Multi-stage Line Item Responses

This article will teach you how to use multi-stage responses on line items enabling you to run requests asking for ‘Best and Final Offers’.

Anika Gadher avatar
Written by Anika Gadher
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 will cover:

What are Multi-stage responses?

Multi-stage responses give you the flexibility to ask for new offers on your line items at different stages of the request. Enabling this will give you more opportunities to negotiate a better price or better terms for things such as delivery dates and lead times as part of your strategy.

You have two different response options to choose from under ‘Multi-stage behaviour’ when setting your line item section configuration:

  • Single response - suppliers will submit a single response in the stage the section is visible from or in any later stage.

  • Response per stage - suppliers submit a new response in each selected stage and cannot edit earlier responses when moved to a later stage.

These options can be applied to any field types that require a response from your supplier and can be included in any number of stages.

Drafting a request with multi-stage responses

To enable the option of ‘Response per stage’ you first of all need to have a minimum of two stages for your request.

⚡ Top Tip: When adding in your stages it is best practice to hide later stages from your suppliers, so they aren’t privy to you asking for improved offers. This will help you leverage a better negotiated price or delivery date further along in the process.

⚡ Top Tip: Consider naming later stages to indicate to your suppliers how they should change their offer (e.g. Best and Final Offers)

To configure your multi-stage responses:

  1. Under the ‘Details’ tab in your draft request click + Add page.

  2. Click on the + Add section button and select ‘Line items’.

  3. Add in your ‘Line items’ section and click on the Section Configuration drop-down.

  4. In the ‘Multi-stage behaviour’ section the response option will have a default value of ‘Single response’ - click on this drop-down and select ‘Response per stage’.

  5. The system will prompt you to select the stages of your request that you want your suppliers to submit new responses in. Check the stages you want to include using the checkboxes.

  6. Next you need to select which fields you want suppliers to submit as part of their responses in later stages:

    • Price fields only - only “Price” type fields will require a response from your supplier

    • All fields - fields of any type will require a response from your supplier

    • Custom selection - fields requiring a response will be configured individually

If you select ‘Price fields only’ or ‘All fields’ you will not need to take any further action when building your line items.

If you select ‘Custom selection’ you will need to do the following:

  1. Add the line item information (including any additional fields).

  2. When you add an additional field under ‘Supplier response field’ click on the toggle to change this to Yes.

  3. You will then be asked to confirm if this field needs to be included in the ‘Multi-stage behaviour’ set up.

    • By default the toggle will be set to Not required in the ‘Required in later stages?’ section - this will be applicable to information such as part numbers.

    • If you do want this field to be included in later stage responses click on the toggle to change this to Required.

  4. Finally click + Add field.

  5. Repeat this process for all the pre-defined and additional fields that require a supplier response.

✏️ Please Note: You can enable multi-stage responses as part of a request revision, so it’s possible to start with a single-stage request and then increase this to multi-stage. To learn more about request revisions click here.

How your suppliers submit Multi-stage responses

Your suppliers will first submit responses and complete the initial stage of your request.

When you move your chosen suppliers to the next stage of your request the line items will be flagged with an 'Action required' indicator.

Once they have opened the line items to update, they will also be able to see the responses they submitted in the previous stage.

When they enter their latest response they will see a % difference compared to the previous stage (applicable on price fields only).

Comparing Multi-stage responses

Once your suppliers have begun to submit responses you can navigate to the ‘Comparison’ tab to view these side by side.

  1. On the top left drop down make sure ‘Line items’ is selected.

  2. The drop-down options will update to give you access to a ‘Stage’ drop-down.

    • ✏️ Please Note: This will default to the latest stage of your request that has one or more suppliers in.

  3. Click on this drop-down to navigate to previous stages to view earlier responses.

When looking at later-stage responses you will see a % difference underneath prices and bid totals compared to the previous stage, indicating how much you have saved.

You can click the toggle button in comparison view, choosing to show savings:

  • % (e.g. ↓15% from Stage 1), OR

  • amount (e.g. ↓ $5,000.00 from Stage 1)

💡 Important: The colour of the % indicator text will change depending on whether the price went down (green), up (red), or stayed the same (grey).

If you want to see the previous price for a specific line item:

  1. Click on the line item you want to open. The pop up will show the exchange history including previously-submitted responses on the left hand side

For further queries, use the live chat feature or email

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