Purchasing Services FAQs

The Purchasing Department does not have a “bid list”. However, through the Supplier Diversity Initiative, the university actively seeks out MBE/WBE firms with whom we can achieve several major goals:

  • 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.

Purchasing Services has developed contracts with a series of Preferred Suppliers that provide value to all departments in pricing and services. For more detail on the preferred supplier program and a listing of minority preferred suppliers, visit the Purchasing website.

  1. Call us, write us or send us information about your company, its history, products and/or services. If your firm is a certified Minority Business Enterprise, let us know. Provide us with a copy of your certificate from the St. Louis Minority Business Council.
  2. Once we know who you are and what you sell, 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 an opportunity to teach us about your capabilities.
  3. During and after the initial meeting it is imperative that we maintain routine, open communication. Should we be interested in pursuing 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, business parameters your proposal should address, and anticipated business any resulting contract may bring.
  4. 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 appropriate 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.

Yes. All certified MBE and WBE firms are paid directly by Washington University 10 days from receipt of the invoice (if all required documentation is submitted).
Reports tracking direct payments to minority and women-owned firms are generated monthly and distributed along with an analysis of future strategic opportunities. Routine business review meetings provide a forum for suppliers to review the progress of their relationship with Purchasing Services. In these meetings, the university reviews sales reports, customer reactions, perceived problems and anything else pertinent to the well-being of the relationship.
Yes. Feel free to visit the Purchasing Services website.