University at Buffalo + Buffalo Purchasing Initiative
The University at Buffalo (UB) is one of America’s leading public research universities and a flagship of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, recognized for our excellence and our impact. UB has over 32,000 students, 13 schools and colleges, and more than 1,300 acres across three unique campuses. Because we are a New York State-agency, our purchasing policies are dictated by New York State.
Purchasing at UB
The purchasing process at UB is decentralized. Most small dollar transactions and supplier selections are initiated at the department level. Purchases must follow New York State, SUNY and RF SUNY regulations and policies and are competitively bid at various thresholds.
There is a lot to learn about working with UB. Our website provides a comprehensive set of resources for suppliers are here: https://www.buffalo.edu/administrative-services/information-for-suppliers.html.
Expert buyers are organized into teams, each specializing in one or more categories of goods and services. Find the right member of our team or search by the good or service you offer here: https://www.buffalo.edu/administrative-services/managing-procurement/procurement-experts.html#par_title
Tips and considerations for successfully working with UB:
- Know & Familiarize yourself with all NYS contract opportunities
- Know the product/services/scope of work you are selling/bidding on
- Know your market & competition
- ALWAYS reach out to the University’s purchasing contacts with any questions you may have on procurements/bid opportunities
- We meet with all suppliers
- Understanding of public bidding
- Read all documentation thoroughly
- Submit questions within the allotted time frame
- Submit all requested documentation on time and in a professional, presentable manner
- Accurately price goods/services, double check all math/pricing extensions
- Attend all bid walk throughs and information sessions
- Have the capacity to provide the product/services
- Employee base
- Financial capacity
- Have appropriate insurances
- Capacity to sign a contract/perform work for multiple years
- Capacity to meet deadlines, working under time constraints
- Capacity to communicate constantly, consistently and timely
- If there is hesitation as to whether your company has the capacity to perform, it’s better to respond with a “No bid response” than take on a job that your company doesn’t have the capacity to handle
- Know your limitations/capacity
- Have you worked with large commercial institutions?
- If not, begin progressively build your portfolio towards larger scale projects
- Would your product/service be better suited as a sub to a Prime versus being the Prime supplier
- Get to know the Prime suppliers, it’s extremely hard to do business with a company they don’t know about
- If you receive a bid opportunity from the University PLEASE RESPOND even if the response is a “NO BID RESPONSE”.
- If we don’t hear back from you we don’t think you are interested in doing business
- COMMUNICATION IS A KEY FACTOR
- Be prepared for constant communication
- Return phone calls and emails in a timely fashion
- Make sure your cell phone voice mail box has room for messages
- Don’t give up. UB is a large state entity, sometimes taking long periods of time to do business together.
- UB is a connector, introducing suppliers to other entities in the WNY region.