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FAQs on Procurement

 

  1. What is a Preferred Supplier?
  2. Do I still need to obtain quotes if I am purchasing from a Preferred Supplier?
  3. What do I do if there are two preferred suppliers offering the same product or service?
  4. I have found an item for a better price elsewhere, can I go ahead and buy it?
  5. I am having problems with a Preferred Supplier, who can I contact about this?
  6. I have received a gift from a supplier, can I accept it?
  7. I need to undertake a Request For Quote (RFQ), how do I go about this?
  8. I need to conduct a Tender, where can I get help with this?
  9. When is it appropriate to call for Expressions Of Interest (EOI)?
  10. What happens if an item costs $10,000 or more but can only be sourced from a single supplier, how do I obtain two quotes?
  11. What procurement factors should be considered before raising a Purchase Order?
  12. A supplier has been recommended to me by a colleague. Is it ok to approach only that supplier and get some quotes from other companies just to meet the quotation requirements without any intention of using them?
  13. Do the values stated in the quotation thresholds table include Goods and Services Tax (GST)?
  14. Does an email qualify as a written quote?
  15. When do I need to seek Vice Chancellor's authorisation (VCA) for a purchase?
  16. When can I capitalise a purchase?
  17. When should I raise a Purchase Order?
  18. Should I be concerned about Health and Safety when purchasing on behalf of the University?
  19. What are the payment instalments terms for large items?
  20. I need to change the payment terms on a vendor, how do I go about this?
  21. How do I carry out an international/overseas purchase?
  22. What is internal leasing and who do I contact to arrange one?
  23. Does the Procurement Handbook also apply to purchases made by credit card?
  24. Can I purchase from eBay?
  25. How do I know what is included in the Warranty for the goods I have purchased?

1. What is a Preferred Supplier?

A Preferred Supplier is a vendor with whom the University has committed to provide a high percentage of it's spend for goods and services.

The University has entered into a number of contracts and agreements with these suppliers to manage optimisation of value in the total cost of the University's procurement.

If a preferred supplier arrangement is in place they must be used.
Where the University is a supplier (for example Document Services), it should be used in preference to any other supplier, provided it can meet the requirements.

More information regarding Preferred Suppliers can be found on the Strategic Procurement website by clicking here.


2. Do I still need to obtain quotes if I am purchasing from a Preferred Supplier?

Yes, one quote is required.

Strategic Procurement has already obtained agreed pricing from the University's preferred suppliers and these are readily available on our website or through the supplier online catalogues.

Where the product is outside of our supplier's standard lines, you will need to request a quotation from the relevant preferred supplier.

Please contact Strategic Procurement on 21687 if in doubt.


3. What do I do if there are two preferred suppliers offering the same product or service?

Where there is more than one preferred supplier, quotes should be obtained from both. This allows a comparison to be made and ensures that the University is receiving best value for money.


4. I have found an item for a better price elsewhere, can I go ahead and buy it?

No, Preferred Suppliers must still be used as they are are contracted to the University and offer competitive pricing. Although staff often challenge the cost of goods, it is important to take into consideration the 'hidden costs'. This includes the costs associated with the time taken to search and source items and then process the individual payments or staff reimbursements. Preferred Suppliers provide the University with one single monthly invoice (rather than several) which also saves the University a considerable amount of time and money.  Using suppliers that are unable to provide consolidated invoices results in costing the University substantially more.

In addition to this, purchasing from Preferred Suppliers will also ease your workload. In most cases, accounts payable process the consolidated invoice and the funds automatically get debited from your cost centre for the items you bought - making the purchase less of a burden to you.

Please do not hesitate contact Strategic Procurement on extension 21687 if you have any questions.


5. I am having problems with a Preferred Supplier, who can I contact about this?

All of the University's Preferred Suppliers have agreed to specific levels of customer service. However, if you feel you are not receiving a satisfactory service or quality products from a Preferred Supplier, please contact Strategic Procurement in the first instance. We can help you resolve the problem and ensure that the necessary steps are taken to avoid any similar issues that may arise in the future. 


6. I have received a gift from a supplier, can I accept it?

Please refer to the University's Code of Conduct for guidelines regarding gifts.  For further information or additional help, please contact Strategic Procurement on extension 22273.


7. I need to undertake a Request For Quote (RFQ), how do I go about this?

A RFQ is conducted where the value of the goods or service required is less than $100,000. Strategic Procurement have developed a range of tools and templates to assist you with this process, please contact us for guidance on extension 22273.


8. I need to conduct a Tender, where can I get help with this?

The Strategic Procurement Team play a significant role in the Tender process, including:

Section 6 of the Procurement Handbook provides a comprehensive guide on the Tender Process, please click here to view this.  

Strategic Procurement can ensure you are taking the correct steps before you venture too far into the tender process on your own. We can walk you through various stages of the process and offer expert advice to ensure a fair and smooth process. We also have a wide range of tools, guides and templates are available to help you.  

Please do not hesitate to contact the Strategic Procurement Team. Our individual contact details can be found on our About Us webpage.


9. When is it appropriate to call for Expressions Of Interest (EOI)?

When the purchaser needs to learn more about the product or service, it may be useful to call for EOIs prior to conducting a tender. This can also be referred to as a 'Request For Information' (RFI). This process is used to: 

The Strategic Procurement Team are always involved in the EOI process, please contact us on extension 22273 for expert advice and guidance.


10. What happens if an item costs $10,000 or more but can only be sourced from a single supplier, how do I obtain two quotes?

Please obtain documented evidence from the subject matter expert within the University to confirm that there is only one supplier for this product or service. Where the purchase is over $100,000, approval to waive the Tender process must be sought from the Chief Operating Officer via the Manager: Strategic Procurement. Please contact us for further information on extension 22273.


11. What procurement factors should be considered before raising a Purchase Order?

As a Purchasing Officer, it is your responsibility to ensure that the following procurement aspects are addressed prior to raising a Purchase Order in FinanceOne:

Checklist Preferred Supplier - if a preferred supplier already exists for the provision of the goods or service then they must be used. Where a decision is made to purchase from a supplier other than a preferred supplier, you must be able to provide upon request documentation supporting the decision (for example sole supplier evidence). For a full list of the University's preferred supplier arrangements, please click here.
   
Checklist Quotations - as per the Procurement Guidelines, the adequate number of written quotes must be obtained based on the value of the item/service. Please click here for more information regarding the value thresholds.
   
Checklist Shipping - it is essential to check whether there will be any additional charges for shipping/delivery or if this is already included within the quote. Checking these in advance will prevent any unexpected charges that may not have been budgeted for in the associated cost centre.
   
Checklist Goods and Services Tax (GST) - there are certain circumstances where a GST will not be applicable, particularly purchases from overseas. Please visit the University's Tax website for more information regarding GST eligibility.
   
Checklist Insurance - items purchased for less than $50K are covered within the University's Insurance Policy so long as they have been packaged appropriately and sent utilising a reputable logistics company. If your purchase exceeds $50K, we advise you speak to the University's Insurance Team on ext 21678 or email: insurance@unisa.edu.au
   
Checklist Payment Terms - the University's normal terms of trade are payment within 30 days for goods and services from the date of a correctly rendered compliant Tax Invoice and satisfactory receipt of the goods or services. These payment terms should be made clear from the outset when dealing with new suppliers on behalf of the University. Any deviation from these payment terms should be negotiated with the supplier prior to placing the Purchase Order. Alternatively, approval to change payment terms will need to be requested in writing to the Manager: Strategic Procurement. More information can be found here.
   
Checklist Payment Schedule - the University's standard payment instalments for large items is 30% payment as a deposit, 60% payment once the purchase has been shipped (please obtain evidence of shipment, such as a consignment note) and 10% payment on delivery and installation (please always ensure that the item is in good working order).  As above, any deviation from this payment schedule should be negotiated with the supplier, or alternatively you can contact the Strategic Procurement Team if you require any additional assistance.
   
Checklist Installation and Training - any costs associated with installation and training should always be clarified in advance where necessary.
   
Checklist Customs - if the item has been purchased from overseas then Australian customs will need to be addressed. We strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the international rules for the interpretation of trade terms used in international trade (INCO Terms), which can be found by clicking here. You may wish to use a customs agent to act on your behalf - we recommend DB Schenker who has been working closely with the University for some time. Contact details can be found by clicking here.
   
Checklist Ethical Sourcing - it is good practice to check that the goods you will be purchasing have been manufactured responsibly. If you have any concerns, it may be worth asking the supplier about their labour standards, safe and hygienic working conditions, wages and benefits, immigration law compliance and environmental standards.
   
Checklist

Local / Australian Businesses - preference should be given to purchasing Australian produced goods and services where possible.

 


12. A supplier has been recommended to me by a colleague. Is it ok to approach only that supplier and get some quotes from other companies just to meet the quotation requirements without any intention of using them?

Any Requests for Quotes should not be asked for without a solid intention to go ahead, dependent on the offers obtained. Providing quotes can be an expensive process for suppliers and if the University is seen to lack dedication then competition will decrease (suppliers will not be interested) and the University will struggle to obtain value for money. There may even be cases where the University may be confronted legally due to the lack of good faith (in contract law).



13. Do the values stated in the quotation thresholds table include Goods and Services Tax (GST)?

No, GST is not included. When requesting quotes, you should always ask for GST to be included. . For more information on GST, please visit the University's Taxation website or contact the Taxation Accountant on extension 21922.


14. Does an email qualify as a written quote?

Yes, a quote received via email does count as a written quote. It is important to remember that it is essential to obtain quotes in writing to provide supporting documentation for auditing purposes and as a reference when the invoice is due for payment.


15. When do I need to seek Vice Chancellor's authorisation (VCA) for a purchase?

Before any purchase is carried out, approval must be obtained by a staff member with the appropriate VCA. Under no circumstances should a purchase be undertaken without prior approval.

For further information about VCAs, please click here.


16. When can I capitalise a purchase?


Typically, capitalisation takes place when the value of the purchase is more than $10,000. Items purchased for less than $10,000 generally cannot be capitalised. Please contact Strategic Procurement on ext 22273 for further information.


17. When should I raise a Purchase Order?

As a general rule, it is preferred that Purchase Orders are raised in the FinanceOne system when the purchase is greater than $5,000. However there may be occasions where suppliers request a Purchase Order for purchases below this amount, therefore it is recommended a Purchase Order be provided. A Purchase Order acts as a contractual agreement between the supplier of the goods/services and the University.



18. Should I be concerned about Health and Safety when purchasing on behalf of the University?


Yes. All goods and services you purchase, particularly from overseas, must conform with both the Australian Standards and the University's Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare, and Injury Management (OHSW&IM) Policy. It is your responsibility (as well as your managers) to ensure that you do not put others at risk of injury. An OHSW&IM assessment should be carried out before making a purchase. For more information, please refer to the Purchasing and OHSW&IM website.



19. What are the payment instalments terms for large items?


Standard payment instalments to suppliers for large items are 30% payment as a deposit, 60% payment once the purchase has been shipped (please obtain evidence of shipment, such as a consignment note) and 10% payment on delivery and installation (30 days payment terms). Under no circumstances should the University agree to pay 100% upfront for a purchase, even if there are huge discount incentives.

If a different circumstance arises outside of these standard payment instalments, please contact Strategic Procurement on extension 22273.



20. I need to change the payment terms on a vendor, how do I go about this?


The normal terms of trade are payment within 30 days for goods and services from the date of a correctly rendered compliant Tax Invoice and satisfactory receipt of the goods or services. However, if a situation arises whereby these payment terms need to be changed, approval is required from the Manager: Strategic Procurement.  

Please refer to the Payment Terms Information Sheet which comprises of step-by-step instructions on how to request a change in payment terms.



21. How do I carry out an international/overseas purchase?


Preference should be given to purchasing Australian produced goods and services, to eliminate unnecessary risk. However, if you are required to purchase internationally, the standard procurement principles still apply. Details of freight costs, exchange rates and customs requirements should be clarified in advance.

The University has an arrangement in place with DB Schenker, who can provide you with a complete range of international air and sea freight forwarding services.  

For further assistance please contact Strategic Procurement on extension 22273.



22. What is internal leasing and who do I contact to arrange one?


Internal leasing is managed by Strategic Procurement and allows cost centres to spread the costs over a term when funding is not budgeted. They are used for the purchase of equipment that would have a useful life of more than three years and a minimum total purchase amount of $10,000 (ex GST).

Please note, PD funds cannot be used to for the ongoing repayments of an internal lease. This is because the service and maintenance contract is a 3 or 5 year commitment, going beyond the life of a PD Fund. All cost centres provided for ongoing device copy charges must be Administrative (i.e non-PD Fund).

Please contact Strategic Procurement to arrange a lease or visit our leasing webpage for more information.



23. Does the Procurement Handbook also apply to purchases made by credit card?


Yes, it does. The Procurement Handbook is relevant to all purchasing methods, including credit cards, Purchase Orders and Petty cash. The nature and value of the purchase will determine the most appropriate procurement method to use.


24. Can I purchase from eBay?

Strategic Procurement strongly discourages the use of sites such as eBay for the following reasons:

  • The University's Credit Card Policy provides a Prohibited Transactions list that discourages the use of sites such as eBay.
  • There is always an element of risk when purchasing goods from overseas companies as this removes the ability for the University to pursue any issues easily. The Procurement Handbook recommends that preference should be given to purchasing goods and services from within Australia when possible. Items that are purchased overseas may result in difficulties pursuing warranty claims or the need to return to the seller if the goods arrive damaged or they are not suitable.
  • eBay sellers feedback is not always positive, look out for complaints from other buyers about shipping, missing parts, incorrect items sent etc.
  • Although there may be a significant price difference between the items found via a company and those on eBay, many risks are introduced as well as compromising on the quality of the goods. Therefore the goods are not comparable between the different suppliers.
  • We also strongly advise that consideration is given to the ethical sourcing of the supplier - how do you know where and how the goods were manufactured? Generally if the item is 'cheap' it has probably come from an unethical source such as those that we see in the media where children are used or staff are forced to work in inhumane conditions. The use of University approved (preferred and contracted) suppliers provides you with the assurance that these companies all follow ethical sourcing standards and provide the University with certification and processes in which they take to ensure that their suppliers are ethical.

Please consider all of the above points before making your decision.



25. How do I know what is included in the Warranty for the goods I have purchased?


As a general rule, the following items are not usually included within warranties for defective parts and workmanship:


  • Normal wear and tear;
  • Shipment of the equipment or travel expenses to and from the manufacturer;
  • Any damage due to shipping and transport;
  • Defects directly or indirectly resulting from:
  • Servicing performed or attempted by third party;
  • Improper installation;
  • Use outside the specification limits;
  • Misuse, negligence, tampering, improper use or accidents;
  • Damages caused by lightning, overload or short circuit;
  • Liquids or trace of liquids or condensation inside a product not intended for outdoor use or installation.
  • For (fixed) Products, requiring warranty service on board, Buyer will have to pay travel expenses and/or travel time and other costs to get technician and parts to and from the buyers site.


However, all supplier warranties are unique and you should ensure that you have reviewed what is and is not covered (clarifying with the supplier is necessary) prior to purchasing the goods.




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