Frequently Asked Questions

Preferred Suppliers
I need to purchase a product that is not available from a Preferred Supplier, what should I do?
If you have confirmed that the item is not available from a Preferred Supplier, place the order using a Free Form SupplyNet Requisition or using a PCard.
How do I know if we have a Preferred Supplier for the item I need to order?
Search the new Preferred Suppliers web page to see if we have a Preferred Supplier for the commodity. 
I don’t have access to purchase from a Preferred Supplier in SupplyNet, how can I place an order?

Only SupplyNet Requesters can place orders in SupplyNet and view Preferred Supplier Catalogues with university pricing.

If you anticipate placing 5+ SupplyNet orders per year, contact your Supervisor or Academic Department Manager to request SupplyNet access.

If you order less frequently, work with your Supervisor, Academic Department Manager, Finance Partner or Faculty General Manager to determine the process to purchase goods and services. 

The Preferred Supplier cannot meet my lead time or is out of stock for the items I require.

Proper planning is very important, however, scenarios exist where a Preferred Supplier may not be able to meet the Requester’s lead time.  In this case, it is acceptable to purchase from another Supplier - use the SupplyNet Justification field on the Requisition to explain your rationale.

What is Procurement doing to ensure we are receiving the best possible pricing with Preferred Suppliers?

Contracts with Preferred Suppliers have been competitively bid and offer the best overall value to the university.

By combining the spend of the entire university, we are able to secure increased savings. 

Established contracts are reviewed annually and Procurement conducts surveys with departments to explore opportunities for improvement.

Not all savings originate from the cost or sticker price for a product or service, but also come in the form of administrative savings and other benefits.

Another supplier is offering the same product at a lower price. What should I do?

Our Preferred Supplier pricing is very competitive and we generally  discourage outside price shopping for items that are available from a Preferred Supplier. A lower priced item purchased from another Supplier often results in a higher overall cost when you consider the extra time and effort spent from an end-to-end processing perspective. 

In many instances it is also not an apples-to-apples comparison (warranty, return policy, product configuration, delivery cost etc.).

For example, in the case of IT equipment, the university has a list of preferred hardware standards that need to be met to ensure continuity throughout the organization. When IT equipment is purchased that does not meet these standards, the cost to the institution increases due to software issues and/or additional support.

In the rare instance where there is a material price difference for an identical product from another Supplier, please notify the Procurement team at prior to placing the order, so we can investigate and provide guidance.

Multiple Quotes
Do I require multiple quotes for all purchases between $20,000 to $75,000?
No, they are not required for PSA vendors and contract extensions.
I could not obtain two quotes, what should I do?
Complete the Sole and Single Source Justification Form and attach it to the requisition. In the “Justification” field in SupplyNet identify why you could not obtain two quotes. In the “Competitive Procurement” field choose “Policy Exception Form attached”.
When requesting multiple quotes, what information is important?
The Supplier Quote Checklist will assist you to identify all important information and ensure you have not missed key information from the vendor.
I have not requested a quote from a vendor before, how is this done?

Complete and submit the Invitation to Quote for Goods & Services Between $20,000-$75,000 form via email to the vendor. Some vendors will have their own Quotation form and respond with that, this is acceptable and should be attached.

Expense Reimbursement
Can I use my personal credit card to purchase goods and services on behalf of the U of A?
No, university purchasing methods must be used. This includes SupplyNet and a U of A issued Purchasing Card.
I incorrectly used my personal credit card to purchase goods and services, can I get reimbursed?
An expense claim would have to be completed and rationale for the error is required. The Compliance Unit will be looking for rationale to approve the claim. Recognition of the error and your plan to procure goods or services in the future should be identified.
Why can I not use my personal credit card to purchase goods and services?

The expense reimbursement process is costly and does not allow the University to maximize savings by combining all spend into one bucket. Processing cost are high and the combined spend of all purchases allows the UofA a competitive advantage when procuring goods and services. Compliance with UAPPOL Policy and Procedure is a requirement.