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The Sourcing Process

Buyer decides on Suppliers to use

The first step of the process is the buyer deciding which suppliers to use on a sourcing activity (RFI, RFQ, Auction etc) and informing them that we will be running this electronically using our new Oracle Sourcing platform. This is usually by email and will contain terms, conditions and contact information for use during the activity.

Buyer creates any new Suppliers and or Users

If the suppliers do not exist on the platform then they and any new users will be created by the buyer. The creation of Suppliers on the system has no impact on the supplier or supplier user. A user is someone at the supplier who will complete the responses to any activity.

Supplier (new) user completes registration

As soon as the new user is created an email will be sent to them asking them to complete the registration process; i.e. logon and change the temporary password. This email contains the URL to login to the iSupplier Portal where all activities are run and a contact point if there are any access issues.


At this stage the user will not see any sourcing activities, unless their company had been previously invited to some, with other users.


If the users required already exist then they will not receive this registration email, as they will have already completed this stage previously.

Buyer sets up the Sourcing activity

The next stage is that the buyer decides to setup a Sourcing activity. They will then invite various suppliers and associated user to the activity. Each activity has an Open and a Close date - the dates/times between which suppliers can draft and submit responses. Optionally the buyer may have set a Preview date prior to the Open date - during this period (Preview to Open) suppliers can view all the settings and documents for the activity, but not submit a response.

Suppliers receive invitation email

The invited supplier user will receive an invitation email to the activity, which is sent to them upon the date and time of either the Preview (if set) or Open date. This email also places an alert in the Suppliers work list so you can access the activity without seeing the email if you need to. Once the alert has been actioned, you will need to use the various menus or search options to navigate to the activity on subsequent accesses to the system - see below.

Suppliers respond to activity

Once the activity open date and time has been reached the supplier user can then draft and submit their response(s) to the activity until it closes. Suppliers must submit at least one response before BT will be able to accept it formally and use it in adjudication etc.

More Information

For more information please read either the short Easy Reference Guide here or the comprehensive Responding to a Sourcing Activity guide here. This website contains information about BT Procurement and the Sourcing tool, see the iSupplier option.