Central PurchasingUniversity of CincinnatiDivision of Administration and FinancingCentral Purchasing

Central Purchasing

Frequently Asked Questions and Exceptions Process

Why did UC decide to source IT hardware to a single preferred vendor? 

A single sourcing approach created competitive advantage in the negotiations with vendors and ultimately resulted in better savings for the university.

What are the benefits of this contract? 

The contract will result in an estimated $1.2 million savings annually, which will be realized at the unit level. In addition, the contract included asset tagging, imaging and disposal services at no additional cost.

What are the standard configurations and how were they created? 

The configurations for PC laptops and desktops were developed following a spend analysis of all similar purchases over the previous three years and were based on recommendations made by central and local IT managers after reviewing the needs of the faculty and staff they serve. It is estimated that the established configurations will meet 95% of the PC laptop and desktop needs of the university.

Configurations and specifications:

FAQ

My need isn’t covered by any of the configurations offered. Can I purchase some other desktop or laptop off contract? 

Although it is anticipated that 95% of PC laptop and desktop needs will be covered by the configurations on the contract, there may be situations such as special requirements associated with research that cannot be satisfied through the contract. Such cases will be handled through an exceptions process.

How will exceptions be handled? 

Faculty or staff members who believe that their need cannot be met through the Dell contract will submit a Web-based exceptions form which will be automatically routed to the appropriate IT manager in their unit/division. The IT manager will review the request and determine whether an exception is appropriate and send the determination to the requestor. If the exception is approved, the requestor will follow the regular procurement procedures as noted in the form instructions. Requestors should keep a copy of the approval and submit as part of procurement documentation.

What if I can find a similar product at a cheaper price? 

It is possible that an individual faculty or staff member may be able to find a similar product at a lesser price. However, all PC laptops and desktops must be purchased through the Dell contract unless an exception has been approved. The contract is a result of leveraging our volume and reducing the number of suppliers. A spend analysis of IT purchases in the previous year indicated that the university had purchased PC hardware from 65 different vendors. Contracting with a single preferred partner for the configurations for PC desktops and laptops resulted in significant savings for the university.

Does the contract cover Apple products? 

The contract with Dell is for PC products only.

What is the approved payment method for purchasing these products? 

Authorized purchasers can use their Pcard or make a requisition through UC Flex for a Purchase Order.

What is the length of the contract? 

This contract with Dell is for a period of two years, with options to renew for three consecutive one year terms. Central Purchasing and the IT managers will meet with Dell representatives on a regular basis to review product offerings and make adjustments as appropriate.

Will Dell provide IT support service for the equipment purchased on contract? 

IT support for any equipment purchases through the Dell contract will be handled by the unit IT manager(s) as they currently are.

Can I use my Pcard to make a purchase on this contract? 

If you are an approved purchaser, you may use your Pcard in compliance with Pcard rules and regulations.

Exceptions Process

Faculty or staff members who believe that their need cannot be met through the Dell contract will submit a Web-based exceptions form which will be automatically routed to the appropriate IT manager in their unit/division. The IT manager will review the request and determine whether an exception is appropriate and send the determination to the requestor. If the exception is approved, the requestor will follow the regular procurement procedures as noted in the form instructions. Requestors should keep a copy of the approval and submit as part of procurement documentation.