Preferred Vendor Contracts
Frequently Asked Questions
Are we required to purchase from the Preferred Vendor Contracts?Once you see the pricing on these contracts, we think you're going to WANT to purchase from them due to their very competitive pricing! Beyond that though, these vendors have been designated as the "Preferred Vendors" for AU for these particular commodities. In general, making purchases outside the contract shouldn't be necessary. However, there may be occasions when there is a very valid reason for going outside the contract. In that situation, please just attach a note of explanation to the voucher/purchasing card recon. In some cases, PBS may follow up with you...in others cases, the Preferred Vendor may follow up with you. Do keep in mind that the Preferred Vendor contracts have been negotiated with the best interest of AU as a whole in mind. With several of the contracts, in addition to deeply discounted pricing and any other financial incentives the vendor may have provided AU, the University will receive rebates based on the total expenditures of the University (including ACES, AAES and AUM).
What if I can get a better deal on a particular item with a vendor/store other than the Preferred Vendor?Keep in mind that the Preferred Vendor contracts were negotiated with the best interests of AU as a whole in mind. While you may be able to find a particular item at a lower "fire sale" price at any given moment, use of these contracts leads to: Increased financial incentives, higher volume discounts and rebates, and better data for negotiating larger discounts/cheaper prices in the future.
Do PI's (or other University employees working on C&G projects) have to use these contracts?Yes. Any money, regardless of the source of funding, becomes AU money/funds when it is received by the University and is therefore subject to AU policies and procedures.
As we move toward more and more "contracts" I feel our purchasing options are becoming quite constrictive with very little room for shopping for the best prices.Contracts are negotiated by PBS in an effort to assist AU departments with procuring the items they need at great prices in an effort save budget dollars. The Preferred vendors have been very forthcoming with financial incentives to AU including volume rebates, signing bonuses, and scholarship dollars...all of which will greatly benefit the University. PBS worked hard to consolidate discounted purchasing with vendors so that campus departments do not have to spend their time "shopping around" but concentrating on advancing the efforts of their mission. Before these items go out to bid again, we will evaluate if this approach best served AU...if not then we can try something different. Please contact Missty Kennedy in PBS at email@example.com or 844-7771, if you have additional questions.