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Current News

This page provides procurement-related news including featured stories from our Dollars & Sense newsletter, current updates related to our Preferred Vendors, and upcoming events. You can also view News Stories By Year or view Back Issues of our newsletter for more information. 

Featured Stories

Regular Features

New Contracts

Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) conducts many Invitations to Bid to establish contracts for use by departments and schools. These contracts may be for use by all departments and schools, which are Preferred Vendors, or they may be contracts for use by specific departments and schools. Contracts are established based on the results of a formal, competitive Invitation to Bid process. See the Preferred Vendor List for more information on all vendor contracts.

Recent Contracts Established by PPS
Recent Contracts Established by PPS
  • No new contract updates

Existing Contract Updates

Updates to existing contracts established by Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) may include new contact information for dedicated representatives, service updates, and newly available products. For questions about these updates, please view the individual vendor pages on the Preferred Vendor List or contact PPS at 847.491.8120 or  

Recent Changes Made to Contracts Established by PPS
Recent Changes Made to Contracts Established by PPS

Active Graphics (Envision3) is no longer a Preferred Vendor for printing services. For more information about choosing a printer and printing services offered, visit the Printing Services web page or contact Julie Maul at

Contracts We're Working On

Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) is always working to establish Preferred Vendor contracts that best serve the needs of all Northwestern departments and schools. These are a combination of new contracts and timely rebids of current contracts. For questions about these or other bids, please contact PPS at 847.491.8120 or

  • Office Supplies Products - Current re-bid in process
  • Shuttle Service - Current re-bid in process
  • Alumni Relations and Development CRM Analytics Partner RFP
  • Northwestern IT Secure Enclave RFP
  • Northwestern IT Data Protection Platform RFP
  • Housing Management Software Vendor Evaluation
  • PC Hardware Preferred Vendor Evaluation
  • Safety & Security Video Storage Vendor Evaluation
  • Risk Management RMIS RFP
  • Northwestern IT Load Balancing RFP
  • Magazine Design for Kellogg School of Management and Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Book Printing for Northwestern Press
  • Laundry equipment & maintenance for student housing
  • Refresh of Facilities Pre-Qualified Vendor Program
  • Refresh of Pre-Qualified List of Staffing Firms
  • Travel Partner RFP


Travel Related

Travel related updates
Travel Related Updates

New Enterprise Affinity Program for Personal Use Rentals

Enterprise has a new affinity program with discounts for faculty, staff, and students for personal use car rentals, you must be 21 to book. Additionally, Enterprise has added their subsidiary Alamo Car rental to the program, giving travelers three choices of rental companies: Enterprise, National, and Alamo. Discounts will be a minimum of 5% off retail rates up to 20% off depending on factors at individual locations, like number of cars on hand at the time of booking. Enterprise recommends booking as early as possible to get the highest available discount, especially during peak rental times (holidays, summer vacation time, back-to-school time).

To receive the special Northwestern discounts, you must book personal use vehicles through the PPS Travel Website under Vehicle Rentals and follow the prompts.

You Can Now Book Small Group Travel Through Egencia

Group Trips is a new feature in Egencia that allows you to easily organize small group travel for people from the same company.
  • Anybody can organize a group trip.
  • Group trip organizers can invite up to 50 attendees and add up to 4 additional organizers.
  • Attendees and organizers receive email notifications when they are added to or removed from a group trip, or when a group trip is cancelled.
  • Organizers can see attendees' booking statuses and download their trip details; they can also copy and send group trip invitation links to attendees.
  • Attendees can see the group trip details, other colleagues and/or guests invited to the group trip and their booking statuses.
  • To access the Group Trips feature, navigate to the Egencia home page drop-down menu and select "Tools" > "General" > "Group Travel".  Details and in-product and quick video overview at:

Chart String 101

For those of you new to booking travel in Egencia, you will need to enter your chart string to complete your booking. The chart string identifies to which department the travel should be billed and from which account or grant the money will be deducted. The chart string is typically composed of these components:

Description of Chart String
Typical chart string: 450-1234567-12345678-01 Description
Fund Code (3 digits): 450  This code indicates the source of the funds being used.
Department ID (7 digits): 1234567    Identifies the financial entity, or management unit, that is responsible for the travel or other activity/expense.
Project ID (8 digits): 12345678   Only used for Fund codes over 160.  The Project ID is used to identify financial activity for a distinct unrestricted or restricted purpose.
Activity Code (2 digits): 01  Is typically “01” and is mandatory when Fund is over 160.
Chartfield 1: 1234    Optional field for internal department or school tracking.


Contact Kathy Koestring at 847-467-0590 or if you have questions about any of the travel related articles.

Sustainability Highlight

Northwestern Expands Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure to the Chicago Campus

To increase access to sustainable transportation options, Northwestern installed four new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the Chicago campus, allowing eight vehicles to charge simultaneously. These charging stations, strategically placed in the Huron Superior and Erie Ontario parking garages, demonstrate the University’s commitment to fostering environmentally conscious practices and supporting the growing prevalence of electric vehicles. These new charging stations complement the existing 8 stations in Evanston campus parking garages. Read more about how to locate and use the chargers here! 

Electric Vehicle Charger

Small Business Spotlight

Wildcard Advantage Program: New and Improved

The Wildcard Advantage Program is a free discount program that gives businesses the opportunity to provide deals and discounts to the Northwestern community. We are pleased to announce that we are refreshing the program in phases to include up to date businesses with current promotions while focusing on local and diverse vendors. If you have any questions, please contact Peter Braithwaite, our Director of Procurement Diversity and Community Engagement, at


General Updates and Reminders

Exempt or Not Exempt, that is the Question

Northwestern University is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, coeducational institution that is exempt from Sales Tax, Use Tax, Retailer's Occupation Tax, Service Occupation Tax (both state and local), and Service Use Tax in the State of Illinois.

What does this mean to you? Here are some helpful FAQs:

  • If you are buying an item or "good" for use at work, you could use a one-time tax form for that purchase so that you don't have to pay the sales tax. This could mean flowers for an event or lunch for a meeting. Of course, please first make sure that our iBuyNU catalogs do not have what you need before you buy elsewhere.
  • If you are traveling on University business, sales tax on your meals is reimbursable.
  • Northwestern is not exempt from sleeping room/lodging taxes at hotels. All room taxes are reimbursable.
  • If you are hosting an event at a hotel, however, Northwestern would be exempt from sales tax on purchased food and beverage, audio visual services, etc. for that event.

What is a Preferred Vendor?

A Preferred Vendor has been established by the Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing unit within the Procurement and Payment Services office for use by all departments, units, schools on campus. These vendors have been awarded a contract based on the results from a formal bid process managed by Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing. Procurement and Payment Services strongly encourages all departments, units, schools to use these Preferred Vendors. To see businesses that are preferred vendors, visit the Preferred Vendor list. A vendor that is simply in NUFinancials does not mean they are a preferred vendor.

Vendor Status in NUFinancials

Vendors that have been paid in the previous rolling 24-month period remain active in NUFinancials.  Vendors who have not been paid in that 24-month period will be automatically deactivated.  If you find an inactive vendor in the vendor table that you need to issue a Purchase Order to, you will need to request that they be reactivated in the system using the same process and form that you would use to add a new vendor.

Questions? Please contact Procurement and Payment Services at