Frequently Asked Questions for Suppliers

1. What does the University buy?

Rutgers University purchases goods and services to support administrative, academic, research, and individual student needs. Items purchased include, but are not limited to, scientific equipment and medical equipment; classroom and office furniture and supplies; technology equipment and software; building construction and repair; maintenance services; and professional services.

2. How can I find out which Category Manager handles my commodity?

University Procurement Services category managers are assigned specific commodities and/or services. The Staff Directory provides contact information for Category Managers and Staff.  

3. Are there preferred suppliers?

University Procurement Services establishes preferred supplier contracts, which are either competitively bid or negotiated with suppliers that meet the requirements for sole/single source procurement. The University also takes part in group and cooperative purchasing agreements.

4. How does the competitive bidding process work?

The University may use one of a variety of methods of soliciting information and pricing from a supplier including informal quotes, invitations to bid, requests for proposals, and requests for information.

  • For goods and services below $10,000: departments and schools can make purchases without requiring the approval of University Procurement Services.
  • For goods and services between $10,001 and $149,999: University Procurement Services or a department will obtain bids or proposals from multiple prosective suppliers prior to issuance of a purchase order.
  • For goods and services $150,000 and above: University Procurement Services, working in consultation with the Unit making the purchase, shall conduct a sealed bid or competitive proposal process.

5. Are there exceptions to the competitive bidding process?

There are circumstances when the competitive bidding process may not be possible and a request for no-bid/sole source or single source may be made. 

6. How will the University evaluate my bid or proposal?

The evaluation of proposals usually involves a review and recommendation by a committee composed of University representatives.

Being the "low bidder" does not necessarily mean that you will be awarded a contract. In our evaluation we seek to determine the "best buy" for the University, according to the criteria outlined in the invitation to bid or request for proposal. 

We may contact you if we need you to clarify some terms in your proposal. However, if we do so, no change in prices is permitted, unless we conduct a best and final offer or negotiation process as part of the evaluation.

7. What are the factors taken into consideration when determining an award?

We make awards to the most responsible and responsive qualified bidder who meets all specifications, terms, and conditions of the bid proposal.

Some factors we consider in addition to price may be quality, adherence to specifications, delivery, service, and warranty depending on the intended use of the commodity or service.  We award bids based on price only when quality, delivery, etc. are equal.

The University reserves the right to waive technicalities or minor discrepancies in any bid, if the best interest of the University would be served.

8. How will I know if I'm getting an award as the result of my bid submission?

We will notify you in writing via an intent to award or notice of award letter usually within 120 days after the bid has been publicly opened. The award is final unless the University Procurement Services Executive Director determines that a bid protest merits a stay or holding of the contract award. The award notice or intent to award is not a notice to proceed. You can only proceed after you have received a purchase order.

9. What may cause my bid or proposal to be rejected?

We may reject any bid which does not meet, or substantially alters, the specifications, bid terms, or conditions of a proposal.

10. How does a supplier get on a bid list?

Department buyers often maintain their own lists of vendors whom they contact for quotations, bids, and proposals. Contact the appropriate department or unit to discuss the commodities or services that you sell.

Departments units may also:

  • Receive referrals from colleagues at Rutgers and other institutions
  • Identify suppliers by reviewing bid records in RU Marketplace
  • Conduct internet searches
  • Learn of a supplier through one of our buying consortia.
  • Find suppliers through trade publications, directories, registers, supplier catalogs and professional journals such as ISM, Thomas Register, and the Yellow Pages.

11. How do I market my goods and services?

Contact the appropriate department buying units to discuss the commodities or services that you sell.

12. Generally what is the term of most contracts?

Most Rutgers term contracts are for a period of three years with the possibility of two one-year extensions. Rutgers also awards contracts that are limited to the duration of completing a specific project.

13. Where does a construction company, architect, or engineer find out about potential opportunities?

Major renovation projects of $2 million or more, new construction, selection of architects, and real estate purchases are handled through University Facilities and Capital Planning.

14. Are pre-bid or pre-proposal conferences required?

We sometimes hold pre-bid or pre-proposal conferences for construction projects, renovations, infrastructure projects, IT projects, and other types of service contracts. We and the requesting department together determine whether to hold a pre-bid conference. If a pre-bid or pre-proposal conference is involved, we will clearly state the information and requirements in the RFP solicitation including the date, time, and place of the event.

15. Is bonding required on all bids?

The University does not normally require bid bonds. Performance bonds, however, may be called for. Alternative bonding methods may also be provided. Otherwise, in the event of default of the contractor, the University may procure the articles or services from other sources and hold the contractor responsible for excess costs incurred.

16. What are the insurance requirements?

Rutgers University requires that all suppliers who conduct operations on University premises provide evidence of having appropriate insurance coverage in the form of a valid certificate of insurance. We set forth standard insurance requirements in our Standard Terms and Conditions. Requirements may vary depending upon the nature of the procurement.

17. Who is responsible for issuing and approving payments?

Submit all invoices directly to Accounts Payable. If the invoice does not have a purchase order number, your payment will not be processed.

18. What are the payment terms?

Rutgers University standard payment terms are 45 days from the invoice date unless the supplier has a signed contract with different terms, any exception to these terms must be reviewed and approved by AVP and Chief Procurement Officer Nimish Patel. Requests must come from a Rutgers Department Head and not the supplier.

If you offer a prompt payment discount  (e.g., 2% 10 days), we will make every effort to take advantage of it.