Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions
- How can Business Services/Purchasing assist my department?
- Where can I find the University Vendor Lists?
- When I submit a New Master Vendor Form, sometimes I am contacted by Purchasing to provide more information about the vendor. Why?
- Why do I need approval and a PO issued before I obtain an item for my department?
- How do I find out about the latest changes and updates that have taken place with Business Services/Purchasing?
- Who in administration is authorized to sign a contractual agreement?
How can Business Services/Purchasing assist my department?
When purchasing an item for your department, Business Services/Purchasing can assist you in sourcing the vendor that will bring value and savings to your department and the university. There are certain vendors that the university has developed an exclusive partnership with which need to be used.
Purchasing can assist by:
- Analyzing departmental purchasing needs to maximize your annual cost savings.
- Providing assistance when developing your departmental Purchase Requisitions or POCA's (change orders).
Where can I find the University Vendor Lists?
Vendor listings can be found under the Business & Finance web page listed under Business Services/Purchasing. Access to the following vendor information is available:
These lists contain product and service categories. The lists are periodically evaluated and updated to maintain current information. Contact numbers have also been added to assist departments. If you have any questions about a specific vendor, please contact:
- Medical Vendors: Anne Becker | firstname.lastname@example.org | 977-1455
- Research Vendors: Ellen Borowiak | email@example.com | 977-7045
- University Vendors: Todd Vodnansky| firstname.lastname@example.org | 977-7044
When I submit a New Master Vendor Form, sometimes I am contacted by Purchasing to provide more information about the vendor. Why?
Purchasing checks for several items:
- Missing information: Address, phone/fax, email address, Fed ID number, requisition number. Minority Business Status information is now required on all Master Vendor Form submissions.
- Redundant product/service vendors: Another vendor may already be in the system and fulfilling the need at a better price/value or we have an exclusive partnership with another vendor that we will suggest. Often times a contract has already been negotiated with another vendor with premium pricing or there are contractual obligations that must be fulfilled.
Why do I need approval and a PO issued before I obtain an item for my department?
Primarily to maximize cost savings and ensure budgetary control on each purchase. New vendors must always be reviewed by Purchasing first prior to the department placing an order to determine vendor legitimacy and whether the vendor adds redundancy in the system.
In addition, Financial Services needs to determine whether there is proper funding for the transaction prior to the purchase.
How do I find out about the latest changes and updates that have taken place with Business Services/Purchasing?
There are several methods used to communicate information:
- Business Managers are encouraged to attend monthly meetings sponsored by Business and Finance. Updates and announcements are provided during the meeting as well as through "What's New". Business managers and administrative assistants are strongly encouraged to share this information with faculty and staff members.
- The Business Services/Purchasing web page contains up-to-date information and the latest vendor listings.
- Newslink communications and announcements
- Contacting the Business Services/Purchasing Department
Who in administration is authorized to sign a contractual agreement?
All contractual agreements pertaining to a transactional purchase or commitment on behalf of the University needs to be first reviewed by Business Services/Purchasing, and in some cases, by General Counsel, before being signed by an authorized signor.
University policy designates that one of the following persons are allowed to sign a contractual agreement:
- Interim President, William Kauffman, J.D.
- Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ellen Harshman
- Vice President and CFO, David Heimburger
- Those with presidential delegated permission
By utilizing this procedure, the university avoids personal liability risk and allows the university to maximize cost savings and minimize dollar spend.