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Suppliers FAQs

What are the benefits of trading on GeM?
Will I get access to more buyers and therefore more business?
I already trade on an eMarket platform (such as Parabilis, Science Warehouse or SciQuest). Why would I want to trade on another eMarket platform?
Will those universities and colleges who already have an eMarket be able to trade on GeM?
How are Institutional local contracts managed if they are not members of a Consortium?
Is the sector effectively marketing GeM to buyers and suppliers alike?
Can I also trade with my other customers?
Can I just talk to someone about GeM and the implications for my business?
What are the costs of GeM to suppliers?
Can I trade on GeM if I have no e-commerce capability?
Who provides the ecommerce platform?
Can I trade on GeM if I already have an e-commerce site?
I am eligible to trade on GeM and already trade on the @UK PLC eMarketplace platform what are my options?
What is the difference between a hosted site and punch-out?
How long will it take to be setup on GeM?
Is the use of Corporate Purchasing Cards mandated?
What is the percentage of Universities that have or use a Corporate Purchasing Cards?
What do I need to do to accept purchase card payments online?
How can I get an eMerchant account and what will it cost?
Can I use my own bank for an eMerchant account?
I already have an eMerchant account can I use it on GeM?
Can I have more than one eMerchant account?
My products/service cannot be made into a price list how can I trade on GeM?
Certain products must be sold via mini-tender. How will purchasers realise this is the case?
Will someone handhold my company through the setup process etc.

What is GeM?

What are the benfits of trading on GeM?

The GeM eMarketplace is a free channel to market which will provide you with the opportunity to easily sell to GeM users and gain new accounts that should increase your business with the sector. In addition you will receive payments within five days and have no risks of bad debt.

Will I get access to more buyers and therefore more business?

Yes; GeM is available to all UK higher education institutions and members of the regional purchasing consortia. GeM offers a quick and easy route for buyers to purchase contracted goods and services. GeM is only open to contracted suppliers and they should see their business increase as off contract spend is reduced

I already trade on an eMarket platform (such as Parabilis, Science Warehouse or SciQuest). Why would I want to trade on another eMarket platform?

The existing emarkets are only used by around 50% of the universities and very few of the FE colleges. GeM makes the benefits of an eMarketplaces available to around a further 60 universities as well as FE colleges so will be one of the largest sector based eMarketplaces.

Will those universities and colleges who already have an eMarketplace be able to trade on GeM?

Yes. GeM has a range of functions that are attractive to all buyers. We anticipate that institutions using other eMarketplaces might also use some of the functionality of GeM alongside their existing eProcurement system. For example contract information, Request for Quote and price comparisons.

How are Institutional local contracts managed if they are not members of a Consortium?

An institution can put their local contracts onto GeM for their own use.

Is the sector effectively marketing GeM to buyers and suppliers alike?

Yes. We have a marketing plan to promote GeM both to the sector and suppliers. The regional purchasing consortia are also supporting GeM.

Can I also trade with my other customers?

Yes. GeM is part of bigger eMarketplace managed by cloudBuy (formerly@UK PLC) and once you are set up on GeM you can also set your company up to trade with other customers outside of GeM. For more details please contact cloudBuy by emailing support@cloudBuy.com

What are the costs of GeM to suppliers?

The site is provided free, there will be costs from your payment service provider associated with setting up and running an eMerchant account. Extending your relationship with cloudBuy may incur additional charges. 

Can I trade on GeM if I have no e-commerce capability?

Yes. You will need to prepare a priced catalogue of goods and services in an Excel format that will be hosted on GeM. You will then be able to manage any product and price changes on-line to update your catalogue and will receive email orders from GeM.

Who provides the ecommerce platform?

The platform is hosted by cloudBuy (formerly@UKPLC). Further information on cloudBuy can be found at www.cloudbuy.com

Can I trade on GeM if I already have an e-commerce site?

Yes. You will need to build a simple interface with GeM and have an eMerchant account.

I am eligible to trade on GeM and already trade on the cloudBuy eMarketplace platform what are my options?

You will need to prepare contract pricing information and ensure that you have an eMerchant account.

What is the difference between a hosted site and punch-out?

A hosted site is one where all transactions are carried out in the cloudBuy ecommerce site. A punch-out link connects your existing webstore directly to GeM.

How long will it take to be setup on GeM?

If you already have an eMerchant account, it can be a matter of days. All you have to do is provide us with an Excel priced catalogue of your contract items and then set yourself up on GeM. If you need an eMerchant account this normally takes between four and six weeks.

Is the use of Corporate Purchasing Cards mandated?

Yes. To be able to accept purchase orders through GeM you must be able to accept purchasing card payments over the internet.

What is the percentage of Universities that have or use a Corporate Purchasing Cards?

A survey of Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) indicated that 98 % have a purchasing card programme. The vast majority of Further Education Colleges (FEC’s) also have purchase card programmes.

What do I need to do to accept purchase card payments online?

Your company will need an eMerchant account with one of our GeM compatible payment service providers (PSP). Barclays (ePDQ extra plus), SagePay, WorldPay (Invisible XML), and PayPal(Website payments pro) are currently GeM compatible.

How can I get an eMerchant account and what will it cost?

The PSP market is a competitive one. There are small costs associated with an eMerchant account and we recommend that you get more than one quotation from different providers.  Your bank may be able to help. The advantages of receiving payment by purchase card outweigh these costs.

Can I use my own bank for an eMerchant account?

Yes, provided that they can integrate with one of the PSP providers listed above.

I already have an eMerchant account can I use it on GeM?

Yes provided that your existing eMerchant account is from one of the compatible PSPs and they have given you permission to trade on GeM.

Can I have more than one eMerchant account?

Yes.

My products/service cannot be made into a price list how can I trade on GeM?

GeM catalogue  formats are extremely flexible.  You may still be able to provide a catalogue…. even for services. Even if your products or services are bespoke you will still be able to trade using the request for quote option.

Certain products must be sold via mini-tender. How will purchasers realise this is the case?

GeM has an on-line Request for Quotation (RFQ) function. This allows suppliers to easily respond on-line to institution requests for quotation and is compliant with the EU procurement directives.

Will someone handhold my company through the setup process etc.?

For help and advise on setting up your eccomerce website on GeM please contact support@cloudBuy.com