Alliance FAQs


1. What is the UT System Supply Chain Alliance?

The UT System Supply Chain Alliance was established in 2007 to expand the use of joint purchasing and to explore new opportunities to leverage the collective size and strength of UT System institutions.

2. Who is the Alliance’s Strategic Services Group?

The Strategic Services Group is a dedicated team of experienced supply chain professionals recruited to manage the Alliance’s daily operational activities on a full-time basis. The Strategic Services Group is based at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

3. Are Alliance members required to purchase goods and services under contracts awarded to preferred suppliers?

No. However, Alliance members are involved in every step of the strategic sourcing process. They participate as Subject Matter Experts, Evaluate Request for Proposals, and provide information for Preferred Supplier performance and business reviews. They make the recommendations on who should be awarded the contract. Therefore, stakeholders and end-users are champions of the process from beginning to end.

4. Does a strategic sourcing event always lead to a single-supplier award?

A single-supplier award is the objective for most Alliance sourcing events, because the Alliance always tries to take maximum advantage of the collective size and strength of UT System institutions. From time to time, though, multiple-supplier awards in a single sourcing event are possible, if necessary to meet the needs of our institutions.

5. How does strategic sourcing differ from conventional purchasing?

Strategic sourcing differs from conventional purchasing by focusing on total cost of ownership and enhancing supplier relationships, whereas conventional purchasing usually emphasizes purchase price alone.

6. How does a company register to participate in a UT System Supply Chain Alliance strategic sourcing event?

To participate in an Alliance strategic sourcing event, a supplier must register with the Alliance for the particular competitive bid process. All sourcing events are hosted electronically on UT MD Anderson's website. These electronic bid announcements are also posted on the Electronic State Business Daily website (


7. What distinguishes the role of the UT System Supply Chain Alliance - SSG from that of the UT System Contracts and Procurement Group (, which also procures and contracts for goods and services required by multiple UT System institutions?

The UT System Contracts and Procurement Group, with staff located in Austin, Texas, serves the needs of UT System Administration. This might involve procuring and contracting for goods and services required by UT System Administration itself. From time to time, the Group also procures and concludes System-wide master agreements, but only when requested by a UT System executive officer as part of UT System Administration-led initiative.


In contrast, the Alliance, with staff located in Houston, Texas, takes its procurement and contracting directions directly from UT System campuses, which identify what multi-institutional sourcing and contract initiatives they would like the Alliance to undertake.









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