Office Supply Vendor Selected
NMU has selected a “prime vendor” for office supplies – similar to its existing contracts for food and custodial products – in an effort to save money through volume purchasing from a single source. Office Depot was the successful bidder in a competitive process. Beginning with the fall semester, campus departments and offices will be able to order supplies through the store’s secured Web site.
“We’re developing an implementation plan where we’ll have an NMU catalog available online,” said Art Gischia (Purchasing). “An individual will be able to log on with a departmental password, place the order and use a university procurement card to pay. The items will be shipped to Central Receiving and then delivered.”
Gischia said emergencies might surface that require a quick run to a local store for supplies, but otherwise employees are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the prime vendor contract.
“We’ve moved into a new age where a lot of purchasing takes place online,” Gischia said. “The Internet expands the number of potential vendors, allowing us to achieve the greatest cost savings.”
Another benefit of the Office Depot contract is the ability to track the types and quantities of items purchased. Gischia said there hasn’t been an opportunity to effectively do that until now. He said Northern will be in a much better position to negotiate the next contract as it goes out on bid if an actual purchasing history is available.
Kaylie Anthos (Purchasing) is handling the implementation, which will include a staff training program led by an Office Depot representative. She will e-mail available training dates and additional information in the near future.