Structure Requests using Sections

How Buyers can add Question, Line Item & Document sections to their request

Damian Piekacz avatar
Written by Damian Piekacz
Updated over a week ago

This article is intended for buyers.

If you’re a supplier check out our supplier help articles here.

This article aims to help buyers structure their request using :

You can also find out how to:

Sections are different components you can use to structure your pages. You attach them to different Stages which allows you to control Supplier visibility.

If you need to you can lock and unlock supplier's responses to your Sections. Read about how to do this here.

When building out your Sections if you have multiple exchanges or whole Sections that have a similar format you can save yourself even more time by using our duplicate capability.


The questions section allows you to create and share questions for your suppliers to respond to in the format you set.

To add questions within a page, please 'Add section' & then from the dropdown select 'Questions'

This will create a Questions section where you are required to input text into the Title field

Then you can click 'Add Question'

Please note: there is no limitation on how many questions you can add within a section & there are no limitations on how many sections you can have on each page

Then, please complete your question in the text field & choose your answer type:

Short - answer text and Long - answer text impact the size of the Supplier's response text box

Multiple Choice allows your Supplier to select one answer out of multiple choices you have pre set

Checkboxes allows your Supplier to select one or more answers out of the choices you have pre set

Please note: You can add 'Other' as an option to allow them to write their own response

Price allows you to request pricing for any Product or Service & you can choose a specific currency from the drop down if you wish

Address/Location is where Suppliers provide location & contact details. You can select the visibility of fields depending on relevance to your request. Check/uncheck the visible checkbox next to each field

Date/Time is where Suppliers provide you with a date and / or time related to your question

Please note: For any type of question you ask, the supplier will always have the opportunity to leave a comment in addition to answering the question.

Required: You can toggle between 'Yes' & 'No'

If 'Yes' is selected, Suppliers must respond with an answer

If 'No' is selected, Suppliers can respond with 'Not applicable' but must explain why in a comment

Once you have entered the questions relevant for the section, click save.

By using the Questions Section, you ensure all responses are in one place and in the format you prefer.

When you receive responses you’ll be able to see all the responses in a simple view side by side in the Comparison tab.

You can download all of the responses in a .csv file if you wish to work offline.

Line Items

Line items is a segment 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 get started adding Line Items:

Find the correct page within the request you would like to add the Line items section into

Then select add section. Select line items from the drop down menu:

Once your line items section opens up, please input a title & choose the currencies you would like the Suppliers provide pricing in

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 which 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 2

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.

Adding fields: DeepStream provides some predefine 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 as part of the line items 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.

Be sure to save or download your completed template in CSV or you will see this error notification:

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

Line breaks are not supported and will be automatically removed.

Please note: you are unable to bulk upload any other fields aside or rows under different headings. Ensure to keep all other cells in the document clear or you will see a red error illustrated below.

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 3 dots icon on the line item you'd like to remove and press 'delete'

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

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 between yes and no. 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.


The Documents Section is used to securely exchange documents between the Buyer and Supplier.

To add a Documents Section in a Page, 'Add Section'. Choose Documents from the dropdown menu.

Enter a title for your Documents Section, and if it is a multi-stage Request, select the Stage at which the suppliers will need to complete the documents.

Under buyer-added documents select the add document button to upload a document

Next, you need to set the Requirement. This is what a Supplier needs to action to satisfy this requirement.

You need to select the response requirement from the supplier.

There’s 6 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 ended 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

The final Section type that can be used is the Vessel Pricing Section.

The Vessel Pricing Section is only relevant to you if you are looking to charter a ship. It will help you to get clear details and pricing. You can assess both firm periods (an option where you’ve committed to a vessel for a set period of time) and optional periods.

When the Suppliers are sent the request, they will need to enter day rates or a lump sum. You can edit the details of the module after the Request has been sent by issuing a revision.

How to duplicate a section or exchange

Our duplication capability will allow you to copy whole sections or single criteria making it more efficient for you to build out your requests.

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:

In the header of the section you click the ‘...’ button on the right hand side of the panel and 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.

Please Note: The title of the duplicated Section will have the same as the previous one, but with 'copy of' in front, so make sure you remember to update it.

To duplicate exchanges:

Within the section, go to the exchange you wish to copy and click the ‘...’ button on the right hand side of the panel & select 'Duplicate'

This will copy your exchange in exactly the same format below. If you need to make any changes to the content you can still do this.

Please Note: The description of the duplicated Section will have the same as the previous one, but with copy of in front, so make sure you remember to update it.

In addition to this, you can 'Move up' or 'Move down' sections & exchanges to reorder them.

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