The University of Illinois is a public institution of higher education within the State of Illinois. This requires that the University make purchases in accordance with the Illinois Procurement Code (30 ILCS 500/) and for the University to be a good steward of the people of Illinois’ tax dollars. The following is an overview of strategic procurements at the University of Illinois and how the Strategic Procurement Department meets these requirements by providing contracts for a large number of commonly purchased supplies and services.
Who: Strategic Procurement is a division within the Office of Procurement Services. Strategic Procurement consists of three distinct sections:
- Solicitations, Contracting and Renewals
- Contract Administration
- Data Analytics.
Strategic Procurement’s office is located in Illini Plaza (1817 S. Neil St., Champaign, IL) however, their services are provided to all three campuses.
What: A strategic procurement is a procurement that leverages the collective buying powers of the University to establish contracts for use across all three campuses. You may be utilizing a strategic procurement and not even know it if you’ve purchased from an iBuy catalog vendor. Most iBuy catalog vendors have an underlying contract that was established by a solicitation led by Strategic Procurement.
When: A strategic procurement is conducted when the University can identify a collective need across multiple departments/campuses. The estimated spend for the collective need helps determine whether the supply/service should be procured as a strategic procurement or if a campus purchasing unit would conduct the procurement on behalf of the University.
Why: A typical solicitation under the Illinois Procurement Code can potentially take a significant amount of time to define the requirements, publish the solicitation, evaluate bids/proposals received, obtain State Purchasing Officer approval to proceed with an award, and contract with the awarded vendor. Strategic procurements already have the solicitation, award and contracting completed so that supplies/services can be purchased directly from the contracted vendor without the need for another competitive solicitation.
In addition to the time savings identified above, Strategic Procurement continually monitors its awards to verify their competitiveness in the marketplace. The Contract Administrators, assigned by commodity, will assist with pricing discrepancies or service-level concerns from the contracted Strategic Procurement vendors.
How: The easiest way to use a strategic procurement is to log into iBuy and search the iBuy cataloged vendors for the supplies/services you are looking for. There are some strategic procurements that do not lend themselves to a iBuy catalog and information on how to access these contracts are listed on the Strategic Procurement “Awards” web page.
Contact Marcy Wright at (217) 300‐4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about strategic procurements in the following commodity groups:
- Office Supplies and Services
Contact Karen Mueller at (217) 300‐3874 or email@example.com for questions about strategic procurements in the following commodity groups:
- Information Technology
- Professional Services
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for general information about strategic procurements.
In our next Strategic Procurement blog post, we will discuss additional benefits to using strategic procurements.