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In 2004, the executive vice chancellor of health affairs had a vision of a joint purchasing initiative for UT System. Over the following two years of careful study and collaboration among the UT System health institutions, a conclusion was made that a dedicated team of professionals was needed to pursue the initiative.

In 2006, the initiative was adopted and incorporated into the UT System Strategic Plan 2006–2015, which was approved by the Board of Regents. The two objectives within the strategic plan that are directly related to this initiative are "Improving Health in Texas" and "Improving Productivity and Efficiency." These objectives stated that there should be expanded use of joint purchasing and that a framework should be in place by June 30, 2007.

On July 1, 2007, the Strategic Sourcing Team was established; it commenced formal activities on September 1, 2007. This team is comprised of a dedicated staff of experienced supply chain professionals solely committed to the pursuit of UT System Supply Chain Alliance activities.

The UT System Supply Chain Alliance members are the UT System health institutions, which account for approximately two-thirds of UT System's annual operating budget. All UT System Supply Chain Alliance contracts are executed by UT System Administration and are available to UT System health institutions and affiliates.