Frequently Asked Questions

Assistance

I need help writing responses to Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Is there anyone who can provide assistance on this?

The Office of Supplier Diversity recently created a self-directed training session titled Responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP). If you need additional help upon completion of the training session, you can also search the state’s certified business directory for a professional service company to collaborate with on the effort.

Does Purdue have an area suppliers can contact to help them connect with the correct individual at the University to market products?

The Office of Supplier Diversity is always available to assist with this process and establish introductions. You can also find contacts for our University contracts and services here. Questions may also be directed to Purdue’s Sourcing and Procurement team, the contact information for which is available here.

Goals

What are the University’s goal percentages for diverse supplier spend? Are there incentives for prime (Tier 1) suppliers to engage with Tier 2 subcontractors?

Subcontracting goals remain consistent with the State of Indiana. During the solicitation process, the commitment levels by a prime contractor will be established. Procurement Services actively promotes the use of Tier 2 suppliers with our contracted suppliers.

Is Purdue tying diversity goals to department performance goals? 

Purdue does not tie department performance to the State of Indiana’s supplier diversity goals. However, the Office of Supplier Diversity does have goals tied to the continuous improvement of goal attainment for the University.

Are the participation goals for State Educational Institutions (SEIs) aspirational or required? Is there validation of their numbers for compliance to the goals and reporting?

The goals are aspirational, and Purdue is committed to meeting them. The Office of Supplier Diversity reports to the State of Indiana quarterly. The State of Indiana then validates our numbers.

Procurement Process

What should I do to become a supplier for Purdue?

Purdue University does not add suppliers to our procurement tool, Ariba, until they are awarded a contract. 

Diverse suppliers can get engaged several ways at Purdue University.

  • Review the University’s contracts that are in place. Reach out to the prime contractor and see if there are subcontracting opportunities. Our prime suppliers are committed to supporting our diversity spend goals and are often looking to expand their suppliers.
  • Check out the opportunities posted on the Procurement Services webpage, available here.
  • Review the subcontractor opportunities that prime suppliers post to the Office of Supplier Diversity website, available here.
  • Review capital construction projects on E-Planroom. The list is also available through our Office of Supplier Diversity webpage here.
  • If you cannot meet all the requirements of a solicitation, be sure to look for a business partner who could assist and submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) response together.
  • Architect and engineering firms should call (765) 494-8000 or email adminops@purdue.edu in order to be placed on the contact list for future opportunities.

Who determines who will receive a contract award? The business owner who needs the product/service or Procurement?

Our vendor handbook provides detailed information on How the Procurement Process Works. The handbook is available here.

The procurement process is a shared responsibility between the University business area and Procurement. 

  • Procurement Services coordinates the process of all purchases greater than $10,000. These purchases follow a standard procurement process including the review of multiple bids. Procurement Services then provides a recommendation based on the best value for the University. A University department may or may not approve the recommendation, and additional analysis may be required.
  • Purchasing authority is delegated at the department level for purchases up to $9,999. These purchases require the department to solicit quotes and determine who will receive the contract award. There are standard processes the departments use, including the inclusion of diverse suppliers in the bidding/quote process.

Does Purdue post contract/bid winners publicly on a website?

We do not currently post winners on our website. The sourcing analyst notifies all participants in the Request for Proposal process of the outcome. 

How does the University announce Tier 2 subcontracting opportunities?

The prime contractor is responsible for Tier 2 obligations, including how they post or announce subcontracting opportunities. However, Purdue offers the prime contractor the ability to post Tier 2 opportunities on the University’s Supplier Diversity website. Diverse companies can find these opportunities here.

Is the University looking for ways to expand opportunities for professional services? 

Department requests for professional services follow the same standard procurement process as goods, supplies and construction. 

Diverse suppliers are invited to respond to bid opportunities, and prime contractors are encouraged to provide subcontracting opportunities to diverse suppliers.

Purdue’s Supplier Diversity Business Plan identifies key areas of focus for the University where we could impact and improve opportunities for diverse companies: 

  • Establishment of diverse supplier marketing meetings with specific areas of the University to provide service and product awareness.
  • Training diverse suppliers on key business elements that could improve the diverse supplier’s ability to win a contract.
  • Establishing a formal debriefing process for lost opportunities, allowing the diverse supplier to have better insight on what they need to improve.

In the past, we have been told that Purdue uses internal resources and departments first before reaching out to minority groups or external sources. What can we do as an external company to try to get through this barrier?

Purdue reviews all available options to determine the most cost effective and quality solution for the University. As good financial stewards, we will continue to leverage University talents and skills when available to meet a specific need.  

Will there be more opportunities for services for smaller suppliers and to encourage larger contract holders to consider subcontracting?

Diverse suppliers can get engaged several ways at the University. See answer to question #1 under Procurement Process.

What is the University doing to provide opportunity for growth outside of the construction area and  into professional services?

Diverse suppliers can get engaged several ways at the University. See answer to question #1 under Procurement Process.

What is the University doing to help non-construction small and minority businesses who are more vulnerable to the current economic environment?

Purdue University actively encourages firms bidding for major contracts to provide for the participation of diverse businesses through partnerships, joint ventures and other contractual opportunities. Standard diversity spend reporting has been implemented to better track and enforce prime contractual obligations.

Procurement processes allows diverse suppliers to bid on opportunities over $1,000.  

  • Procurement Services coordinates the process of all purchases greater than $10,000. These purchases follow a standard procurement process including the review of multiple bids. Procurement Services then provides a recommendation based on the best value for the University. A University department may or may not approve the recommendation, and additional analysis may be required.
  • Purchasing authority is delegated at the department level for purchases up to $9,999. These purchases require the department to solicit quotes and determine who will receive the contract award. There are standard processes the departments use, including the inclusion of diverse suppliers in the bidding/quote process.
  • Diverse suppliers can get engaged several ways at the University. See answer to question #1 under Procurement Process.

Do SEIs ever provide opportunities for suppliers to directly help in the education and instruction of students?

Professional services to support the education and instruction of University students would be submitted to Procurement Services and issued as a request for professional services. Look for postings here.

When does the University anticipate a return to your normal spend levels (pre-COVID-19)?

Purdue continues to operate under essential purchases only. We do not have a timeline on when or if we will return to spend levels we were experiencing before COVID-19.

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