The Purchasing Department procures goods and services for the University. We also provide guidance on procurement practices at UW – Eau Claire in accordance with good business practices, State law, and UW System and Campus policies and guidelines.
Our goals are to support the mission and core values of the University through the efficient and effective acquisition of goods and services; to provide outstanding customer service to our stakeholders with commodity, sourcing, and compliance expertise; and to employ open, transparent, and ethical procurement processes.
Procurement Process - Overview
The procurement process begins when you’re ready to make a purchase. If what you are purchasing falls under one of the categories in the bulleted list below, the dollar thresholds in the graphic shown below do not apply. If you have questions about your purchase, please work with Purchasing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Special Considerations and Requirements (Printing Services, Insurance, Vehicles, Legal Services)
- Mandatory Contract (office supplies and other purchases made on Shop@UW, furniture, batteries, printing, janitorial, medical supplies, computers, printers, and software)
- Non-mandatory or optional contract
If what you are trying to purchase does not fall into any of the above categories, then we proceed based on dollar thresholds as shown below:
Best Judgment Purchases < $5,000
Purchases under $5,000 are considered “Best Judgment” and can be made using a procurement card. Procurement cards are set up with standard limits of $1,500 for a single purchase and $5,000 for a billing cycle.
*The best judgment threshold for signage is $3,500. Any signage purchase exceeding this amount must be run as a Request for Bid (RFB) through the Purchasing Office.*
There are no best judgment purchases for printing
Simplified Bidding - $5,000 - $50,000
The requesting department must obtain three “apples to apples” quotes from vendors for purchases falling between the $5,000 - $50,000 range. The quotes from the three vendors must be identical, otherwise, the bids will not be accepted. You must purchase from the lowest quoted vendor. Attach the quotes to the PURCHASE REQUISITION eform and submit for approval. Purchasing will review the eform and will verify that you have selected the lowest quoted vendor for your purchase based on the following information:
- Are the products available through a contract? If so, do you have a waiver from the contract?
- Are the quotes comparing the identical product?
- Is this vendor on the ineligible vendor list?
- Awarded to lowest responsible bidder
*Use Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) vendors whenever possible
Request for Bid (RFB)/Request for Proposal (RFP)
If your department is considering a purchase of over $50,000, a public bidding process must occur through the Purchasing Office. The average length of an RFB is 1-6 months and 9 months or more for an RFP. Please involve Purchasing as early in your planning as possible for goods or services totaling more than $50,000 with these timelines in mind.