hand gray bar. (If you are not logged in and click on SPOT, you will be prompted to log in.)
  2. Under the 2017 REMC Device Purchasing heading on the left, click on View REMC Device Purchasing Catalog . The awarded items are listed. Note: the View REMC Device Purchasing Catalog link will not be visible until the Purchasing Window opens on 4/19/2017.
  3. Click on the title of the device in which you are interested. For your convenience, you can create an itemized shopping list from which you can develop your purchase order. Note: The shopping list will NOT submit an order to the vendor(s).     Back to Top

Question: How do I use SPOT to purchase devices (beginning on 4/19/17)?

Answer:

You must be registered as a SPOT user in order to upload a purchase order.
To purchase the devices and accessories available for purchase use the following steps (Do NOT go directly to vendor or you will not be eligible for the device incentives):

  1. Log in at http://www.remcbids.org/.
  2. Click on SPOT in the gray menu near the top.
  3. Under the 2017 Device Purchasing heading in the left menu, click on View 2017 Device Purchasing Catalog. The awarded items are listed.
  4. Click on the title of a device for more details. For your convenience, you can create an itemized shopping list from which you can develop your purchase order. Note: This will NOT submit an order to the vendor(s).
  5. Create a purchase order as you usually would in your district or library. 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.
  6. When you are ready to submit a purchase order, click on SPOT in the gray menu to return to the SPOT home page.
  7. Click on Submit PO under the 2017 Device Purchasing heading in the left menu and you will be taken through four steps.
  8. In Step 1,  enter the PO Number, PO Total, PO Date and select the vendor from the dropdown box, and then click Next.
  9. In Step 2, the list of bid items awarded to the selected vendor will be listed. Enter the quantity of each item that you are ordering, and then click Next.
  10. In Step 3, confirm that the 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. Note: If the total cost of the items entered does not match the PO Total input in Step 1, you will receive an error message and be asked to correct the issue before moving on.
  11. 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. Note: "DevPurch" will be automatically appended to your PO file name.      Back to Top

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.    Back to Top

Question: When do I have to have my purchase order submitted?

Answer: The purchase window for the Spring 2017 Bid is scheduled to open April 19, 2017 and will be open through September 30, 2017. 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, 2017, the PO upload feature in SPOT will no longer be visible.     Back to Top

Question: Are there incentives for devices purchased during the Spring 2017 purchasing window?

Answer: No. In 2017, there are no incentive funds available. However, by aggregating volume across the state, we are able to 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.   Back to Top

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. The most recent version of the MDE Online Testing Device Requirements is available in Documents, which is accessible from the right menu of the Device Purchasing area of this site.     Back to Top

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 the Michigan Department of Education Testing Device Requirements.     Back to Top

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 higher discounts from device vendors.     Back to Top

Question: What money can we use to purchase devices?

Answer: Any funds approved by the district for technology purchases (2016 TRIG participation and incentive funds, bond funding, general fund, etc.) can be used to purchase devices and accessories off of the REMC Device Purchasing Bid.     Back to Top

Question: Can private and parochial schools order off of the SPOT bid?

Answer: Yes.     Back to Top

 

Question: Can Title 1 funds be used to purchase learning devices through the REMC Device Purchasing Bid?

Answer: In all scenarios there are several filtering screens:

  1. These machines must be supplemental.
  2. These devices must be reasonable, necessary, allowable, allocable, and meet the other fiscal requirements of the grant.
  3. The equipment must be required as part of a larger strategy (including appropriate instructional software and PD, training teachers to use the equipment to accelerate learning, etc.) as defined in the school improvement plan primarily for instruction, based on a clearly defined needs assessment.
  4. The equipment cannot be used for state required assessments.

Scenarios:

Title I targeted school: The Title I funds can only purchase computers for students identified as low achieving. Computers could not be bought for all students!

Schoolwide School: Title I funds could be used to purchase equipment such as mobile devices as supplementary tools for all students.

In both cases mobile devices must be written into their school improvement plan.     Back to Top