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University Supplier Types

Suppliers are categorized to identify the various levels of business relationship with Penn, their status in the purchasing system database, or restricted use. A complete list of supplier categories is listed below.

Strategic Suppliers

A strategic supplier is a preferred contract supplier whose performance and business value is based on an objective scorecard that rates supplier cost, delivery, responsiveness, technology, and quality resulting in greater visibility and access within Penn. Strategic suppliers are long-term, cooperative business partners that are committed to leveraging the strategic and operational capabilities of both organizations to achieve significant ongoing benefits for each party.

  • Local Community Supplier

  • A local community supplier is a BEN Buys approved supplier that is located in West or Southwest Philadelphia.
  • Diversity Supplier

  • A diversity supplier is a BEN Buys approved supplier that is certified a minority or women owned as determined by one of our approved certification agencies.

Preferred Contract Supplier

A preferred supplier is a BEN Buys approved supplier that has been awarded a university-wide discount pricing agreement by Purchasing Services to supply products and services required by the University. Competitive bids are not required for purchases from preferred contract suppliers regardless of the total aggregate cost of the purchase order.

Preferred suppliers are identified as the “least total cost source” for Penn purchase requirements in a particular commodity category and, as the preferred contract supplier for those products or services. Most of the University’s preferred contract suppliers have their products and services available online in the Penn Marketplace.

BEN Buys Approved Suppliers

In order to issue a University purchase order to a supplier, the supplier must be approved and entered into the BEN Buys approved supplier database. Once enabled in the database, an approved supplier provides basics products or services. Pricing is generally “street pricing” or preferred pricing based on a single purchase transaction.

Deactivated Supplier

A deactivated supplier is a BEN Buys approved supplier whose "purchasing site" has been deactivated in the approved supplier database. This action may have been taken as a result of a supplier consolidation initiative, new supplier contract(s), or supplier performance. A recommended replacement BEN Buys approved supplier is listed by each deactivated supplier name.

Supplier Name Changes

Suppliers that have changed their corporate name as a result of change of ownership, merger, or acquisition are listed in the Supplier Name Change list.

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