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Request for Bid, Questions & Answers

Questions and answers have been grouped together into their respective sections from the request for bid document. Any other questions that fall outside of those areas are in the last section labeled "General Questions".

1.3 OBJECTIVES

  • 1. In section 1.3 #1 you state that you want to update the capabilities of customer service online, what are some existing customer service topics and challenges?

    ISLD would like to update the new site to allow for more interaction with the customer. We want customers to have the ability to review/rate items, submit cocktail recipes, review/rate recipes, pay for items online for pick up in store and create wish lists and a customer loyalty program.
    ISLD currently has separate web portals for our retail and our by-the-drink licensee customers. This results in redundant information on different servers that require separate data feeds for similar information and provide ISLD the ability to communicate with both customer groups at the same time.

  • 2. In section 1.3 #3, you reference the retail customer user portal, is that currently the .gov portal? What other “portals” currently exist within the State Liquor ecosystem? Are there other log-in areas?

    ISLD has two portals hosted on our .gov site. They two portals are (1)the Licensee Portal (for by-the-drink licensees to send in order requests product replenishment for pick up in store and to submit special order requests to our state operated retail store locations), and (2)the Supplier/Broker Portal (used by our supplier partners to view their product information and history). ISLD retail customers do not currently have a separate portal (they use MixBlendEnjoy, but do not have any log in capability).
    http://liquor.idaho.gov/licensee/default.aspx
    http://liquor.idaho.gov/suppliers/login.aspx

  • 3. On page 3, section 1.3, item 3, what does “automate manual updates when possible” mean?

    Simply put, ISLD prefers to automate as many of these updates as possible.

  • 4. Since the existing .gov portals are behind the State of Idaho’s firewall, what is your vision with the two websites and the existing portal(s)? In what facets will they play together if at all?

    The goal of this project is to combine access for ISLD retail customers on the new MixBlendEnjoy website while leaving the Suppliers/Brokers portal on the .gov site behind the State of Idaho’s firewall. While there is some overlap of information between these two groups, the two sites do not need to interact.

  • 5. On page 3, section 1.3, item 4, in regard to integrating the license ordering portal and the broker/supplier inventory portal, can the new MBE site just take the user to the .gov site for this functionality or does it have to be a seamless integration? If it has to be seamless, does the .gov site have an API for accessing this functionality?

    No, ISLD wants to migrate the licensee portal to the MBE site. ISLD plans to remove the existing portal from the .gov site. We do not want these sites to be integrated and have no plans at this time to create an API to communicate between these systems.

  • 6. Regarding goals #5 and #6 in your 1.3 objectives – are there any specific audience/demographic considerations we should also employ while re-addressing design look, feel and cohesion, etc?

    Retail Customers: 21 and older with a nod to adults 25-64.
    By-the-drink Licensees: Staff that work in bars, restaurants, or any other location that has a liquor license for by-the-drink sales.
    Business Partners: Suppliers, Brokers, staff working at our contract store partner locations.
    ISLD associates: clerks at state store locations.

1.4 BID AND PROJECT TIMELINE

  • 7. Is the estimated time line of 4/1/20 to 6/30/20 a firm date range for completion of the site or is the end date subject to change based on RFP responses?

    ISLD’s expectation is for the site to be completed by then, but understand that delays can occur during the build out process.

  • 8. Is the estimated project completion date of 6/30/2020 a hard deadline or is there any flexibility based on the requested scope?

    ISLD’s expectation is for the site to be completed by then, but understand that delays can occur during the build out process.

3.3 NEW WEBSITE IMPROVEMENTS

Section 3.3.1 – E-commerce Engine

  • 9. In section 3.3 #1 it talks about ecommerce purchase methods, are we making all items purchasable? How exactly does that work? Go pick it up? Shipping?

    Not at this time. Initially, we would like to have allocated, Rare Whiskey Release items available for pre-payment at the time winner(s) are selected. Each bottle will then be shipped to the store location for pick up by the winning customer after payment is received.
    Licensee EFT payments will need to be billed after the sale is completed at the store. Based on these initial sales transactions, we will evaluate our business plan for ecommerce in the future.

  • 10. How will the Order Sheet relate to the Ecommerce site or are they separate?

    The order sheet is a customizable list that Licensee Users can set up. It is unique to the licensee’s account. Each licensee may currently set up only one order sheet. When a licensee creates an order request, they may choose to view the availability of the items on their custom order sheet against inventory of the store they select. The licensee users will need to have this ability when creating an order request on the ecommerce site.

  • 11. Is the Order Sheet an option to repurchase from a previous Order?

    No. Licensees can copy a previous order to their cart, but that is a separate function.

  • 12. Does any of the specified functionality for the rare product lottery exist on the current website?

    The functionality primarily resides in Wordpress forms that are integrated into constantcontact.com
    Yes, initially ISLD plans to have pick-up orders at stores for special order items.

  • 13. Is it intended that e-commerce functionality will eventually extend beyond lottery winners to the ability for the general public to purchase products on the MBE site?

    Yes.

Section 3.3.1.a

  • 14. Will you be utilizing the current inventory database between the two sites?

    The two sites are completely separate. They maintain independent copies of the inventory database that are updated from our ERP data.

  • 15. How will inventory and orders need to be maintained between the two systems?

    Until our ERP is replaced, the licensee orders placed through the website do not affect ERP inventory. They are requests only. The actual update to the store inventory happens at the store level when the product is sold. Then, the ERP inventory is updated when sales post.

  • 16. Does the current back-end inventory system have an API we can integrate with?

    No.

  • 17. Is the API accessible outside of the State of Idaho ITS Firewall?

    N/A

  • 18. What is the current back-end inventory system and version?

    ACCPAC (a Sage product) – customized for ISLD, Version 6.5.

Section 3.3.3 – Product Importer

  • 19. What is current process for the Product Importer?

    The data feed is a JSON file that is uploaded to an FTP server to be processed.

  • 20. Is this done by automated or manual process?

    Multiple automated processes – one on the ISLD side generates the JSON file and uploads it to the server. There is a process on the other side that imports the file.

  • 21. What is the Product Importer built in?

    The process that builds the JSON file is currently built in FoxPro. The process that imports the JSON file was not created by ISLD.

  • 22. How is this administered?

    ISLD created and maintains the FoxPro portion of the code that generates and uploads the JSON file.

  • 23. What is the source database written in?

    The ERP data used to generate the JSON file is in Microsoft Visual FoxPro version 7. This database lives behind the State of Idaho firewall. The database used by MixBlendEnjoy is MySQL.

  • 24. Can ISLD provide the Name Correction list for importer?

    ISLD can provide the current list, but we do not want this list to be static. Our ERP system currently stores all product names in CAPS, so we have corrections for product names based on this limitation. As new products are added to our portfolio, we need the ability to add corrections based on the proper capitalization of these names.

    Original Text:
    | Vsop|
    | Vs|
    | Xo|
    |Rc |
    |Tgi |
    |Cinna-sugar|
    |Uv |
    | Of |
    |Mccormick|
    |Cw Irwin|
    |Vxop|
    |Omg |
    |Wl Weller|
    |Xxx |
    | And |
    |A.h. Hirsch|
    |Mcgillicuddy|
    |Louis Xiii|
    |Hrd |
    |Fever-tree|
    |Rumchata|
    |J.p. Wiser|
    |E.h. Taylor Jr.|
    |I.w. Harper|
    |7x|
    |Ez Pour|
    |(Replica)|
    |(replica)|
    |L&p |
    Replacement Text:
    | VSOP|
    | VS|
    | XO|
    |RC |
    |TGI |
    |Cinna-Sugar|
    |UV |
    | of |
    |McCormick|
    |CW Irwin|
    |VXOP|
    |OMG |
    |WL Weller|
    |XXX |
    | and |
    |A.H. Hirsch|
    |McGillicuddy|
    |Louis XIII|
    |HRD |
    |Fever-Tree|
    |RumChata|
    |J.P. Wiser|
    |E.H. Taylor JR.|
    |I.W. Harper|
    |7X|
    |EZ Pour|
    ||
    ||
    |L&P |

Section 3.3.4 – Locations Page

  • 25. How does the website get available inventory data for each location?

    This is currently done by an automated process. Since there are multiple existing portals, the data import happens in slightly different ways. In both cases, updates are made overnight based on the latest sales data reported by store locations. This is done either by a connection to the database or by an importer with a specified file format (JSON). At the time of a query, the information is pulled from the local database.

Section 3.3.6 – Product Reviews

  • 26. Do we have to create an approval Workflow for Product Reviews and Cocktail Recipes?

    Anything that gives us more insight into what you propose for our website is more than welcome.

Section 3.3.8 – Licensee Portal, http://liquor.idaho.gov/licensee/

  • 27. Since the existing .gov portals are behind the State of Idaho’s firewall, what is your vision with the 2 websites and the existing portal(s)? In what facets will they play together if at all?

    The goal of this project is to combine access for customers that purchase from our store locations onto the new MixBlendEnjoy website while leaving the Suppliers/Brokers portal on the .gov site behind the State of Idaho’s firewall. While there is some overlap of information between these two groups, the two sites do not need to interact.

  • 28. Are you planning to move the existing Portals to the Mix Blend Website? Or are you planning to keep the two sites separate and tasks distinct?

    ISLD wants the Licensee Portal moved into the MixBlendEnjoy website. All other portals will remain distinct and in their current locations.

  • 29. Including security authentication and Order Processing?

    Currently, the availability on MixBlendEnjoy is based on the inventory at the store locations. This is separate from the warehouse inventory that is visible to the supplier/broker partners.

  • 30. Can you explain your security Authentication/Authorization plan with the two sites hosted in different facilities?

    We currently use different passwords on each server/site.

  • 31. If hosted separately will 2 distinct logins/passwords suffice?

    Yes. Two separately maintained logins/passwords will be acceptable.

  • 32. How do submitted order sheets need to be received by ISLD?

    The Order Sheet used by licensees to assist in placing their order is not reviewed by us. It is a custom list to allow the Licensees to easily place requests for their most common products.
    In terms of how order requests are sent to ISLD: currently the orders are recorded in the website database and then an automated process downloads the orders and formats them to be passed to the store program for import.

  • 33. Can we get a test login to demo the Portal process requests? If not, can we have a demo of the requested requirements?

    Yes, but we will need to schedule this for a specific time and notify the stores that these test orders will be submitted to their locations. Please also see the linked User Guide for additional functional details of the current portal.

Section 3.3.9 – Product Information

  • 34. How is current site content generated?

    The data feeds for all of our sites (product information and quantities) are generated from our ERP data and then uploaded to the site. The articles (What’s Shaking, News, Recipes, etc.) are created manually.

  • 35. Where does it reside?

    The ERP is behind the State of Idaho firewall and is not externally accessible.

  • 36. How does dynamic/seasonal content make it to the site?

    Products are loaded to the site based on product type and on hand quantity at store locations. When seasonal products arrive in the store, they will appear on the website with available quantity per location.

  • 37. How does the MBE site know when products are on sale?

    The nightly data feed to MBE contains information to determine if a product is on sale. Currently, the JSON feed has the fields price, sale_price, and sale_end. These three fields are used to identify products that are on sale.

Section 3.3.10 – Store Information

  • 38. What is the functionality required for the Pickup Appointment Times?

    Store pickup times are set per store with a number of in person and delivery appointments per block. These blocks are customized based on day of week. (A block consists of store number, day of week, start time, stop time, maximum number of in person pickups, maximum number of third party delivery pickups.) Additionally, we have the capability to record store closures to prevent appointments from being scheduled during that time.

  • 39. Does ISLD currently use a 3rd party platform for scheduling and managing pickup appointments?

    No.

Section 3.3.11 – Delivery Company Information

  • 40. Do the Delivery Company accounts exist today? Or is this entirely net new functionality?

    The first delivery company was approved for delivery on January 7, 2020. Delivery Companies do not have accounts. Requesting delivery by these third party companies is an option to licensee customers at the time they place their order request. Payment to the delivery service for this delivery is handled outside of the licensee portal – it is a transaction between the Licensee and the Delivery Service. There may be multiple delivery companies.

  • 41. How will this information be displayed/used on the front-end of the website?

    There is a menu option available to the Licensees that shows the Third Party Delivery Service fees and schedules based on store locations. These delivery services will show up when the user is placing an order from a location where delivery is available as options for order pickup method.

  • 42. Is the Third Party Delivery Service just information that needs to be provided for ISLD to reference, or is there additional functionality (like interactive appointment scheduling or managing multiple delivery services)?

    Users select a pickup date, time, and method from the available appointments at each store location. If multiple delivery services deliver from a single store, those services will appear in the drop-down for the licensee to select. Delivery Service(s) have settings that determine estimated cost for delivery, times of operation, and locations served.

Section 3.3.12 – Director’s Club

  • 43. Do the Director’s Club accounts exist today?

    No.

  • 44. Is this an extend set of privileges to an existing account on mix Blend Enjoy or new functionality entirely?

    New Functionality.

3.4 – NEW WEBSITE STRUCTURE

  • 45. Regarding section 3.4 “Show proposed structure”. Can you clarify if you are looking for creative design elements or wire frame or other?

    Wire frames, navigation or page structure.

  • 46. What do you mean by “show the proposed structure of the new website”? Will you please expand/clarify?

    We’d like to see your proposed site structure, navigation, wire frames.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  • 47. Broadly speaking--How much of the functionality listed already exists on the website vs. how much would be new functionality to be created?

    It would all be new functionality. The existing website is in Wordpress. We want to get away from that CMS and have something more robust.

  • 48. Will the rare product lottery “drawing” be an automated function of the website, or is it done manually by someone at ISLD?

    The lottery portion of this process is handled by the Idaho Lottery. If you have an idea on how this can be handled, tell us.

  • 49. Are there any special considerations for fulfillment of purchased products (e.g. pickup at a specific store)?

    Yes, initially we plan to have pick-up orders at stores for special order items.

  • 50. Who is the primary user of this website and what is the action that we want them to take on the website? I know you say “retail customers”, but is there a more specific persona that you are targeting?

    Retail Customers: 21 and older with a nod to adults 25-64.
    By-the-drink Licensees: Staff that work in bars, restaurants, or any other location that has a liquor license for by-the-drink sales.
    Business Partners: Suppliers, Brokers, staff working at our contract store partner locations.
    ISLD associates: clerks at state store locations.

  • 51. Can you share with us any parameters, guidelines, or restrictions regarding your promotional or advertising hero graphic area on the landing page?

    There are no parameters, guidelines or restrictions. We want the home page to be engaging, captivating and easy to navigate.

  • 52. What is your current infrastructure?

    Wordpress.

  • 53. What is the current hosting environment?

    Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

  • 54. What is the current platform that the site is built on?

    Our sites are built on multiple platforms, multiple databases, and are hosted in several different environments. They include MySQL, SQL, ASP/C#.net,ASP/ VB.net and PHP. Mixblendenjoy.com is built in Wordpress.

  • 55. Are you currently using any analytics software or implementing SEO? (Google Analytics, Omniture, etc.) If so, can you share the data?

    Google Analytics. Yes.

  • 56. How is the site currently functioning, is it successful, is it known, and are there any metrics we can study or research to help us assess traffic flow, usability habits, etc?

    We have detailed Google Analytics from mixblendenjoy.com. SEO has been done on the site and it shows up second on Google right under the state website www.liquor.idaho.gov.

  • 57. Are there any future marketing efforts in which Mix, Blend Enjoy will roll into? Are there post-launch activities that will drive traffic to the site?

    N/A

  • 58. Do you have a current design firm you want to utilize for this project?

    No.

  • 59. Do you have internal Designers or Design Team that will be involved in this project? Please explain their role(s) in this project.

    Taylor Barnes will be the internal designer here at ISLD. His role will be to help facilitate a smooth design process between the selected bidder and the ISLD. He’ll be the point of contact for any questions or concerns.

  • 60. Will we be restricted to use the State of Idaho web templates for the re-design of this website?

    No. This is a .com website. It is not considered a .gov (state of Idaho) website.

  • 61. Who is responsible for the Mix Blend Enjoy button code (Modal window) behind on the Licensee Login page?

    That is code from the state given to us when we redesigned liquor.idaho.gov. I modified it to suit our needs.

  • 62. Does MBE administer the rare releases lottery system?

    Yes – the MBE site collects the entry forms for each lottery. The Administrator is able to export the list of entrants to send to the Idaho Lottery for the winner selection drawing.

  • 63. What functionality for it is currently in place?

    The functionality is primarily through forms that are created in wordpress and are integrated with constantcontact.com.

  • 64. Do you want a site map as part of our proposal?

    Sure, anything that gives us a clear picture of your proposal is welcome.

  • 65. Do you have a size or page limit for the .pdf submission?

    No.

  • 66. We would like to submit samples of past work. May we do so in an appendix or is a separate document appropriate?

    Either way is fine.

  • 67. Are there existing brand guidelines? If so, when was the last time they were refreshed and would you be willing to share them with us?

    Regarding the MixBlendEnjoy logo – that is a set font and color. We can provide you a copy of that image for use if you require it.

  • 68. Are you currently working with an agency? If so, is there a reason you are looking to make a change?

    Foerstel created this website in WordPress because of limited funds at the time. It has served us well but we want something more robust.

  • 69. What does success look like 3-5 years after the new site launches?

    Success would be full E-commerce transactions, Director Club accounts where customers upload recipes, rate and comment. Our technical success criteria are a site that has high uptime, low latency, and few errors.

  • 69. Can you provide an ideal budget range?

    Based on the criteria outlined in the request for bid document, respondents should use their best judgment when submitting their scope of work and price bid.

Request For Bid PDF