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Cost Containment Strategies & Ideas

August 8, 2018

A university the size of Northwestern has considerable spending power when purchasing efforts are consolidated, organized, and tracked.  Procurement and Payment Services office is considered the procurement expert at Northwestern, setting the overall strategy regarding how purchases and payments should be made.  As the University works collaboratively to build a better Northwestern, we have pulled together ideas to help departments and schools operate in a more efficient manner from a purchasing and payment perspective.

  • Use Northwestern’s preferred vendors and iBuyNU whenever possible.
  • Reduce the amount of printing done to minimize waste and save.
  • Reduce purchases of catering for meetings.
  • Reduce the use of external search firms and consultants; instead, leverage your in-house talent.
  • Use Northwestern’s travel program whenever possible, This will bring the University savings on travel expenses and streamline the process of paying for travel services.
  • Take advantage of the expanded availability of our corporate card program for travel. This will decrease the amount of time spent processing reimbursements.
  • Identify opportunities to leverage our spending with the same or similar vendors across units/schools.
  • Engage Procurement to help negotiate savings on current contracts based on a revised scope of work/services.
  • Engage Procurement and Payment Services for assistance with RFPs and contract negotiations.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Procurement and Payment Services at 847.491.8120 or

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