The purchase of goods and services plays a big part in helping to achieve the university’s mission. Faculty and staff who purchase goods and services, as well as those who approve these transactions, have a key role at the university. With the millions of dollars of purchases each year at Stanford, every purchase has an impact on our ability to ensure excellence in financial stewardship.
Adopting purchasing best practices creates efficiencies in transaction processing and cost savings through university-wide negotiated pricing for common purchases. These efficiency gains on common transactions allow for transaction preparers and financial approvers to spend more time being thoughtful and thorough on non-standard purchases. To that end, Financial Management Services (FMS) launched new resources in early 2022 to support purchasers in selecting and correctly using the best purchasing method for their needs.
After receiving feedback asking for improved guidance on how to make purchases at Stanford, FMS refreshed several purchasing-related Fingate pages:
- Purchasing and Payment Methods covers the variety of methods to use to buy, pay and reimburse at Stanford.
- Categories of Purchases is a snapshot of common types of purchases at Stanford. From this page, Purchasing Goods and Purchasing Services provides a deeper dive into these two categories.
- The Purchase Order Process and Contracts pages were also completely updated to help clarify the actual processes of purchasing through a PO or contract.
Most recently, in April 2022, FMS also updated key pages related to suppliers:
- Selecting a Supplier provides best practices and considerations for the supplier selection process
- Setting Up a New Supplier or Payee outlines the supplier/payee setup process in five steps
- Do Business With Stanford helps potential suppliers learn about Stanford as a customer and reviews the university’s purchasing process and policies as well as supplier compliance requirements
These updated and new resources clarify why and when certain purchasing methods are preferable. When purchasers make more informed and thoughtful choices about which method to use, they directly impact collective efforts to ensure financial stewardship excellence. More resources are in the works in 2022, including a new course and pilot “just in time” learning solution coming later in the year.
FMS recognizes that purchasers appreciate live demos, presentations and opportunities to ask questions of the experts. To support these needs, a new Purchasing Primer events series has been launched in early 2022 to provide guidance on choosing the best purchasing method for specific purchasing needs. Sessions include topics such as "How to Purchase in Amazon Business and SmartMart Catalog Suppliers" and "Reviewing the Purchase Order Process at Stanford." Visit the Procurement Services Events page to register for upcoming events or to view past recordings.