Purchasing Services Mission, Guiding Principles, and Goals

Mission Statement

We will purchase professionally and redistribute, or dispose of property in the best interest of the University.

Guiding Principles

  • We will understand how our operations compliment other University business operations to make them all perform in a more integrated manner.
  • Our actions will not be selfish.
  • We will plan together. Improvement will not be limited to formal plans. Everyone should question if there is a better way!
  • We will follow the rules dictated by State laws and Board of Regent policies. We will not use rules as an excuse for inefficiency or effectiveness. We will work to change rules that are no longer effective in accomplishing our mission and goals.
  • We will conduct our business ethically. 
  • We shall provide open access to all who have an interest in conducting business with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with special emphasis on developing small and minority opportunities.
  • We will embrace opportunities to utilize Information Technology to increase our effectiveness and responsiveness.
  • We will train our staff so they can be successful in their positions.
  • Resources are scarce. We will direct them based on prioritized value, and reduce them in those areas providing least value.
  • We will work as colleagues to achieve success. Managers will show respect for employees by establishing mentor relationships and recognizing employee achievements. The learning environment will be predominantly characterized by positive reinforcement, avoiding public displeasure to the extent possible. We will each show respect by listening to all perspectives and by not undermining the integrity of others by things we say. We will all show respect to our customers by recognizing that their perspectives may be far different than ours, but nonetheless valid.

Goals of Purchasing Services

We will maintain a customer focus while we:

  1. Provide a path to product knowledge by understanding our contracts, or, teaming with on-campus knowledge sources and appropriate external sources.
  2. Provide a campus knowledge source for developing effective contracts. This includes authorship of contracts and routine language review.
  3. Provide efficient means to facilitate best value purchasing practices, while ensuring all applicable laws and policies are followed.
  4. Develop written policies and procedures and the means of educating our customers and vendors. Ensure policies and procedures are not burdensome or otherwise ineffective.
  5. Promote vendor/university relationships that encourage vendors to seek out business with the university, with special emphasis on developing minority and small business opportunities.
  6. Perform the buying functions in a manner that provides for the lowest Total Cost to the University. This includes consideration of product life cycle costs, as well as transaction costs.
  7. Develop master contracts with the goal of: A) Providing an easy path to the best value; B) leveraging quantity commitments; C) Leverage logistical/processing efficiencies; D) To reduce transaction costs, and; E) To enhance accompanying service from the contracted vendors. 
  8. Where appropriate, develop standards for commodities to ensure public safety. Lead the campus in developing standards associated with leveraged quantity contracting (but not dictating use of specific product/service).
  9. Provide campus customers with intuitive Web-based tools that will aid them in finding the best procurement solution to their need, and, to provide needed reporting information.
  10. Our procurement practices will produce sufficient savings to pay all costs of operation.
  11. Our supply functions will be market competitive and provide sufficient revenues to pay all costs of operating.
  12. Maintain centralized contracting and inventory records for the purpose of providing internal control over the procurement cycle. This includes the auditability of price and terms of purchase, budgetary authorization, warranty information, contractual obligations, and adherence to state and federal regulations.
  13. Provide for the timely, orderly, and most beneficial means of disposing or redistributing surplus property and accounting for University assets.
  14. Eliminate unnecessary disposal in landfills.