Preferred Supplier Status

What does it mean to be an Alliance “Preferred Supplier”?

When the Alliance competitively procures and then negotiates a master supply agreement on behalf of Alliance members and affiliates, the supplier is given the unique distinction of being a “Preferred Supplier.” This means the master agreement’s terms have been negotiated by the Alliance to secure “best value.” Some of the factors considered when determining best value are purchase price, reputation of the supplier and the quality of its goods and services, and the extent to which the supplier can meet needs of Alliance members and affiliates. Additional consideration is given to the supplier's ability to comply with laws relating to historically underutilized businesses. The result is that the supplier  is treated by purchasing institutions as “preferred,” compared to other potential sources of the goods or services.

Once a master supply agreement is signed by the Preferred Supplier and UT System (acting through the Alliance), institutions sign a short Institutional Participation Agreement (IPA). The IPA is the means by which institutions “opt into” the master agreement and become entitled to its benefits, such as discounted pricing, rebates and incentives. The IPA also commits the institutions to comply with all obligations in the master agreement applicable to them. These obligations include various commitments to promote the use of the Preferred Supplier’s goods and services by the institution’s internal customers.

Benefits of Becoming a Preferred Supplier

  • The Alliance’s Strategic Services Group works closely with the Preferred Supplier to grow existing business and develop new areas of opportunity that fully maximize the Preferred Supplier's product or service offering.
  • The Preferred Supplier is identified by the Alliance and institutions participating in the master supply agreement as the primary choice for the particular product or service.
  • Preferred Supplier status is highlighted within e-procurement technology platforms.
  • The Alliance’s Strategic Services Group works with the Preferred Supplier to develop unique product shows and events on campus.
  • The Preferred Supplier business relationship and value is identified to end users.
  • The Preferred Supplier is best positioned to benefit from campus growth.

Becoming a Preferred Supplier

In order to become a preferred supplier a company must first participate and successfully compete in an Alliance strategic sourcing event. The Alliance invites suppliers to provide their most competitive offering for their products and services to our member institutions and affiliates.


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