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Joint Purchasing Agreements

January 01, 2018

Joint Purchasing Agreements

TO: All Departments
FROM: Tim Thornton, Director of Purchasing
DATE: January 1, 2018

The deregulation of campus-wide strategic sourcing procedures has allowed the University’s populace to pursue any vendor and acquisition method desired to satisfy their commodity or service needs often without first consulting the Purchasing Department. Each fiscal year, the absence of structured strategic sourcing procedures allows for dozens of vendors to receive spend volumes that meet and exceed the State of Alabama’s competitive bidding threshold of $15,000 without an associated Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP), causing an issue of compliance to state purchasing regulations. The mandatory use of joint purchasing agreements, where applicable, will reduce the probability of such occurrences. Since joint purchasing agreements have already been competitively bid by a public agency, there are no additional bidding requirements, restrictions on spending, nor need to obtain a Disclosure Statement for any requisition. For the above reasons, the following procedures will be implemented and enforced effective January 1, 2018:

  1. Departments must purchase commodities and services, whenever applicable, from vendors established on joint purchasing agreements, University-let bids, and contracts.
    1. The Purchasing Department will be the sole authority in determining whether or not a commodity or service can be successfully fulfilled by vendors identified on joint purchasing agreements, University-let bids, or contracts.
    2. If a requisition and its associated pro-forma invoice or quotation are submitted to the Purchasing Department using a vendor that is not identified on a joint purchasing agreement, University-let bid, or contract and the Purchasing Department has identified that there are suitable vendors available via these means providing like commodities or services at comparable rates, the requisition will be rejected from further processing, and the requisitioner will be notified to modify the existing requisition using one of the recommended vendors. NOTE: This procedure is necessary for high-dollar acquisitions that would cause the University to exceed the competitive bid threshold. This procedure has no bearing on low-dollar acquisitions, but the Purchasing Department shall be the sole authority in determining what is to be considered a low or high dollar acquisition.
        i. If requested, the Purchasing Department will aid in the strategic sourcing of commodities and services by recommending a vendor to meet any commodity or service need identified.
        ii. Changing the vendor on a requisition may likely change a requisition’s referenced inventory item numbers, quantities, unit prices, and commodity description(s). Requisitioners should be prepared to make all necessary corrections.

  2. Departments should review the attachments for each joint purchasing agreement listed below and send the Purchasing Department ( a list of vendors by spend category and joint purchasing agreement that they desire to use if not already identified in Section V of this memorandum. Departments should first pursue vendors available through joint purchasing agreements, whether they be named specifically in Section V or listed in the links and attachments of Section IV of this memorandum, before submitting Vendor ID Request Forms to Purchasing for vendors not listed on any of these joint purchasing agreements. Vendor ID Request Forms for the addition of vendors identified on joint purchasing agreements should be annotated in the section of the form that asks, “In what capacity will the commodity or service be utilized?” In this section the joint purchasing agreement referenced and the business purpose should be identified.

  3. The Purchasing Department must be provided a minimum of three (3) business days to initially establish new accounts and identify account managers with vendors identified on joint purchasing agreements. Furthermore, departments are encouraged to work cooperatively with Purchasing in planning the acquisition of the commodities and services requested.

  4. Alabama A&M University commonly utilizes the following joint purchasing agreements. For a vendor listing per spend category, please see the attachments.
    1. State of Alabama Contracts – Division of Purchasing
    2. Alabama Community College System and Alabama Higher Education Joint Purchasing Agreement
    3. U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance
      » U.S. Communities GPA Guide
    4. Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing (Sourcewell)
      » Sourcewell Contracts List
    5. E&I Cooperative Services (E&I)
      » E&I Supplier List
    6. National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA)
      » NCPA Vendor List
    7. National IPA/Vizient
      » Vizient Contract List

  5. The following categorized vendors available via joint purchasing agreements serve as the preferred vendors to provide the following commodities and services to the University. Since many vendors offer products and services spanning a variety of spend categories, users may use any vendor desired available on joint purchasing agreements to fulfill their needs even if not explicitly annotated in this memorandum. NOTE: The Purchasing Department in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the State of Alabama Competitive Bid Laws promotes supplier diversity and fair and open competition among vendors and does not seek to restrict any vendor’s opportunity to provide Alabama A&M University with its goods and/or services. Joint purchasing programs, such as E&I Cooperative Services and the National IPA, provide additional discounts and rebates to participants based on annualized volume spending; furthermore, the use of joint purchasing agreements, whenever feasible, helps the University recoup funds invested in supporting campus operations throughout each academic year. Please contact the vendor representatives noted below and reference the corresponding joint purchasing agreement when obtaining quotations to ensure competitive pricing.

      Departments should first contact the vendors listed below to verify their ability to provide the requested commodities before making a claim that a commodity falls into the Sole Source category or should be supplied by another vendor.
      • McKesson Medical Surgical Government Solutions LLC (A00515898) – Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing, Contact Jerome Hewlett – E:, O: 1-800-234-1464 Ext. 55473
      • Vizient Contracts through National IPA – Please refer to the attachments of Section IV.g above for vendors and their representatives. Submit Vendor ID Request Forms for any of these vendors of interest. Refer to Section II of this memorandum.

      • Lowes (A00124642) – E&I Cooperative Services,
        Contact Lisa Minton, E:, PH: (704) 758-2845, F: (877) 793-8455
        Check-out a Lowes E&I account card from the Purchasing Dept. prior to arriving in-store to received discounted pricing through E&I Cooperative Services
      • Home Depot (A00359760) – U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance,
        Contact George Brogan, E:, PH: (727) 919-9623
        Check-out a Home Depot account card from the Purchasing Dept. prior to arriving in-store to receive discounted pricing through U.S. Communities
      • SupplyWorks – a subsidiary of Home Depot (A00241224) - U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance,
        Contact JW Williams – E:, PH: (256) 337-5818
        Users should submit orders online to be approved by Purchasing personnel. Go to and select “Become A Customer.” Contact Joshua Blessing at to obtain online access under Account Number 704765.
      • Grainger (A00240951) – E&I Cooperative Services,
        Contact Desire McDonald  M: 256-285-0111
        Users should submit orders online to be approved by Purchasing personnel. Go to, and click “Register Now“ in the top right corner. On the Registration page, where Account # is requested as an Optional input, type 804442507. Complete the registration process and start shopping!
      • Motion Industries (A00478708) – Sourcewell,
        Contact Evan Fleming – E:, PH: (256) 858-5020, M: (256) 412-9427, F: (855) 801-2230
        Users should submit orders online, which will route to for approval. Go to, and click “Sign In/Register” in the top right of the screen. Click “Register Here” under “New User?” Answer the question, “Are you a Motion Industries customer?” as Yes. Enter Branch Code # AL17 and Account # 700002-01. Complete the registration process and start shopping!
      • HD Supply (A00478714) – U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance,
        Contact Billy Morse – E:, PH: (980) 216-0046, F: (844) 895-0739
        Users should submit orders online, which will route to for approval. Go to and in the “Current Customers” Section, enter Customer # 12670155 and Billing Zip Code 35762. Enter the Security Code provided, and click Register to Order. Complete the registration process and start shopping!
      • Applied Industrial Technologies (A00478687) – U.S. Communities,
        Contact Blair Kenimer – E:, PH: (256) 259-1445, M: (256) 605-0950, F: (256) 259-2185
        Users should submit orders online, which will route to for approval. Go to, and click on the “Register” button at the top left of the screen. Choose your profile type of “State or Local Government,” personal account information (email and password), and customer information. When asked if you have an account with a local Applied service center, click “Yes,” and type in your account number 1286293. Agree to the terms, and submit the request.
      • Fastenal (A00366538) – National IPA,
        Contact Clay Rasco – E:, M: (281) 299-1405, PH: (770) 516-9548, F: (507) 494-9701
        Users should submit orders online, which will route to for approval. Users should send an email to requesting to obtain a Fastenal account.

      Huntsville Tractor Equipment (A00124633), Distributor of Kubota (A00460896), New Holland, Bandit Industries, Inc., Land Pride, & Terrain King, which are available through the Sourcewell
      Contact David Ficken (Sales) -, Bobby Gamble (Parts) -, PH: (256) 837-6767

      Tri-Green (A00241855), Distributor of John Deere (A00241848) – Sourcewell
      Contact Keith Smith – E:, PH: (931) 433-5620

      Bobcat (A0040170) - Sourcewell,
      Contact Brad Tittle (Sales, Parts, Service, & Rentals) –, PH: (256) 895-3311, F: (256) 895-0399

      Office Environments, Inc. (A00478233) - E&I Cooperative Services,
      Contact Courtney McCool – E: cmccool@OFFICENVIRONMENTS.COM ,
      M: (205) 470-6065, PH: (256) 704-5008
      Distributor of Global Furniture Group, Claridge, MityLite, American Seating, Coalesse, Falcon, Gunlocke, Howe, Shelby Williams, & Thonet

      KI International (A00399620) - State of Alabama Contracts – Division of Purchasing,
      Contact: Milton Bresler – E:, PH: (205) 223-0170
      Aaron Scroggins – E:, PH: (205) 587-6664

      State of Alabama Contracts – Division of Purchasing
      Listing of all Furniture Manufacturers under contract with the State of Alabama. The distributors also accept the manufacturers’ negotiated rates and discounts.

      Staples Business Advantage (A00435961) – currently UAB Joint Purchasing Agreement,
      Contact: Elayne Neubert – E:, PH: (205) 343-0774, F: (205) 391-2114

      Amazon Capital Services (A00469126)
      – U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance,
      Contact: Harold Respass – E:, PH: (617) 577-4615 (See also Amazon Business Accounts memo for more details).
      Please note that Staples Business Advantage and Amazon Business may be used to purchase ANY CATEGORY of product offered, not just office supplies. If you require access to either Staples Business Advantage or Amazon Business, please contact Purchasing via email at


      Pitney Bowes (A00124652) – Sourcewell & State of Alabama Contracts – Division of Purchasing,
      Contact: Vic Paschal – E:, M: (205) 246-4294, F: (203) 460-9022

      FedEx Express (A00241606), FedEx Ground (A00241605), FedEx Kinkos (A00124641) – E&I Cooperative Services,
      Contact: Bobby Bledsoe – E:, PH: (901) 219-6964

      J.T. Ray Company (A00359604) – Sourcewell,
      Contact Stewart Schuerr – E:, M: (256) 759-2456
      a. Supports current fleet of Konica Minolta multifunction printing devices

      Advance Auto Parts (A00478659) – U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance,
      Contact Ken Smith – E:, PH: (256) 520-8583
      a. Supplies available for in-store pick-up with official purchase order

    14. AIR TRAVEL
      Airfare should be arranged in Egencia. When the traveler is an employee or graduate student of the University, encumbrances should be entered in that traveler’s name as the vendor. Guests, interviewees, and group student travel should be encumbered in the sponsor’s name as the vendor.
      » Egencia and Air Travel Memo
      » University Travel Procedure

      Enterprise Rent-A-Car (A00359809) – E&I Cooperative Services,
      Purchasing will provide quotes and make reservations with the vendor upon receipt of the details and preferences. See also Enterprise Rentals memo.

      The ITS Department strategically sources technology-related commodities using the joint purchasing agreement and vendor of choice per project. Requisitioners should submit work orders to ITS to request quotes for technology-related commodities. The ITS Department commonly sources commodities and services using the following vendors available on the Alabama Community College System and Alabama Higher Education Joint Purchasing Agreement.
      i. Blackboard, Inc. (A00365225)
      ii. CDI (A00448071)
      iii. CDW-G, Inc. (A00242245) also through E&I Cooperative Services
      iv. Connection (A00371279)
      v. Dell (A00124727)
      vi. Graybar (A00241910)
      vii. Hewlett-Packard (A00240926)
      viii. Howard Industries, Inc. (A00394450), Howard Computers (A00394375)
      ix. IBM (A00241868)
      x. Information Transport Solutions, Inc. (A00377247)

      DLT Solutions (A00366326) – National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance,
      Contact Bradley Gernat – E: , PH: (703) 708-9105,
      M: (703) 608-0174, F: (866) 708-7064
      Jason Quinn – E:, PH: (703) 708-9617, F: (866) 708-6842

      Best Buy for Business (A00241706) – National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance,
      Contact David Kavanaugh,, O:  612-292-0343, F: 952-430-0053
      Users should contact David to obtain quotes for commodities reflective of the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance’s discounted pricing.

      The Physical Facilities Department strategically sources services for public works projects in accordance with State of Alabama Code Title 39. Please contact the Director of Physical Facilities for assistance. For public works-related commodities, please refer to this memorandum and contact the Purchasing Department at for assistance.
      The University is currently under formal contract with the following vendors, and they should be used whenever possible.
      Aramark Dining Services (A00124616) – on-campus food catering services
      Bono Enterprises LLC dba The UPS Store (A00511006) – on-campus managed print services

  6. Individuals will no longer be reimbursed for purchases of commodities if a vendor that accepts purchase orders could have been requisitioned to provide the commodities required. All commodities and services should be requisitioned prior to the receipt of said commodities and services. Proper acquisition planning will allow for the adherence to these procedures.