Suggestions for Vendors
Visits to Universities
Salespersons making their initial visit to a university should first contact the purchasing department. They will be informed about specific procedures for selling to the university.
When making sales visits, please call ahead for an appointment whenever possible. Business hours for salespersons calling on purchasing departments vary from one university to another. Call ahead to determine sales hours at a particular university.
Make subsequent visits profitable ones. New ideas, updated information on various products and services, and your input on how to save money are welcome.
Universities order goods and services by issuing purchase orders, contracts, or by using a procurement card. Request a purchase order number, contract number, or procurement card number before shipping any goods or providing any services.
University employees often request information, including price information, for goods and services they anticipate purchasing. However, university employees are not, in general, authorized to place orders or make promises regarding orders. If you have any questions about the validity of an order, please contact the purchasing department.
University employees may occasionally request that demonstration equipment be provided for the purposes of testing to determine if it will meet the user's needs. Even if the equipment is found to be acceptable, normal purchasing practices (including competitive bidding and a formal purchase order or contract) will still be followed.
If you have submitted a bid and contact the department rather than the purchasing department, you run the risk of compromising your bid and being disqualified as a bidder.
Include the university purchase order or contract number on all shipping cartons, invoices, and correspondence.
Ethics and Good Business Practices
Conduct your business openly and frankly. It should be remembered that all university business transactions are a matter of public record. If you are awarded a contract you will be required to keep books and records relating to the performance of the contract for 3 years. All books and records must be available for review and audit by the Auditor General and the university (see the Illinois Procurement Code, Section 20-65 for more information).
Information submitted by vendors in bid proposals should be kept confidential until an award is made. Please do not discuss your proposal (or other proposals) outside the university.
University codes of ethics forbid acceptance of any gifts or gratuities by any university employee. Please cooperate with these codes of ethics and refrain from offering and/or sending gifts or gratuities.