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Doing Business with the University of Pennsylvania
A Guide for Prospective Suppliers
The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League institution with annual purchases of construction, equipment, supplies and services in excess of $1 billion. Penn is the largest private employer in the city of Philadelphia and second largest private employer in the State of Pennsylvania.
The Supply Chain
Purchasing Services, operating under the auspices of the University’s Division of Business Services, is responsible for negotiating and contracting for products and services for the entire institution. Purchasing Services responsibilities include the procurement of products and services in ways that guarantee efficiency, quality and value to our customers in the various Schools and Centers. As it represents the largest percentage of leveragable operating budget, the supply chain is viewed as a strategic priority of the institution. Purchasing Services is constantly seeking out ways to improve its performance and reduce costs. Such improvements come from many sources, including leveraging volumes and standardizing products to reduce costs, partnering with suppliers to optimize performance and applying more sophisticated processes and techniques to gain efficiencies.
It is the goal of Purchasing Services to ensure that the products and services we purchase meet the needs of the faculty and staff we serve. We partner with suppliers in many product categories and that range from multi-national corporations to small locally based businesses. Our ideal suppliers are those who understand our culture and expectations. We value suppliers who take the time to learn about and understand our institution and who look for ways to add value. Our suppliers must understand our business requirements and be agile and flexible in responding to changing customer expectations and business conditions. Our suppliers must know the importance of making and meeting commitments and delivering the highest quality products and services. Above all, we value innovation. We appreciate suppliers who truly understand and share in our challenges, and who help us find the best possible solutions.
Commitment to a Diverse Supplier Base
Purchasing Services is committed to a goal of providing minority, women and disabled veteran business enterprises as well as local community based businesses the maximum practical opportunity to compete for our business, whether directly with Penn or by subcontracting through our primary suppliers. Our Supplier Diversity Program website provide information on our activities to ensure diversity in our approved supplier base.
Business Opportunities with Penn
The opportunities for potential suppliers may be limited in some commodity areas because Purchasing Services already has contracts for many of our most commonly ordered high spend volume required products and services with terms of one to five years. The opportunity for a potential supplier to compete for our business in those commodity areas may be infrequent.