University of Minnesota
Controller's Organization: Purchasing Services
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Controller's Office > Purchasing Services

Department of Purchasing Services

Purchasing Services

Purchasing Services provides management oversight and facilitation of all University of Minnesota purchasing processes to insure integrity, economy, efficiency, and accountability.

Making the Most Common Purchases - Job Aid

The purpose of this job aid is to provide a quick, visual summary of how departments may purchase the most common goods and services.

Job Aid

U Market

September 17, 2015

U Market is the University's website for purchasing commonly used supplies and equipment and is the easiest and lowest cost procurement method. Backed by a dedicated customer support team and package tracking from supplier to desktop, U Market is here to get you what you need at the lowest overall cost of ownership.

You'll find computer software and hardware, gases and furniture, apparel, as well as equipment and supplies for office, lab, dental, electrical, facilities, medical, plumbing, and veterinary medicine on U Market.

U Market had a very positive year of growth in its second full year. Spend increased 17% over the previous year. One of our ongoing goals is to reduce PCard spend with U Market suppliers and we had a 31% reduction in year two.

We are continuing to pursue growth in FY 16 by bringing in new suppliers. Stemcell and Eppendorf are already live and Home Depot and Henry Schein will be live in the near future. We will also continue to work with suppliers to add quote functionality for volume discounts and special orders.

Save time and money. Get what you need and get on with your day. Shop now at U Market.

Strategic Sourcing

September 17, 2015

As of June 2015, Strategic Sourcing Program initiatives have accumulated $38.4 million in savings for University departments, including $9.5 million in savings for FY 15. The program includes projects in many different commodity areas including lab and office supplies, computers, travel, and services. The program continues to search for and implement savings opportunities.

Implemented in July 2013 as the University's best practice and lowest cost procurement method, U Market is our largest strategic initiative to date. Contract savings attributable to U Market is $1.27 million annually.

For more information, view the FY 15 Strategic Sourcing Dashboard. Contact Linda Woock if you have any questions about the program of if you are interested in receiving Spend Analysis reports for your college or business unit.

Office Equipment Services Copier Maintenance Transition Information

September 17, 2015

Office of Equipment Services has discontinued the summarized copier maintenance billing service. University departments now work directly with copier vendors to submit quarterly meter readings and payment for copier maintenance. The first meter report is due in September, 2015.

To help with this transition, the following materials are available by clicking on the links below:

Copier Vendor Contracts and Information Spreadsheet

Letters and forms from individual vendors


Notice to Suppliers and Vendors: Fraudulent Purchase Order Email Activity

January 17, 2014

There is an active email scam involving purchase orders and requests for price quotations that pretend to originate from the University of Minnesota but are in fact fraudulent. The University cannot prevent this illegal activity, but we are actively working with law enforcement to investigate these fraudulent email contacts.

To help reduce risk to your company, here are some of the common traits or themes in the fraudulent emails:

• The email message is poorly written, with misspellings and awkward sentence structure.
• The sender's contact information, email address, or web site link are not authentic to the University of Minnesota.
• The message requests shipment of products to non-University of Minnesota addresses (often to states other than Minnesota).
• The goods ordered are different in kind or quantity than those the University usually orders from your company, or your company may not be a regular supplier to the University.
• The message may include an attachment that is designed to look like a purchase order, may include a logo or other graphic, and a signature that may look legitimate.

You can find genuine contact information, email and physical addresses, and website links through the University of Minnesota website, If you believe you have received a fraudulent email or order that appears to be from the University of Minnesota, you may forward it to our Purchasing Services team via email at to verify its legitimacy before responding to the email or filling the order. You may also contact our business service team by phone (the University of Minnesota Financial Helpline), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (612) 624-1617.

The University of Minnesota values its supplier and vendor relationships and appreciates the very important role you play in providing goods and services to our faculty, students, and staff in support of their academic, research, and outreach endeavors. Please know that we are assisting to the fullest extent we are able with the investigation of this illegal activity by reporting all fraudulent emails to appropriate authorities.

Regents Docket Information

Regents' Policy requires that individual purchases and contracts valued at $1,000,000 and over be presented to the Regents for approval after the bid / proposal process has been completed and prior to making the purchase or contract.

Link to Docket forms and information on Regents Approval of Large Purchases.

Restricted Commodities and Allowable Expenses

Special consideration MUST be given when departments purchase certain items. For more information on Restricted Commodities/Special Services and Allowable Expenses, choose the appropriate link below.

Allowable Expenses
Restricted Commodities/Special Expenses


Travelers now have the ability to take advantage of the University's discount with Delta by booking their airfare on In order to receive the University contracted rates travelers must enter through the links provided on the Travel Services website either from the FAST TRACK on the Travel Services home page or by clicking on Travel Reservations and Delta. Any changes to tickets purchased through must be made directly with Delta. Delta discounts are available for both business and personal travel. Discounts range from 2% to 10% depending on the location and fare class purchased.

For more of what's happening in the Purchasing Department, read the Dollars & Sense Newsletter.


Uniform Guidance

Are the procurement requirements in the new uniform guidance in OMB 2.CFR.200.320 applicable to existing and new awards?

The University of Minnesota has chosen to delay implementation of the new procurement requirements in OMB 2.CFR.200.320 until July 1, 2016. All other regulations in OMB 2.CFR.200.320 are applicable to new federal awards issued after December 26, 2014 and may be applicable to existing federal awards depending on agency implementation plans.

MBid - University Bidding Tool

As of January 3, 2011, MBid replaced the BIS (Bid Information Service) system. Go to MBid for more information and registration.

Bid Threshold

The University of Minnesota formal purchasing bid threshold for goods and standard services is $50,000. Go to Bid Threshold for more detailed information.

Enterprise Financial System - Purchasing: Forms and How To Documents

For more information, go to EFS - using the financial system for Purchasing


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