Strategic Sourcing

The University's Procurement Policy states that all goods and services shall be obtained at the best overall value to the University as is consistent with the quantity, quality, durability, availability, serviceability, and other factors affecting service and use as required by the using department of the University.

The UPST Sourcing & Category Management Team manages ~$1 Billion in spend annually for the University with a focus on leveraging leading practice strategic and collaborative sourcing practices to maximize benefits/savings to UMass in partnership with the campuses.

Quick Reference Guides: 

According to the University of Massachusetts Procurement Policy document, competitive procurement is the acquisition of goods and services through fair and open competition. Acceptable methods of competitive procurement include invitations to bid, requests for proposals, requests for quotes, or a combination of these (collectively “Invitations”).

Competitive Procurement is required for purchases of materials, goods, commodities, leases (including equipment or real property) and licenses (including software, electronic journals, or real property) which exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per fiscal year; and for services contracts including consultant contracts, and sub-contracts which exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per fiscal year.

  1. Products or Services purchased off a University, State (OSD)/ COMMBUYSE&I (Educational & Institutional Cooperative Purchasing) or MHEC (Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium) contract
  2. Purchases of materials, goods, commodities, leases (including equipment or real property), or licenses (including software or real property) less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in value.
  3. The best overall value based on a minimum of two with a preferred three quotes for purchases of materials, goods, commodities, leases (including equipment or real property), and licenses (including software) between ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in value.
  4. Consultant, services contracts, or sub-contracts with fees of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or less per fiscal year.
  5. A No-Bid Justification form is completed

An exception to competitive procurement (no-bid justification) may only be used if the following conditions exist:

  • The product or service being purchased is unique and the specified vendor is the only vendor from whom the product or service may be purchased, or
  • Similar products/services may exist, but for reasons of expertise, standardization, quality, compatibility with existing equipment, specifications, or availability, the vendor selected is the only acceptable vendor to the University.

No Bid Justification (NBJ) (formerly sole source): For UMB and UMass Amherst Campuses, can also be used for select departments in other campuses whose requisitions do not originate in BuyWays.

The IT department should be involved with the up-front evaluation and planning for new IT-related systems or services to ensure the systems are installed in compliance with University security standards and to properly assess the resources and training requirements required to provide ongoing support for any new system.

For some purchases, IT Department review is mandatory, not just strongly advised. A full list is provided in the Information Technology Acquisition policy.

Submit a strategic sourcing request or contact the Procurement Department at and a member of the UPST Strategic Sourcing team will follow-up to begin the sourcing process.

The University of Massachusetts vendor relationship policy states that the University will adhere to the highest ethical principles in its relationships with vendors and the procurement of any goods and services. These principles will assure that all goods and services are of the highest quality and value for the best competitive price possible. All such goods and services shall be procured in such a way that all qualified vendors have an equal opportunity to provide such goods and services.

The University and its vendors shall comply with all federal and state laws and regulations as well as University policies, procedures, and guidelines relative to the confidentiality and privacy of University employees and students. All University employees are required to provide continuing assurances and be fully aware that any conflict of interest related to or appearance of a conflict with a vendor is unacceptable. The President of the University shall issue guidelines to implement this University policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Knowledge Base has answers to the most frequently asked questions that asked by our constituents.

Strategic Sourcing FAQs