Jan. 5, 1995
Vol. 14, No. 9

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    Purchase of office supplies from new vendor begins this month

    Beginning this month, all University office supplies will be purchased from a single vendor, BT Publix Office Products Inc. The contract replaces the service currently provided by the University Bookstore as well as any arrangements made by individual departments.

    The BT Publix contract is for a three-year term with an estimated annual purchase volume of $1.5 million to $2 million. The contract was awarded as the result of a competitive evaluation of vendor proposals.

    "This is a judicious business decision that is part of an overall effort to improve University procurement efforts," said William Hogan Jr., Comptroller and Associate Vice President for Administrative Computing. "This is, in fact, our second contract with this goal in mind -- the first being our new contract with Fisher Scientific to supply laboratory and chemical supplies to the Biological Sciences Division and the Physical Sciences Division. We hope to do more in this area."

    A detailed package describing the operations and benefits of the new contract have been distributed to approximately 400 people on campus -- deans, departmental administrators and others who are involved with purchasing.

    Inside the package is a Department Delivery Location Set-up Form, which asks each department to provide exact delivery and billing addresses. Staff members responsible for purchasing office supplies should complete this form, which will set up their office for next-day delivery service, and return it to BT Publix immediately.

    Hogan said there are several advantages to having a University-wide office-supplies contract with BT Publix:

    _ University departments will benefit from prices that are significantly lower than prices currently available at the Bookstore. The lower prices result from, among other things, a reduction in the purchase cost of office supplies due to the consolidation of all purchases with a single vendor.

    _ University departments will receive a higher level of service, as BT Publix will provide next-day desktop delivery. Departments can continue to use the standard Departmental Purchase Order (the "Z-order"), but they can fax orders directly to BT Publix. The billing process will be automated with monthly billing provided electronically to the Accounts Payable Department. University departments will be sent monthly billing reports of purchases made. All BT Publix invoice numbers will become the University voucher payment numbers -- thus allowing departments to check invoices against payments shown on FAS ledgers while reducing the amount of paper used in such transactions.

    _ The management time required to support this activity will be reduced, because the Purchasing Department has assumed responsibility for management of the outsourcing contract with BT Publix.

    _ The University will receive other "value-added" services, including the use of BT Publix's information technology, which will provide electronic order-entry and payment capabilities.

    For assistance with this new contract, contact Donald Poder, Assistant Director, University Purchasing Department, at 702-3324.