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Making Purchases Selecting a Supplier
Selecting a Supplier

Preferred Contract Suppliers and Approved Suppliers

In selecting a supplier at Penn, the classification of existing University suppliers should be considered. Penn's suppliers are broadly classified and described as follows:

Preferred Contract Suppliers

  • Preferred Contract Suppliers are Approved Suppliers for which a strategically sourced central contract is in place with price controls and additional favorable terms to the University, such as service level and quality commitments
  • While competitive bidding is always encouraged, individual purchases from Preferred Contract Suppliers do not require competitive bidding
  • Wherever applicable, purchases should be directed to Preferred Contract Suppliers to aggregate Penn’s spend and optimize value to the University

A list which contains Penn's Preferred Contract Suppliers can be found here. Use the Supplier Type drop down box to select Preferred Contract Suppliers only

Approved Suppliers

  • Approved Suppliers are those suppliers that have been centrally vetted, and approved to do business with Penn
  • Approved Suppliers are enabled for ordering via Purchase Order in BEN
  • Competitive bidding requirements DO apply to all purchases from standard Approved Suppliers
  • If a purchase is being considered with a new supplier that is not an Approved Supplier, visit the BEN Buys Forms page and complete the form to request that the supplier be considered for Approved Supplier status
  • No business should be transacted with the supplier until the supplier is approved and a Purchase Order has been approved and issued

Other Supplier Types & Statuses

  • Local Community Supplier - an approved supplier in West Philadelphia.
  • Diversity Supplier - an approved supplier that certifies it is majority-owned by a minority, woman, or protected veteran.
  • SBE Supplier - an approved supplier that certifies it is a Small Business Enterprise.
  • Deactivated Supplier - a BEN Buys approved supplier whose purchasing site has been deactivated in the approved supplier database. This action may have been taken as a result of a supplier consolidation initiative, a new supplier contract, or unsatisfactory supplier performance.
    • Supplier Name Changes - Suppliers that have changed their corporate name as a result of change in ownership, merger, or acquisition are listed in the Supplier Name Change list.

The Supplier Search feature allows users to identify Approved Suppliers and Preferred Contract Suppliers among other search criteria.

Requesting a New Supplier

Penn Faculty and Staff may submit a request for a new Approved Supplier through the following links: