Vendor Resources - Doing Business with UA

Welcome to the University of Arizona. Procurement and Contracting Services (PACS) values our suppliers and contractors and wants to make your working relationship with the University as enjoyable as possible. This information has been prepared to help you better understand how to do business with the University.

 New: To view the How to do Business with the University informational video (approx. 70 seconds) click here.

We Encourage You to:
  • Call for additional information and schedule appointments with procurement staff, by contacting our reception area at 520-621-1747.
  • Bring a new idea or product for each interview and keep us up-to-date on markets and trends.
  • Schedule appointments with departments to market your goods and/or services.
  • To discuss Procurement Vendor Workshops please contact Tom Fiebiger, Purchasing Manager, phone 520-621-5933, or email Tom at fiebiger@email.arizona.edu. You may also contact Beth Lopez, Small Business Utilization Manager, phone 520-621-2888, or email Beth at bethlope@email.arizona.edu. To register for an upcoming Vendor Workshop, contact Beth Lopez at bethlope@email.arizona.edu.
  • Review our Purchasing Policies.

Next Vendor Workshop:  None scheduled at this time.

Method of Operation

It is the responsibility of Procurement and Contracting Services to conduct all negotiations affecting purchase, price, terms, and delivery of goods and/or services for the operation of the University. Under no circumstances are vendors to supply such goods or services without a University Purchase Order number, or Purchasing Card (PCard) number. Any orders placed by individuals outside the Procurement and Contracting Services Department will be considered a personal transaction between the vendor and departmental individual, unless the purchase is via the Purchasing Card.

The University of Arizona Purchasing Card

The University of Arizona Purchasing Card (PCard) Program has been designed and implemented to allow for direct small dollar purchases (less than $5,000 including tax and freight) via Visa in order to eliminate, as much as possible, the need for small dollar purchase orders and direct reimbursements. All transactions made using the University PCard must benefit and support the University's mission of education, research and public service. For additional information, call (520) 626-9091.

Selecting Source of Supply

It is our aim to conduct our activities in the best interest of the University while at the same time creating and maintaining good vendor relations. We rely on vendor visits and information on the latest market developments and product innovation. Competitive prices, quality, and satisfactory delivery are characteristics we continually seek in our vendor relations.

As a general rule, competitive proposals or bids are not required for goods and/or services costing less than $5,000. Request for proposals or bids above $5,000 (if applicable) are solicited from prospective suppliers for their best price, delivery information, and terms. Procurement and Contracting Services is responsible for making the proposal or bid award. The competitive proposal or bidding processes utilized for the procurement of products and/or services are summarized as follows:

  • ALL transactions, including Blanket Orders, processed by Procurement and Contracting Services not exceeding $50,000 SHALL be restricted to Small Business unless it is impracticable. 
  • Informal competitive proposals or bids from $5,000 to $50,000 may be requested by a University Department or a Procurement and Contracting Services Buyer. Informal proposals or bids are secured and documented via fax, email, in writing or by telephone, whichever is more appropriate for the requested procurement. Written and faxed proposals or bids shall be received by the date and time specified, but said proposals or bids will not be opened publicly.
  • Formal Sealed Request for Proposal (RFP): Written RFP's (aggregate dollar amount of $50,000 and over) are issued by Procurement and Contracting Services for the procurement of goods and/or services, and will be posted on our website (if applicable). The RFP evaluations are based on stated award criteria including, but not limited to, quality, delivery and price. Sealed vendor responses to the RFP must be received in Procurement and Contracting Services by the date and time specified. Responses are opened publicly on the date and time specified, but only the names of the responding vendors are read.
  • Formal Sealed Request for Bid (RFB): Written RFB's (aggregate dollar amount of $50,000 and over) are issued by Procurement and Contracting Services for the procurement of goods and/or services, and will be posted on our web site (if applicable). Sealed vendor responses to the RFB must be received in Procurement and Contracting Services by the date and time specified. Responses are opened publicly on the date and time specified, and the bids are read aloud.
  • Procurement and Contacting Services is responsible for making all RFP and RFB awards.

Persons wishing to furnish goods and/or services to the University of Arizona should visit Procurement and Contracting Services where they will be referred to the appropriate Buyer(s) handling their particular commodity. They should then familiarize the Buyer(s) with their product, indicating the marketing area covered and the level at which they operate (e.g., manufacturer, jobber, wholesaler, etc.). Vendors should go to the University of Arizona website and click on A-Z Index (top navigation), then "Departments" (in the left hand navigation), look for departments that might be interested in buying their products or services. Vendors should call and make an appointment to visit the department to introduce their self and their products. This helps get the vendors on the suggested vendors list the department sends to Purchasing.

Related Link: Tax Information

Vendors are Encouraged to:
  • Frequently check the Procurement & Contracting Services website for Proposals and Bids. From this link you may also access Arizona State University and Northern Arizona State Bid Boards from the webpage.
  • Remain in contact with the Purchasing Buyer(s) to be advised of upcoming Proposals or Bids.
  • Remain in contact with prospective University customers as they refer vendor names to Procurement and Contracting Services Buyers.
Small Business Utilization Program

As part of an effort to increase the amount of business the University of Arizona does with small business, a Small Business Utilization Program exists to promote awards of contracts to Small Businesses whenever possible. This office serves as a liaison between vendors, University departments, and Procurement and Contracting Services personnel. In addition, contracting and networking opportunities with outside agencies and corporations are provided through this program. For more information concerning assistance offered by this program, contact the Small Business Utilization Program Manager, Beth Lopez, at (520) 621-2888.

How You Can Help Us
  • Familiarize yourself with our requirements and offer suggestions as to how we can further our cost reductions and service objectives.
  • Keep us informed on your backorder situations, vacation schedules, impending shortages or strikes, and technological advances.
  • Follow through on orders to ensure delivery to us as scheduled. When calling our office, visit with the appropriate Buyer to see if they have an order that you can help expedite.
  • Insist on receiving a Purchase Order number, P-Card number.
  • Remember, for purchases over $50,000, departments may request quotations for budgetary purposes only. A formal RFP or RFB form will be sent from Procurement and Contracting Services. It is extremely important to respond to all questions and to all requests in the Request for Proposal/Request for Bid. Please be sure to fill in payment terms and FOB points, sign the form and return it within the required time frame. If the RFP/RFB is not returned properly completed, it may be considered non-responsive. DO NOT contact the ordering department during the proposal/bid evaluation process. If necessary, they will call you for any technical clarification.
  • Make each visit a productive one. Meetings between sales personnel and Buyers should be confined to business. We value your time as well as ours.
  • By dealing with us in an honest and ethical manner.
Code of Ethics

The nature of purchasing functions makes it critical that all players in the process remain independent, free of obligation or suspicion, and completely fair and impartial. Maintaining the integrity and credibility of a purchasing program requires a clear set of guidelines, rules and responsibilities to govern the behavior of purchasing employees. Credibility and public confidence are vital throughout the purchasing and contracting system. Any erosion of honesty, integrity or openness tends to be more injurious to purchasing than to most other public programs. The shadow of doubt can be as harmful as the conduct itself. It is with this in mind that the following code is set forth. This document defines the ethical standards of conduct required of the University of Arizona Procurement and Contracting Services employees, suppliers, potential suppliers and employees of other agencies when acting under the authority delegated by the University of Arizona.

  • To give first consideration to objectives and policies of the University.
  • To purchase without prejudice, seeking to obtain maximum value for each dollar expended on behalf of the University.
  • To conduct ourselves with fairness and dignity and to demand honesty and truth in the purchasing process.
  • Demand honesty in sales representation whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement, or a sample of the product.
  • Strive to continually increase competition in supplier selection and endeavor to prevent any collusive activities among suppliers.
  • Avoid soliciting or accepting money, loans, credits, gifts, entertainment, favors, or services from present or potential suppliers that might influence, or appear to influence supply management decisions.
  • Handle confidential or proprietary information with due care and proper consideration. Receive consent of originator of confidential information or proprietary ideas and designs before using them for competitive purchasing purposes.
  • To honor our obligations and require that obligations to the University be honored.
  • Promote positive supplier relations through courtesy and impartiality. Conduct business with potential and current suppliers in an atmosphere of good faith, devoid of intentional misrepresentation.
  • To grant all competitive suppliers equal consideration insofar as state or federal statute and University policy permit.
  • Foster fair, ethical and legal trade practices.
  • Encourage support of Small Businesses whenever possible.
  • Make every reasonable effort to negotiate an equitable and mutually agreeable settlement of any controversy with suppliers; and/or be willing to submit any major controversies to arbitration or other third party review, insofar as to the established policies of the University permit.
  • Cooperate with trade, industry, professional associations, governmental and private agencies for the purpose of promoting and developing sound business practices.