An integral part of that work is ensuring all qualified businesses seeking to establish a business relationship with the university has that opportunity.

How we conduct business

Purchasing Services has implemented a program that is designed to maximize the purchasing power of the university by contracting with suppliers in numerous product and service areas. The results of these contracts are:

  • Significant cost savings to the university
  • Improved levels of customer service to university departments
  • Increased volume with contracted suppliers

Purchasing Services works closely with supplier representatives to monitor contract utilization and measure the value of these contracts to the university.

Following are several steps designed to help companies interested in engaging in business with Washington University.

  1. Initial Contact – Call us, write us, or send us information about your company, its history, products, and/or services. If you wish to meet with a contract manager, we ask that you call first to set up an appointment. Solicitation is not permitted on campus.
  2. Meeting – We’ll suggest a meeting should your products or services seem to be compatible with our needs. We’ll be happy to visit with you at your site, providing you with an opportunity to educate us about your capabilities.
  3. Communication –After the initial meeting, it is imperative that we maintain routine, open communication. Should we pursue a contractual relationship with your firm, we will discuss with you the appropriate method for you to propose to us. We will share with you the timing of the proposal process, the business parameters your proposal should address and the anticipated business any resulting contract may bring.
  4. Contract Implementation – Should your proposal result in a contract through a bid or negotiation process, Purchasing Services will work closely with your firm to launch the agreement to all potential university customers. We will discuss with you an array of creative methods that can be used to educate those customers about your products, all designed to promote contract growth by demonstrating the value of the contract.
  5. Measurement – Continuing with the communication theme, routine business review meetings are necessary to provide a forum for you to review the progress of the contract with Purchasing Services. In these meetings, we review sales reports, customer reactions, perceived problems, and anything else pertinent to the well-being of the contract.

These steps are designed to ensure that doing business with Washington University is an experience that will allow both your firm and the university to achieve our respective goals. The university’s hope is that an initial contract will be the first step in the establishment of a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

Value Proposition
  • Product/Service Quality – The products or services we acquire must be of optimal quality to match the university’s particular needs.
  • Service – Suppliers with whom Washington University deals fulfill all necessary service requirements on a timely basis in the normal course of conducting business.
  • Economic Value – The university strives to attain maximum economic value in all business transactions.

Detail is paid to all components of the value equation as well as acquisition price, the cost in use, and other business terms and conditions.

Supplier Diversity Initiative

It is the policy of Washington University that, in acquiring products and services, the university promotes an environment in which all firms, regardless of size or ownership, have an opportunity to do business with the university. This is a fundamental business practice of Purchasing Services. If your firm is a minority, woman or disadvantage owned business, we would love to hear more about your capabilities. Through our Supplier Diversity Initiative (SDI) we strive to actively seek out companies with whom we can achieve a business relationship that accomplishes the above goals of quality product and optimal customer service.

For more information on the university’s Supplier Diversity Program please visit

Conflict of Interest

Washington University recently updated its Procurement Conflict of Interest Policy outlining specified guidelines for university employees to follow while conducting business on behalf of the university. This policy is to ensure that all university employees while conducting business on behalf of the university, do so in an objective and ethical manner. We ask that you read this policy carefully and adhere to it in your business dealings with all employees and representatives of Washington University.

Accounts payable and billing instructions

It is essential that the instructions below be carefully followed in order to ensure proper and timely payment of your invoices. Failure to comply will only result in a delay of payment.

  1. Do not accept an order without an official university purchase order number. Orders placed for goods or services to be billed to the university cannot be considered valid until this number has been assigned. Circumventing established purchasing procedures will result in the delay of payment.
  2. Mail the original invoice to:
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Accounts Payable
    7425 Forsyth Blvd., Campus Box 1056-414-355
    St. Louis, MO 63105-2161

    Original invoices should never be sent to individual departments. Failure to send invoices directly to Accounts Payable will result in the delay of payment.
  3. The face of each invoice must include the following information:
    1. A valid purchase order number
    2. The name of the ordering department
    3. The appropriate remittance address
  4. Each purchase order is to be invoiced separately.
  5. As an “Educational, Not for Profit Institution”, Washington University is exempt from sales tax, use tax, and manufacturer’s excise tax. Certification will be furnished upon request.
  6. Call 314-935-5750 for payment inquiries.
Parking and Traffic Regulations

While visiting the university for business purposes, it is important to comply with all parking and traffic regulations. Parking on Danforth Campus may require appropriate parking tags. Parking garages and metered parking are available on the Medical School campus.

To avoid being ticketed and possibly towed, never park in fire lanes or crosswalks. Do not park in spaces reserved for the handicapped without appropriate credentials.

Contact the department you are visiting should you have questions on parking options available or you may contact the Parking and Transportation office directly at 314-935-5601. They are located at 700 Rosedale Avenue.

Contact Information

Resource Management
MSC 1069-423-1200
Washington University in St. Louis
700 Rosedale
St. Louis, MO 63112

Or check the Resource Management Staff Directory for contact information.

If you cannot clearly identify which individual would handle your particular product or service, please call Lisa Owens at 314-935-5649.