Need help?

If there is anything you're not sure about when using Open, we are here to help.

Our FAQs below cover our most popular queries and might have the answer you are looking for.

Got something specific you'd like to ask us? Email us at open.support@nepo.org. 

 

FAQ's

What is Open?

Open is the new e-procurement solution, designed and developed by NEPO. Open will replace the NEPO Portal and become the place to find and compete for tendering opportunities.

Why should I register?

Quickly find opportunities - your new personalised dashboard will provide suggested opportunities relevant to you. Open will continuously improve to provide more specific and tailored opportunities to you. Interact with opportunities easily - it's now easier for you to respond and bid for public sector opportunities. Where possible, Open will store your information and relay this within the system to remove duplication. This means less time on administration and more time for adding value to your bids. Manage awarded contracts - we've improved the ways you stay connected with public sector organisations throughout the project lifecycle. Open provides you with an easy view of contracts, communication and important dates.

I have registered an account, however can't find any opportunities. What do I need to do?

Open will be adopted on a phased roll-out of tendering opportunities during 2024 but don't worry, we will notify you when relevant opportunities are published. ‘Relevant opportunities’ are chosen based upon the Categories and Area of Delivery you have selected in the company account.

Are opportunities currently being issued via Open and the NEPO Portal?

Yes. During the implementation phase of Open, opportunities will be issued via both tendering systems. This means that once an Authority has implemented Open, they will cease advertising on the NEPO Portal and will solely advertise via Open. The aim is that all North East local authorities will migrate to Open during 2024. Following migration, all authorities will issue all opportunities via Open.

My temporary password has elapsed – how can I access my account?

You can reset your initial temporary password by using the ‘Forgot password?’ link on the Login page. You will receive an email with a verification link, please follow the instructions to reset your password.

How do I sign up to receive notifications of opportunities from Open?

Once you have registered your company on Open you will receive a weekly email of Opportunities you may be interested in based upon the Categories and Area of Delivery you have chosen. These Opportunities will also be visible in the ‘Suggested Opportunities’ tile of your Homepage dashboard.

Why am I not receiving any notifications from Open?

Please add notifications@open-uk.org to your safe sender list to ensure they don’t end up in your junk folder! Also, ensure you have Codes and Categories of interest applied to your account.

I'm currently the admin, how do I add other colleagues to ensure they receive notifications?

At the top right hand side of your homepage, under your profile select 'Manage User Accounts'. This will take you to the 'User Management' area. Here you can create additional accounts and assign the level of access. As an administrator you can also edit and disable user accounts where required.

How do I add or change Codes & Categories?

The Codes & Categories you choose determine the opportunities that are highlighted to you, both in the 'Suggested Opportunities' area and via the weekly email notifications. Don't forget, you will need administrator access to assign Codes & Categories. The Codes & Categories can be added or removed from 'My Profile' and you can change them at any time by clicking 'Edit' at the top right hand side of your profile. A handy tip is to select all Codes & Categories that relate to the goods and services your business provides - this will ensure you receive notifications of relevant opportunities.

What help is available?

We have created various how-to guides so you can learn the system at your own pace.

Can I assign different delivery areas to specific codes & categories?

Your chosen delivery areas apply to all the categories that you have selected. Each Regional Office can select a different set of categories and delivery areas, as they are independent to both the head office and regional office accounts.

Will I still be able to access information within past opportunities and contract information currently held in the NEPO portal?

All historic data will be visible in ProContract until the end of our contract (currently planned for 1 April 2025). At this point, the NEPO Portal and its members will be removed from the list of users of that system and as such, no past data will be available. If you are engaging with other organisations outside of the NEPO Portal, this data will be retained. We would strongly suggest you copy/download any information you wish to retain by this cut-off date. Data migration is an area we are exploring for awarded contracts only and further updates will follow on this.

How do I communicate with the buyer through Open regarding an opportunity?

Open allows suppliers to communicate with buyers using the 'correspondence' section within the opportunity. Once you have expressed interest, navigate to the opportunity, scroll down to 'correspondence' click 'view' and then press 'add' in the top right corner. This will allow you to create your message and send to the buyer. You will be notified via email when they have replied and also see a notification in system with a link to the response.

How do I contact the Open Support team if I have any queries?

You can contact the Open support team by emailing - open.support@nepo.org or you can scroll to the bottom of www.open-uk.org page and press contact us and complete the form on the front page. The support team are on hand to deal with any technical queries you may have. For opportunity specific questions, please raise these through the correspondence section of the Project.

Is my data secure?

Please visit https://open-uk.org/privacy-policy to view information on how we collect, use and keep your data secure.

Is Open free to use?

Yes. Registering and using the Open portal is completely free.

How many opportunities will I be able to bid for through Open?

You can bid for as many opportunities as you like. There are no restrictions to how many organisations you can work with or how many opportunities you can bid for. If you change your mind after expressing interest in a project, this will not preclude you from bidding on any future projects.

Will there be more features added to Open in the near future?

We are continuously developing Open to provide our suppliers with the very best user experience by adding new features and functionality. We are still in the BETA phase and would welcome any feedback you'd like to share by the completing the contact us form at "www.open-org.uk/contact". There will be no system downtime when new releases take place so you shouldn't be affected. Keep an eye on the user guides and videos which will be updated to show new features as the become available..

How do I view opportunities without logging into Open?

If you go to "www.open-uk.org" then 'Browse Opportunities' this will provide you with all of the active opportunities through Open. Use the search and filters to find what you're looking for.

Will I be able to use Open on my mobile devices (smartphones, laptops & tablets)?

Yes. The Open system is compatible with all devices. We are continuing to work on the interface to ensure a simple and straightforward user experience and you will see improvements in this area in the coming months.

Where will I be able to see contracts that have been awarded to suppliers?

To view any contracts that have been awarded through Open, go to "https://www.open-uk.org/contracts-register". You can use the Search and filters to find what you're looking for.

Do I need to upload a document to each lot that we are interested in bidding for?

If the Questionnaire has been shared across the lots by the buyer, once you fill this in and mark 'Complete', you will see it populate and mark as complete against any lots you are bidding for. If you complete the questionnaire against one Lot and the others are still marked as 'In Progress', this means they need to be individually completed for the lot you are bidding for. You will then be able to select 'Submit All' to submit your final submission.

Is there any training available?

We have created various how-to guides so you can learn the system at your own pace. We will also be developing short video tutorials and will have a range of one-to-one and group support sessions via drop-ins and webinars. Stay tuned for more details!

How can I update my company name in Open?

If your registered company name has changed since you joined Open, you should contact Open support (open.support@nepo.org) and request a name change. You will be required to provide evidence of the change via a Companies House record or similar.