Structure Requests using Sections

This article provides detailed guidance for Buyer users on structuring requests using sections

Anika Gadher avatar
Written by Anika Gadher
Updated over a week ago

This guide is intended for buyers. If you're a supplier, check out our supplier help articles here.

This article will cover:

Sections Overview

Sections are different components you can use to structure your pages. You append them to different stages, allowing you to control supplier visibility. They can be found under the Details tab when building your request template.

If needed, you can lock and unlock suppliers' responses to your sections. Read about how to do this here.

When building out your sections, you can save time by duplicating the section, read more on how to do this below.

Questions Section

The Questions section allows you to create and share questions for suppliers to respond to in the format you set. To add questions within a page:

  1. Select + Add section.

  2. Choose Questions from the dropdown menu. This creates a Questions section where you input text into the Title field.

  3. Click Add Question to enter your question in the text field and choose the answer type (Short, Long, Multiple Choice, Checkboxes, Price, Address/Location, Date/Time). Click here (hyperlink to different types of questions article) to explore the types and see how they can work for you!

  4. Once you've entered the questions, click Save.

Using the Questions Section ensures all responses are in one place and in your preferred format, click here to learn more about Question types and when to use them. Responses can be viewed side by side in the Comparison tab.

Line Items Section

Line items is a section where you can add items you might want Suppliers to provide as part of the request & is an easy way to receive pricing information. It will allow your suppliers to enter prices for individual items or services you are wishing to purchase.

To add Line Items:

  1. Find the correct page within the request that you would like to add the Line items to.

  2. Select + Add section.

  3. Choose Line Items from the dropdown menu.

  4. Input a title.

  5. Choose your preferred supplier currency.

Removing default fields

Before you start building your line items, you can customise the fields by removing default fields like "Unit", "Quantity", "Price per unit" and "Total cost" if they're not a good fit for your use case. Although you can't remove the "Description" field, you can however rename it to better match your needs.

To remove default fields:

  1. Click the dropdown icon ("⌄") at the right of the header cell of a field you wish to remove.

  2. Click the Remove field option.

  3. Click the Remove field button in the confirmation popup.

✏️ Please Note: When removing default fields:

  • Some fields can have dependencies on others. For example, the "Total cost" field formula can refer to other field values, like "Price per unit". Where you remove dependent fields, you'll be prompted to fix any errors.

  • The value of the "Total cost" field contributes to a supplier's "Bid total", which you use to compare pricing. This field should only be removed where there's no need for the section to contribute to the bid total.

To add default fields:

Default fields will only be available to add if you've previously removed them, and since they are predefined you can only add one of each default field per section.

  1. Click the Add field button in either the section sub-header or at the top-right of the grid itself.

  2. From the dropdown, click the default field required from the top of the Predefined section.

  3. The field will be added to the section for you to configure.

To rename the description field:

  1. Click the dropdown icon ("") in the header cell of the Description field.

  2. Click the Edit field option.

  3. In the popup, enter a new description in the Field name field.

  4. Click the Submit button.

✏️ Please Note: The default name of ‘Description’ will be translated automatically when the platform is used in languages other than English, whereas custom field names are not translated.

Building your line-item fields

To select or highlight more than one cell in the line items table, hold shift and select the relevant cell or hold shift and use the keyboard arrow keys

You are also able to cut, copy & paste content from other sources (i.e Excel) directly into line items to build your requests faster & efficiently.

The description & unit fields will accept plain text, however the quantity field solely accepts numbers. The copy & paste functionality also applies to the additional fields you can add into line items.

✏️ Please Note: ensure the format of your values are a match for the fields you’ll paste them into, otherwise they will be ignored.

✏️ Please Note: users can cut, copy & paste with keyboard shortcuts only.

To cut: command + x on on Mac or ctrl + x on windows

To copy: command + c on Mac or ctrl + c on windows

To paste:command + v on Mac or ctrl + v on windows

Where a range is copy & pasted but does not fit into the current grid view, you are able to choose to add more line items to allow the data to fit or discard it.

In this section, you can also decipher which stage this is visible to suppliers by using the drop down arrow:

A lock feature ensures supplier response to line items are sealed until unlock criteria has been met. This can be enabled for each line item segment under 2 criteria:

This will ensure that you and your team are only able to review when:

  1. Stage deadline passes

  2. When a team member unlocks it

Under buyer-added line items, click add line items and enter a description, the unit and quantity of each item you wish to add.

Line items allow buyers to specify the number of decimal places for Suppliers pricing fields. This can be done by clicking on the '...' on the Price per unit column & clicking Edit field.

This will bring up a window where you can click on the - or + to edit the number of decimal places:

The price per unit will contain the specific decimal places you set, however the total cost will always hold two.

✏️ Please Note: the default number of decimal places on new and existing requests is 2 but can be adjusted as required.

DeepStream will use these fields & the formula below to give a total cost, however you can make editions to this formula to support your requirements.

✏️ Please Note: If it is a sealed bid, you can choose to lock (or seal) this Section, and set criteria for it to be unlocked; Bid deadline passes and/or Team member unlocks. To find out more on sealed bids click here.

How to add fields:

DeepStream provides some predefined additional fields you can have as part of your Line items, as well as creating your own from scratch.

Here you can have a Buyer provided response or leave the field open for Suppliers to provide a response.

Here are some examples of predefined fields you can utilise:

  • Target price per unit - Set an internal target to compare against supplier prices.

  • Delivery date - Specify a delivery date or ask Suppliers to provide one.

  • Lead time - Require Suppliers to submit a lead time in working days.

  • Product & service tag - Specify a product or service tag for categorisation.

  • Manufacturer - Specify a manufacturer or ask Suppliers to provide one.

  • Part number - Specify a part number or ask Suppliers.

Another feature is the option to Bulk Upload:

DeepStream provides a template which you can download & input multiple line items into saving you time & scope for error. This format can be downloaded by XLSX or CSV but needs to be uploaded in the .CSV format for DeepStream to read.

To do this click on the More actions button within the line items section, and select Download CSV.

Be sure to save or download your completed template in CSV or you will see a red error notification reading: CSV file type only.

You can bulk upload line items under the following fields:

  • Description - of this line item. Include any necessary information such as part numbers.

  • Unit - of measure for this line item.

  • Quantity - of this line item that you require. Enter a whole number greater than 0.

✏️ Please Note: You are unable to bulk upload any other fields or rows under different headings. Ensure to keep all other cells in the document clear or you will see a red error (as seen in the image below).

✏️ Please Note: Line breaks are not supported and will be automatically removed.

You will see a preview of all successful line items before you can select save:

You can only use one template per line item section, please complete individual templates for each line item section.

Here is an example of a successful line item table which has been bulk uploaded:

If you wish to delete any of the line items, simply click Edit and the ‘...’ icon on the line item you'd like to remove and press the Delete.

Similarly, you can reorder line items by pressing on the 'Move up' button or 'Move down' button.

If you would like to delete a whole line item segment, press Edit at the top of the segment to release the dropdown where you can click Delete.

Under supplier-added documents choose whether or not to allow your suppliers to submit additional line items as part of their bid by switching the toggle. Click the Save button to save your work.

Once the request is live and you want to edit your Line Items you can select revise request in the top right hand corner where you can make changes.

To edit Line Items after the request is live, select Revise Request in the top right corner.

Documents Section

The Documents section is used to securely exchange documents between the buyer and supplier.

To add a Documents Section:

  1. Select + Add section.

  2. Choose Documents from the dropdown menu.

  3. Enter a title for the documents section

  4. Select the stage that you’d like the section to be visible from, either from the beginning or only once they’ve completed the previous section, and under buyer-added documents, upload a document.

Set the response Requirement for the supplier. There are six options to choose from:

  • Accept the document: The supplier will need to read and accept the document.

  • Accept the document or deviate: The supplier will need to read and accept the document or offer a deviation to it.

  • Upload completed document: The supplier will need to download, complete or sign the document and re-upload it.

  • Upload completed document or deviate: The supplier will need to either download & complete the document or offer a deviation to it.

  • Upload requested document: The supplier needs to upload a document relevant to the description you have written but can be in their own format.

  • For information only: The supplier is required to download & read the document.

If you choose Accept the document or deviate or For information only, you are required to upload the document which you can easily do in this section. Either drag & drop into this section or browse your computer for the document to upload.

If you want to bulk upload documents click the '...' button and then you will be able to select multiple documents to upload.

You can enable 'Supplier-Added Documents' which allows for Suppliers to upload any document they wish in any format.

Vessel Pricing Section

The Vessel Pricing Section is relevant for those looking to charter a ship, providing clear details and pricing for firm and optional periods.

Suppliers enter day rates or a lump sum when responding to the request. Editing is possible after the request has been sent.

How to Duplicate a Section or Exchange

Duplicating allows copying entire sections or single criteria for more efficient request building. You can use this feature on any of our Sections or exchanges. This means you can:

  • Duplicate any Documents, Line Items, Questions or Evaluation sections.

  • Duplicate any exchanges you want to add in the Documents, Line Items, Questions or Evaluation Sections

To duplicate sections:

  1. In the header of the section, click the ‘...’ button.

  2. Select Duplicate.

The section you have duplicated will then be copied with the exact same fields, files and configuration and will be opened in edit mode for you to make any further amendments.

To duplicate exchanges within a section:

  1. Go to the exchange

  2. Click the ‘...’ button, and select Duplicate.

  3. Additionally, you can click the Move up or Move down buttons to reorder sections & exchanges.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to update the title of the duplicated section or exchange as it will have copy of in front of it.

For further queries, please use our live chat feature or email

Did this answer your question?