Bidder/Supplier Log In | Public Solicitations | Current Contracts
Strategic Goals and Benefits
OhioBuys is the State of Ohio’s online purchasing solution that empowers both government buyers and interested suppliers. OhioBuys leverages innovative technologies to increase efficiency, opportunities, and participation with businesses in Ohio.
Operated by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, OhioBuys is currently available to a dozen State agencies and additional State requisite programs. OhioBuys will continue to grow, expanding to include other State agencies, State requisite programs, local governments, and higher education institutions.
Learn more about the OhioBuys Journey from Chief Procurement Officer Kelly Sanders and eProcurement Manager Andrew Cochran on the NASPO Pulse Podcast: Don't Stop Belivin'!
CONTACT US: Email the Project Team | Find your Agency Administrators | Contact Help Desk Support
LEARN MORE: OhioBuys Agency Fact Sheet | Agency Training | Supplier Training | General FAQs
OhioBuys for Agencies
OhioBuys provides the primary platform for agency employees to perform procurement activities including purchasing goods and services provided by supplier partners, releasing bid opportunities and manage contract events.
The OhioBuys shopping experience includes:
Pricing Options: Tiered pricing features and options.
Agencies can utilize the Procure to Pay functionality which includes:
Requisition and Purchase Order Creation: Create requisitions and route approvals and budget checks seamlessly generate/dispatch purchase orders and send to suppliers through OhioBuys.
Quick Quoting: Utilize quick quoting to solicit suppliers for products and services.
Automation: Leverage automated workflows to route items for approval, as well as dashboard capabilities to track activities.
Integrated Steps: Seamless linkage across order-through-pay transactions; increasing compliance with automation and routing to the proper authorities.
Receiving: Create receipts for goods and services.
Invoicing: Receive invoices within the system to pair with Purchase Order.
Agencies can now centralize their Solicitation and Contract Management in OhioBuys:
Welcome OhioBuys Users
1. To get started, please view video demonstrations of OhioBuys to become familiar with the functionality. If you have questions, please contact your OhioBuys Agency Administrator.
2. The best way to ensure you are ready to use the OhioBuys is to take the web-based training courses and refer to corresponding Learning Guides and Job Aids. The calendar of instructor-led training courses can be found below in the Ongoing Sustainment and Office Hours section.
3. If you have assistance with OhioBuys, please contact the Ohio SharedServices Help Desk via the contact information listed below:
Email at OBM.SharedServices@OBM.Ohio.Gov (Please copy your Agency Administrator)
OhioBuys Agency Administrators
The OhioBuys Agency Administrators are here to help you each step of the way. The Agency Administrators can guide you through how to find answers to common questions about OhioBuys and offer assistance on how to get help when you need it.
Please review the table below to find the Administrator(s) for your Agency. For access to OhioBuys please complete this User Account Request form and submit it to your OhioBuys Agency Administrator.
OhioBuys Ongoing Training & Office Hours
Agency training videos, learner guides, and job aids can be found by selecting the "Agency" link in our Training Tab. In addition, ongoing OhioBuys training is available in OhioLearn. If you have a request* for other training or training topics please send an email to: OPS.TrainingAcademy@das.ohio.gov
Office Hours are available - register on the Training tab under Agency Training.
Packages of process documentation templates are available by OhioBuys module. Templates match the table of contents in the corresponding Learner Guide. This completed template provides a sample of the information that can be captured.
1. Purchase Requisitions Process Templates
2. Solicitations Process Templates
3. Contracts Process Templates
OhioBuys Hints & FAQs
Want to know more about OhioBuys? Our Hints and FAQs section provides:
Remember, visit the Training tab to access training material.
Updating an Address for an Agency in OhioBuys
As an Agency, if you have a building or location address that needs to be added to OAKS (to then transfer into Ohio|Buys) please use the following form and submit it to:
Agency Address Update Form
OhioBuys for Suppliers
OhioBuys provides the primary platform for Supplier partners to engage in procurement activities with the State of Ohio. OhioBuys also provides an online shopping platform for State users to purchase goods and services provided by supplier partners.
Fact Sheet & Quick Start Guide | Bidder/Supplier Log In | Public Solicitations | Current Contracts
ADDITIONAL QUICK LINKS: Supplier-Managed Catalog Template | Punchout Details Spreadsheet | Quarterly Sales Report and Revenue Share Form
Suppliers are critical to the success of OhioBuys. We want you as a supplier enrolled and active in our solution so you can provide:
- Accurate contact information
- Responses to quick quotes and public opportunities
- Reviews and acknowledgment of purchase orders
- Advance Shipping Notices (ASNs) and manage returns
- Catalogs that can be directly posted and managed
- Direct Contracts so a catalog can be loaded without a State Contract (Suppliers will agree to standard terms and conditions)
Help Desk Support
If you encounter an issue or have a question regarding OhioBuys, please contact the Ohio Shared Services Help Desk through one of the options listed below:
Don't miss orders from the State! Suppliers often miss orders and opportunities due to inaccurate contact information on their OhioBuys profile. Contacts can now be added and/or updated directly in OhioBuys. You no longer need to download and submit a form for changes and/or additions. Please note, all contacts must have an OH|ID in order to access OhioBuys.
How to Get Started with OhioBuys
To begin in OhioBuys, we suggest you watch our Supplier Webinar video. In 24 minutes you will learn how to:
üGet started in OhioBuys
As a Bidder or Supplier, you can also utilize the Bidder and Supplier Learner Guide and additional video training available on the Training tab under Suppliers.
OhioBuys can accommodate both Punchout and Hosted Catalog Options.
A punchout catalog is a catalog available on an electronic commerce website that is maintained by the supplier. In this case, these catalogs rely upon a series of cXML documents exchanged simultaneously between OhioBuys and the supplier’s punchout-enabled system.
Shoppers utilize a punch-out catalog by leaving the OhioBuys and “punching out” to the supplier’s website, choose which items are needed, and then return or “punch back” into OhioBuys to complete the requisition and ordering process.
A hosted catalog (in Excel spreadsheet format) is uploaded by suppliers into OhioBuys and maintained by the State and the supplier. Shoppers access a hosted catalog in the OhioBuys, add items to their cart, and complete the requisition and ordering process. Once you identify the type of catalog you will be using, please follow the instructions below for either Punchout or Hosted catalogs.
Direct Purchase Catalog: A hosted in OhioBuys for items that the Supplier does not currently have a contract with the State to provide. An OhioBuys Direct Purchase contract is a type of Open Market shopping experience that Suppliers can directly enter into with State of Ohio Agencies, Boards, and Commissions in order to sell goods and services in OhioBuys. Typically, a direct purchase catalog will include an open market pricelist and may not be the result of a solicitation process. Purchases made by State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions against these catalogs are tracked against the agency(s) direct purchasing authority and Controlling Board thresholds.
Suppliers interested in creating an open market direct-purchase catalog should reach out to the catalog enablement team to assist in setting up their catalog.
Punchout Catalog Setup
To begin the punchout catalog setup process, please:
If you would like to discuss your company’s capability to provide a punchout catalog, please contact Kellie Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a call.
Hosted Catalog Setup
This spreadsheet should only be used for the first time you load your hosted catalog, afterwards to make updates to your catalog you must download your existing catalog from OhioBuys. To begin the hosted catalog setup process, please complete these three steps:
Use the checklist below to verify you have completed all the steps.
Hosted Catalog Setup Checklist
Order Transmission Options
Lastly, regardless of the type of catalog you are using, please indicate your preferred method for receiving orders from OhioBuys. There are several options available:
As you get started, please do not hesitate to contact the State with any questions or concerns. Specific questions regarding the types of catalogs, catalog templates, and order transmission options can be directed to the catalog enablement team:
OhioBuys for Co-ops
OhioBuys is the State of Ohio’s online purchasing solution that empowers both government buyers and interested suppliers. OhioBuys is currently available to fourteen State agencies. OhioBuys will continue to grow, expanding to include other State agencies, local governments, and higher education institutions.
OhioBuys will begin to become available for our Cooperative Purchasing Program (Co-op) members in 2023. We have completed a pilot with the following Co-ops.
Thank you to our pilot Co-op members!
Co-op members have several functions available to them to start in OhioBuys including:
If you encounter an issue or have a question regarding Ohio|Buys, please contact the Ohio Shared Services Help Desk through one of the options listed below:
Email at OBM.SharedServices@OBM.Ohio.Gov - Please include "OhioBuys" in the subject line
Phone at 614-338-4781 or 1-877-OHIOSS1 (1-877-644-6771)
OhioBuys Co-op Training Resources
Issue identification and resolution are important to the OhioBuys team.
Please report issues to the Ohio Shared Services Help Desk via the contact information listed below:
OhioBuys Training for Agencies and Suppliers
Training for OhioBuys Agency users is based on your agency role and job function. Agency training methods include instructor-led training, web-based training, job-aids and more.
The Supplier training method is online/web-based. All Supplier training can be found in the "Supplier" tab below.
Ensuring you feel prepared to navigate and use OhioBuys is a top priority. Web-based training (WBT) is provided to each OhioBuys user. You may access WBT videos via your myOhio page. Your agency's Learning Management System (LMS) will automatically appear in the My Workspace > Dashboard section of MyOhio.
If you do not see your courses listed in your LMS, please contact the Ohio Shared Services help desk: Phone: 614-338-4781 or 1-877-OHIOSS1 (1-877-644-6771) or Email: OBM.SharedServices@OBM.Ohio.Gov
October 4, 2021 Latest training materials updates include:
Amazon Training Materials:
VieAbility Office Supplies:
More Information about the New State Office Supply Contract. The VieAbility catalog is located in OhioBuys.
This library of short videos will demonstrate key Solicitation and Contract processes within OhioBuys.
1. Creating a Request to Purchase
2. Posting a Solicitation
3. Reviewing a Solicitation as an Approver
4. Creating a Contract from a Solicitation
5. Collaborating on a Contract
6. Reviewing a Contract as an Approver
NOTE: Office hours will be unavailable for the majority of September as our trainers will be delivering training to the Phase 2 Wave 1 agencies. During this time if you require assistance with using OhioBuys, please submit a helpdesk ticket and a member of the OhioBuys team will contact you to work with you. Our team is working on expanding office hours availability in October and November to support you and will be posting a revised office hour schedule in the coming weeks.
Office Hours are now available Mondays through Thursdays to assist users with OhioBuys functionality. You will receive direct help on a specific transaction as you are working through it!
Office hours are available for your training-related questions (i.e., how to do something in OhioBuys). If your question is regarding policy or system issues (e.g., why a purchase order is In Progress) then users should submit a helpdesk ticket. In addition, anything that substantially involves R&Ps, OAKS, or OneSpan Sign will need to go to the helpdesk as well.
Remember, if it's a question of "how" then office hours are the way to go. If it's a question of "why" it needs a helpdesk ticket.
To sign up for office hour sessions:
There are two links – if the date and time you are looking for are booked at one link, try the other link: Office Hours 1 Office Hours 2
You will receive an Outlook/Teams confirmation appointment. That can also be used to invite anyone from your organiization you would like to have involved in this session.
At your appointment: Be logged into OhioBuys so you can proceed with your activity. The trainers will advise you on how to complete your transaction, but they will not be driving.
NOTE: Office Hours are not a substitute for opening a helpdesk ticket when there is a technical issue. Trainers can direct you to the help desk if your questions warrant opening a ticket.
Monthly Enhancements - 2021
The following announcements have been released to indicate various enhancements.
SEPTEMBER 2021 Enhancement Announcement
AUGUST 2021 Enhancement Announcement
JULY 2021 Enhancement Announcement
Enhancement Sprints - March-July 2021
SPRINT 1 03.01.21: Enhancements include: Blanket PO Updates, Additional Contract Approver Steps, and Removing Supplier Quote ID Requirement, and more.
SPRINT 2 03.08.21: Enhancements include: Contract Routing, UNSPSC Codes from OAKS to OhioBuys, Forwarding for Additional Approvers, and Publicly Posting Checkbox Update, and more.
SPRINT 3 03.22.21: Enhancements include: Inquiry Dates Required, EOD Status Added to Grids, Update Blocking Alert on the PR Header, and Updated Supplier Landing Page, and more.
SPRINT 4 04.06.21: Enhancements include: Create new document type, Update References to UTC on Public Portal to EST, and Mass Edit Blanket PO Line Item, and more.
SPRINT 5 04.21.21: Enhancements include: Make Non-Substantive PO Changes, Remove Comment Area on Contracts, UPD R&P ID Column, and more.
SPRINT 6 05.03.21: Enhancements include: Update User Integration, RTP Process Updates, Catalog Templet Update, and more.
SPRINT 7 05.17.21: Enhancements include: Update Supplier Batch Load Integration to Ignore Duplicate Supplier Emails, Add Agency Use Field to Approvals Grid and Export, Make Contract Owner Field Editable via Amendment, and more.
SPRINT 8 06.01.21: Enhancements include: Add fields to Campaign Browse (D&R/Questionnaire Browse) page, Update Grid on Requisition Release and Permit tab, Create Queries for Agencies to Verify User Roles, and more.
SPRINT 9 06.15.21: Enhancements include: Default to Main Org on Browse User page, Update Message for Contract Expiration Notification, Move Solicitations without Contract Out of Evaluation Step, and more.
SPRINT 10 07.14.21: Enhancements include: Shotgun Approvals on Rules Engine, Requisitioner added to Advance Search Options, MBE PR Alert, and more.
Enhancement Videos - 2020
The following videos have been created to help illustrate changes to OhioBuys during our R2 Enhancement phase. All currently completed enhancements are reflected in the OhioBuys Job Aids.
SPRINT 1 05.01.20: Enhancement Video Topics: Tooltip - PR Attachments, Supplier Location Default
SPRINT 2 05.15.20: Enhancement Video Topics: Mass Update Order Supplier, Browsing PRs & Orders, Future Dated PRs/Orders, Rejected Requisitions
SPRINT 3 05.29.20: Enhancement Video Topics: Requisition Checkout, Search Options, Print PO Option, Purchase Order Details
SPRINT 4 06.16.20: Enhancement Video Topics: One-time Address Availability, Quick Quoting Change Orders, Forwarding Requisitions for Additional Approval, Removing Quick Quote Alerts
SPRINT 5 07.01.20: Enhancement Video Topics: MBE Selector, Approval History, PO Workflow & Change Orders, Supplier Portal
SPRINT 6 07.10.20: Enhancement Video Topics: Additional Workflow Criteria (SME Approver), Supplier Contact Phone Extension, Field Filters - Exceptions, ISTV Account Codes
SPRINT 7 07.24.20: Enhancement Video Topics: Property Damage Selector, Emergency Purchase Workflow, Alerts: Controlling Board Number + DAS Contract
SPRINT 8 08.12.20: Enhancement Video Topics: Pending Validations & Forwarded Activities, Returned Purchase Orders, Updating Organization & COA Site
SPRINT 9 08.21.20: Enhancement Video Topics: User Scope - Commodity Codes, Browse Release & Permit, IT Purchase Requisition Approvals
SPRINT 10 09.04.20: Enhancement Video Topics: Workload Manager Capabilities, PR Workflow and State Printing Purchases, Unit of Measure (UOM) Non-Blocking Alert, PR Workflow and Release & Permit
Request to Purchase (RTP) to DAS:
Supplier Management and Exceptions:
Public Notice Solicitations:
Learner Guide and Job Aid Library
Learner guides provide an overview of an end-to-end process and include a collection of the most frequently used job aids for that process. All OhioBuys Learner Guides are collected here for easy reference.
Job aids and learner guides have been created to provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete various tasks within OhioBuys. Job aids are 1-4-page documents that provide step-by-step instructions and screenshots on how to complete a particular task within OhioBuys, while learner guides provide an overview of an end-to-end process and include a collection of the most frequently used job aids for that process.
In addition to these materials, please refer to the bottom of this page for details on how to access web-based training materials for OhioBuys and which web-based courses to take.
Web-Based Training by Role Web-Based Course Listing
2.LG.1 Working with Purchase Requisitions Learner Guide (v8.4)
This guide provides you with step-by-step instructions on creating, reviewing, approving, and managing purchase requisitions in OhioBuys. The instructions in this guide are designed to cover the most common types of purchase requisitions. This guide includes a map of a standard approval path.
6.LG.1 Creating, Managing, and Awarding Solicitations Learner Guide (v3.2)
This guide provides detailed steps for creating, managing, updating, approving, and awarding solicitations. Note that this learner guide is focused on the sourcing processes for formalized solicitations that typically result in a contract between the State and a Bidder or Supplier. This guide includes a comprehensive map regarding solicitation type, what functionality is required, and direct navigation to corresponding instruction in the learner guide.
6.LG.2 Quick Quoting Learner Guide (v3.9)
A quick quote (i.e., three bids and a buy) is a standardized, simplified solicitation process that encourages additional competition and replaces the State's existing quoting practices. A quick quote needs to be completed in OhioBuys whenever a line item in a purchase requisition references a State Term Schedule (STS) contract or contains over $2,500 in non-catalog items for a Supplier. This guide covers the activities related to creating a quick quote in OhioBuys, identifying and inviting Bidders and/or Suppliers, reviewing and comparing quotes, making awards, and updating associated purchase requisitions. This guide includes a basic process overview.
9.LG.1 Creating and Managing Contracts Learner Guide (v3.3)
This learner guide covers the activities related to creating a new or amending an existing contract, and contract authoring. This guide includes a comprehensive map regarding level of activity needed for a contract, what functionality is required, and direct navigation to corresponding instruction in the learner guide.
9.LG.2 Managing Hosted Catalogs Learner Guide (v2.0)
This learner guide covers the activities related to importing a contract's associated price list, and making updates to hosted catalog items. This guide includes a process flow regarding the Hosted Catalog process as well as scenarios regarding updating the catalogs.
If you are a first-time user of OhioBuys, or do not have access to OhioBuys, please follow these steps:
Instructions on how to navigate and search OhioBuys.
Instructions on system alerts that a user might encounter in OhioBuys, explanations for each, as well as instructions on how to resolve the alert.
Instructions on how to use the forwarding functionality for purchase requisitions, contracts, solicitations, etc.
2. PURCHASE REQUISITIONS
To become familiar with creating, submitting, and approving purchase requisitions, we recommend bookmarking and reviewing the Learner Guide: 2.LG.1 Working with Purchase Requisitions Learner Guide (v8.4). This guide provides you with step-by-step instructions on creating, reviewing, approving, and managing purchase requisitions in OhioBuys. The instructions in this guide are designed to cover the most common types of purchase requisitions, but please refer to the job aids listed below for additional scenarios and instructions.
Working with Purchase Requisitions Learner Guide
Creating and Submitting Purchase Requisitions
Additional Purchase Requisition Functions
3. APPROVING PURCHASE REQUISITIONS
5. RECEIPTS AND RETURNS
6. SOLICITATIONS (INCLUDING QUICK QUOTES) LEARNER GUIDES AND JOB AIDS
To become familiar with all the sourcing capabilities in OhioBuys we recommend bookmarking and reviewing the 6.LG.1 Creating, Managing, and Awarding Solicitations Learner Guide (v3.2). This guide provides detailed steps for creating, managing, updating, approving, and awarding solicitations. Note that this learner guide is focused on the sourcing processes for formalized solicitations that typically result in a contract between the State and a Bidder or Supplier. For more information on quick quotes, please refer to the associated learner guide.
A quick quote (i.e., three bids and a buy) is a standardized, simplified solicitation process that encourages additional competition and replaces the State's existing quoting practices. A quick quote needs to be completed in OhioBuys whenever a line item in a purchase requisition references a State Term Schedule (STS) contract or contains over $2,500 in non-catalog items for a Supplier. To become familiar with the Quick Quote process in OhioBuys, we recommend bookmarking and reviewing 6.LG.2 Quick Quote Learner Guide (v3.9). This guide covers the activities related to creating a quick quote in OhioBuys, identifying and inviting Bidders and/or Suppliers, reviewing and comparing quotes, making awards, and updating associated purchase requisitions.
7. REPORTS AND QUERIES
Access and Run an Analysis Report
Instructions on how to access and run an analysis report. Analysis reports display data using graphs and dashboards, which makes available data easier to understand and fosters meaningful insights.
Instructions on how to access and run a query. Queries provide users with detailed data extracts that are sortable by category and are configurable based on user-defined parameters, such as keywords or categories.
Create and Manage Queries
Instructions on how to create a new query using the Query Wizard. The Query Wizard provides a UX-based solution for users with the reporting role to create new queries, however, it is strongly encouraged that users understand SQL to take full advantage of query creation in OhioBuys.
Modify Analysis Reports
Instructions on how to modify existing analysis reports in OhioBuys.
8. SUPPLIER MANAGEMENT
9. CONTRACTS AND CATALOGS
To become familiar with creating contracts and managing catalogs in OhioBuys, we recommend bookmarking and reviewing 9.LG.1 Creating and Managing Contracts Learner Guide (v3.3) and 9.LG.2 Managing Hosted Catalogs Learner Guide (v2.0). These learner guides cover the activities related to creating a new or amending an existing contract, contract authoring, importing a contract's associated price list, and making updates to hosted catalog items.
In addition to these learner guides, there is a video that walks through how to use OneSpan Sign to digitally sign contracts in OhioBuys:
Getting Started with OhioBuys
OhioBuys is the State of Ohio’s new online purchasing solution that empowers both government buyers and interested bidders and suppliers. To get started using OhioBuys, we recommend watching this 24-minute video with this presentation deck for reference: Ohio|Buys Supplier Training Webinar Deck. These materials cover the following topics:
Getting started in Ohio|Buys
How to manage your profile, including managing contacts and selecting commodities
Responding to Solicitations
Reviewing and Acknowledging Purchase Orders
Listing your organization's goods and/or services as part of a catalog
Supplier Training Webinars
We are excited to announce the latest OhioBuys supplier/bidder webinar schedule.
Each supplier/bidder training webinar will be one hour and held on the dates listed below. Each webinar will demonstrate accessing and navigating OhioBuys as well as will walk through how to review and respond to a State of Ohio solicitation. Please download the webinar meeting invitation file using the meeting's link, unzip it and then click the .ics file to add it to your calendar.
When it is time to join the webinar, use the below "Click Here to Join The Meeting" hyperlinks or open the calendar invite you downloaded and click on the “Click here to join the meeting” hyperlink. All supplier training webinars are hosted using Microsoft Teams. Throughout these webinars, you will have the opportunity to ask questions in the meeting chat. Questions during these webinars should be focused on how to use OhioBuys.
If you have trouble accessing the webinar, please email the team at: email@example.com
Date & Time
Webinar Meeting Invitation Link to Download
Friday, October 22
Supplier Webinar #90
Download Calendar Invite & Supporting Documents
Click Here to Join the Meeting
Friday, October 29
Supplier Webinar #91
Friday, November 5
Supplier Webinar #92
Click here to join the meeting
Friday, November 19
Supplier Webinar #93
In addition to the webinar video, we also recommend downloading and reviewing the following Learner Guides. Each guide provides comprehensive end-to-end instructions associated with a capability in OhioBuys.
Supplier Training Videos
The links below provide short video demonstrations for suppliers to become familiar with OhioBuys.
Link to Video
Accessing and Navigating OhioBuys for Existing Suppliers
Instructions on how to access OhioBuys as an existing supplier and manage your company’s profile.
Accessing and Navigating OhioBuys for New Bidders
Instructions on how to access OhioBuys as a new bidder and manage your company’s profile.
Reviewing Exceptions and Updating Improvement Plans
Provides an overview of the State’s new tools to evaluate supplier performance, document issues, and drive improvement.
Reviewing and Acknowledging Purchase Orders
Instructions on how to review purchase orders within OhioBuys and how to send an acknowledgment to the State on your intent to fulfill them.
Viewing and Responding to Solicitations
Managing Advanced Shipping Notices and Returns
Provides instructions on how to review revenue share information for a contract as well as how to report cooperative (Co-op) spend. OhioBuys is now the system of record for revenue share on a contract and PIMS will no longer be available for reporting. If your contract is a revenue share contract, you must report the quarterly dollar value (rounded to the nearest whole dollar) of the sales to political subdivisions (i.e., Co-op purchasing members) under the contract by calendar quarter (i.e., January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December). The dollar value of the sale is the price paid by Co-ops for the products and/or services listed on the purchase order or other encumbering document, as recorded by the Contractor.
Supplier Job Aids
Job aids are 1-4 page documents that provide step-by-step instructions and screenshots on how to complete a particular task within OhioBuys.
OhioBuys Helpful Hints
We continue to develop materials to help users as they are suggested. See below for more helpful tools.
OhioBuys Agency Newsletters
The OhioBuys Newsletter provides updates, helpful hints, training information, and more.
January 15 | January 29 | February 16 | March 12 | March 26
April 9 | April 23 | April 30 | May 7 | May 21 | June 4 | June 18
July 2 | July 16 | July 30 | August 13 | August 27 | September 10 | September 24
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The OhioBuys team will make FAQs available here for reference.
My agency has a procurement process in place that works. Why are we moving to OhioBuys?
Across the State, agencies have separate processes for procurement which makes it challenging to analyze overall State spending and purchasing habits. In addition, suppliers have difficulty learning these various processes across agencies. Going forward, OhioBuys will provide a standard way to do business with the State.
What is an Early Adopter Agency?
An Early Adopter Agency is a State Cabinet Agency that agreed to lead the way on the new OhioBuys solution. They were willing to work through the new system challenges and potentially two ways of working in the short term. These agencies got to support the alignment of procurement processing for the State and realize the early benefits of standardization and transparency in procurement. Most of these agencies have completed their onboarding in 2021.
Who can I talk to for details about what's changing for my group?
Each Early Adopter Agency has a lead contact – the contact list can be found on the OhioBuys website.
I don't have a Pcard. Why am I receiving updates about OhioBuys?
Early Adopter Agency Leads worked with their Agency’s Organizational Change Management (OCM) practitioner to develop a communications strategy for their particular agency. Some agencies may choose to broadcast information to a wider audience than OhioBuys users that are directly impacted.
What was the Central Design Group?
This group represented half of the Early Adopter Group and included agencies with the most complex procurement processes. This team included DOT, DMHAS, DPS, DRC, OBM and DAS. They helped to develop the Core Model of procurement processes.
What is the “Core Model”?
The Core Model represented a set of procurement processes that are standard across State agencies. This served as a platform upon which the OhioBuys solution was commonly developed and efficiently deployed to meet the needs of Agencies, as well as local governments. The State’s “Core Model” is projected to represent close to 90% of the total solution, while localizations will represent 10% or less.
How much customization was required for OhioBuys in Ohio?
The first design principle discussed in every Design Session is “Configure first, customize second.” This helped the entire team stay focused on adapting processes that would allow for configuration both across the 90% Core Model and within the 10% of agency-specific needs. This focus helped the platform remain stable, prevent a heavily customized version of the software, and increase sustainability.
Why didn’t all Early Adopter Agencies directly participate in the design process from the beginning?
Considering the tight project deadlines, when mapping various processes into the Core Model it was determined that the larger the group, the slower the design process. By working with the largest, most complex agencies first and including project team members who can also represent the smaller agency needs, the Central Design Group stayed small and worked quickly to meet project deadlines.
What should I do if I have a question about the project?
The OhioBuys Project Team has created an email box to review any questions and connect the right team resource to answer them. Some common questions may become FAQs and post to this website. All questions should be sent to: OhioBuys@das.ohio.gov
Will the OBM Pcard app impact Ohio Buys?
Not at this time. The potential to share information regarding OhioBuys Pcard orders with the OBM Pcard reconciliation app continues to be explored.
How are suppliers being made aware of OhioBuys?
Suppliers have been sent ongoing communications regarding OhioBuys to make them aware of the solution, how to register and set up their profile, as well as participate in solicitations. The project team is also calling and sending mailings to suppliers to provide more details on registration. Information on supplier training for OhioBuys is also found on our website.
What templates are available to Agencies as they begin to use OhioBuys?
DAS OPS is planning to create an OhioBuys version of the RFQ and Service Contract templates. Currently, there are internal templates being created, then the template from the Agency Toolkit will follow.
How do I access/link to the OhioBuys solution?
The OhioBuys solution is available via MyOhio>My Workspace>Applications>Apps. The tile is called Ohio OhioBuys. The agencies who have been onboarded have access to the OhioBuys solution.
Suppliers can access OHioBuys at the OhioBuys supplier landing page.
Are Master Maintenance Agreement (MMA) suppliers and contracts in OhioBuys?
Yes, both Non-IT and IT MMA’s are in OhioBuys and they have associated catalog numbers. For IT MMAs they all have a zero price. The agency will need up update the price based on their quote and attach the quote.
Is the IT Managed Services Provider contract available to use in OhioBuys?
The Managed Services Provider contract is in the system. OhioBuys has a catalog with position titles and the max price. These item prices can be modified down (similar to a STS contract). Agencies will need to include their justification and a copy of their PAD from OST, Inc. with each purchase requisition.
Does OhioBuys immediately check for budget and thresholds against OAKS?
When creating a Purchase Order, the PO is sent to OAKS in real time for budget check. That budget check status will return in approximately two minutes from OAKS.However, the PO will not be dispatched until the PO dispatch process runs at the following times:
9:00am 11:30am 3:00pm sometime after 5:00pm
This is a crucial step to ensure that the PO is within threshold tolerances before the PO is dispatched. Once dispatched, OAKS will send a Dispatched status for the PO back to OhioBuys. Upon OhioBuys receiving the dispatch status, a workflow job that runs every 30 minutes will push the PO to the next step in the workflow. Users will see their POs pushed to the next step in the workflow by approximately:
10:00am 12:00pm 4:00pm sometime after 6:00pm
How can I monitor the status of my Purchase Order as it goes to OAKS?
Requisitioners should closely monitor the status of their purchase orders (POs) in OhioBuys to ensure they were successfully encumbered and dispatched to the associated Supplier. POs that have been successfully dispatched out of OAKS will have a Status of Ordered or Acknowledged in OhioBuys. POs that have encountered integration or encumbrance errors will have a Status of In Progress. The easiest way to monitor the status of a PO is to do the following:
1. Log in to OhioBuys. From the Main Menu Navigation Bar, click Procurement and then select Browse Orders from the drop-down menu.
2. Review the Status column in the grid.
Since the Requisitioner does not receive a notification when a PO encounters an error, Requisitioners should continue with the below steps below to effectively manage their PO’s.
3. Click the Pencil icon next to the PO you would like to review.
4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and review the Integration Messages section. Take note of the text in the Description column and locate this text in the Review PO Integration Errors job aid.
5. Once you have found the corresponding message in the job aid, follow the steps in the What Users Should Do column of the job aid.
See overview below for reference:
How long can I be inactive before I will be logged out of OhioBuys?
OhioBuys' timeout is set at 30 minutes. If you are inactive for longer than 30 minutes, you will be timed out and required to log back into OhioBuys.
How do I handle the quarterly budgeting process in OhioBuys?
The standard guidance on quarterly POs applies to this situation. If a user wants encumbrances to be split across different quarters, they need to submit a separate requisition for each quarter. Similar to OAKS, these PRs will need to be submitted at the start of each quarter. For example:
1. Submit the PR for the 1st quarter now in OB with a Budget Date in Q1 of FY21.
Once the first PR is fully approved and a PO is created, take advantage of the OhioBuys duplicate PR functionality. Users can copy the first PR for multiple quarters by navigating to the Requisition page and selecting “Duplicate” from the Other Options dropdown button. Please make sure to update the budget date and other quarter-specific data in the subsequent requisitions. Each requisition will still need to complete approval workflow before becoming a PO.
2. Since the PO will be restricted to a single budget date, users will not be able to use change orders to add funds to the 1st quarter PO for the remaining quarters.
Users cannot change the budget date on an existing PO because it will create problems with vouchers.
Can we create a PO with 1st QTR money and then do a change request to add money as we need it?
Since the PO will be restricted to a single budget date, you will not be able to add funds to the 1st quarter PO for the remaining quarters. Please create a new PO for each quarter.
What if I use my supplier all year?
You will need 4 different purchase orders and the budget date on each order must coincide with the beginning of the quarter. It is very important that suppliers are aware that the order numbers will change throughout the year so that the invoices reference the correct order.
What is the schedule for the OhioBuys system releases?
The first release of OhioBuys – formerly known as eProcurement and eMarketplace, took place in December 2018. The larger scope of Procure-to-Pay was released at the end of 2019, and the Sourcing Management and Contract Management with Spend Analysis (including RFP) deployment took place November 2020 - January 2021. Only Early Adopter Agencies participated in these releases. The remaining cabinet agencies will begin onboarding with Phase 1.5 in spring 2021, and full functionality onboarding throughout Fiscal Year 2022.
Are Co-Ops using OhioBuys?
The OhioBuys project team completed a pilot with select Cooperative Purchase members in November 2020. The team will work with additional co-ops after the cabinet agencies are onboarded.
Will eLearning courses be assigned to OhioBuys users?
Using project-provided Learner Guides and Job Aids, users should visit the OhioBuys website to download these materials. Once you have your curriculum, you can search for OhioBuys courses in OhioLearn. Search using the term "Ohio Buys" for the list of courses.
Will users have access to training not associated with their role?
Yes, in OhioLearn, all courses are open for all users.
Will eLearning courses be available for review AFTER completion?
Users can revisit completed courses for review and will be able to fast-forward through to review specific sections and topics of interest.
Can a requester also be an approver in the workflow?
Yes, an individual user can be assigned multiple profiles e.g. Requester and Fiscal Approver.
Will a Pcard Requisitioner also be a Requester?
It is possible. Agency leadership will determine which users are given a Pcard, along with which OhioBuys profile the user will have. There is no linkage/dependency between the two.
Will an OhioBuys Agency Administrator be able to select or choose different workflows?
Each agency has the option to customize its agency purchase requisition approval workflow. Agency purchase requisition approval rules are managed and maintained by Agency Administrators.
Will Suppliers need to register to gain access to OhioBuys?
All suppliers and supplier contacts will need to obtain an OHID to gain access to OhioBuys. Existing Supplier users with a valid OHID will not need to re-register in order to access OhioBuys. New Bidders will need to complete the Bidder Registration process in order to access OhioBuys after securing their OHID. This process can be started from the Supplier landing page.
As a Supplier, how will I be notified that I have new purchase order activity in OhioBuys?
Supplier contacts receive an email notification any time that a quick quote or solicitation has been posted, and when a new purchase order or change order has been dispatched. These notifications also appear in the Validations pane on the Supplier’s homepage and in the My Pending Validations section of their profile. If the supplier does not have contacts associated in their contact record, they will not receive notifications.
What are exceptions?
Exceptions are formal complaints created against a Supplier (e.g., incorrect products are sent) or compliments sent to a Supplier (e.g., consistently deliver ahead of schedule). All state users in OhioBuys may create exceptions; however, they must be approved before being officially logged and the Supplier notified. Exceptions can be applied to any Supplier and attached to nearly any process in OhioBuys including purchase orders, receipts, etc.
Can I upload a catalog even though I don’t have a State contract?
Suppliers are able to request an OhioBuys Direct Purchase Contract. In these instances, a Supplier will upload a price list for items to be included in the catalog and submit it to the State. The State will then create a contract in OhioBuys to obtain the supplier’s agreement with standard terms and conditions and upon the supplier’s signature, the price list will be added to the catalog and made available to users shopping in the system.
An OhioBuys Direct Purchase Contract is a type of contract Suppliers can directly enter in to with State of Ohio Agencies, Boards, and Commissions in order to sell goods and services in OhioBuys. Typically, a direct purchase contract will include an open market pricelist and may not be the result of a solicitation process. Purchases made by State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions against these contracts are tracked against direct purchase and Controlling Board thresholds. See Ohio Administrative Policy PM-01 Purchasing Procedures for additional details regarding Controlling Board and Direct Purchase Thresholds and quoting guidance.
The Catalog Analysts will receive the request, create the contract, go through the approval workflow to obtain a signed Contract, and then continue to approve the Supplier’s price list to be added to that Contract.
In addition, some of the key activities a supplier can perform in OhioBuys include:
Supplier Administrators can also manage their company’s account (contacts, commodities offered, etc.) directly in OhioBuys.
Can you have a separate OHID for your team to receive Bidder information, or do you have to have on OHID for the company?
Each individual user accessing OhioBuys must have an individual OHID.
Are there any resources to help businesses learn how to properly prepare a response to a bid if they are new to state contracting?
Yes, training resources are located on the OhioBuys website at das.ohio.gov/ohiobuys. Click on the Training tab and then click on Supplier Training to access videos, learner guides, and job aids.
I am going through the MBE process. Do I wait to register for OhioBuys until its approved?\
Bidders and suppliers should register for OhioBuys as soon as possible to avoid missing out on opportunities to do business with the State; Bidders can register and then submit a change request in OhioBuys when information on their account needs updated. Suppliers’ information will be updated in the State’s accounting system and automatically sent over to OhioBuys.
OhioBuys 2021 Rollout
OhioBuys is being rolled out in phases. The initial phase (Phase 1) included three releases with Early Adopter Agencies from 2017 through early 2021.
Phase 1.5 introduced OhioBuys to the remaining Cabinet agencies as well as select Agencies, Boards, Commissions, and Cooperative Purchase Members using existing functions in various legacy systems.
Phase 1.5 Training Materials are available on the Training tab.
The following cabinet agencies will be onboarded into OhioBuys by quarter through April 2022.
OhioBuys will roll out to non-superintendent agencies, boards, commissions, higher education institutions, and local governments in 2022 and beyond.
4200 Surface Road
Columbus, Ohio 43228
Wayne McCulty, Deputy Chief Procurement Officer
Community Rehabilitation Programs
IT Staff Augmentation
Procurement Compliance Checklist
State Term Schedule Guidance
Help and Reference Materials
for Agency Forms
for Supplier Forms