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2020 News Archive

This page provides all featured stories from our 2020 Dollars & Sense newsletters. You can also view our Current News or view Back Issues of our newsletter for more information.

Fall 2020

Published December 10, 2020
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Featured Stores
Subscribe to New PPS Listserv
Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) will now communicate important information via a new Listserv. The Listserv will be used to email subscribers information in-between our quarterly Dollars & Sense Newsletter.

Print Management Program

Procurement and Payment Services recently issued a Request for Proposals to select a single vendor to implement a campus-wide print management solution. After an extensive evaluation and considerable collaboration with several other schools and departments, a new contract will be awarded to Ricoh.

Digital Signature Standard
The University has recently made the decision to establish DocuSign as our digital signature standard platform. 

Procurement and Payment Service - Central Bill Programs
All Central Bill Programs previously managed by Auxiliary Services has been transitioned to Procurement and Payment Services (PPS).  

Organization Change
Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) said goodbye to 13 staff members who retired at the end of the past fiscal year. We thank them for the hard work they contributed to Northwestern, and wish them the best in their next chapter.

Operational Reminder

As many staff continue to work from home, we have compiled some reminders regarding Logistics and Accounts Payable functions.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Updates

Procurement would like to share new information regarding Personal Protective Equipment.

Calibrations in December
Fisher Scientific offers Pipette and Balance calibrations on a quarterly basis. These are normally scheduled through the Stockroom. Due to current COVID protocols please contact our Fisher representatives to schedule service for December 2020.

Check Printing
Our primary banking partner at Northwestern is Chase.  We have recently worked with them to handle the printing and mailing of vendor checks.

Winter Recess Coverage
Learn more about processing deadlines and our schedule during Winter Recess 2020.

Remembering Guy Wilson
Northwestern’s longtime Accounts Payable Manager Guy Wilson retired earlier this year on February 28
th.  Guy was well respected at the University and had many friends throughout campus. He served as Accounts Payable Manager for 20 years and had previously worked at the Library.  Sadly, Guy passed away in August, six months after his retirement. We remember Guy for his dedication to Northwestern and will miss him dearly.


Summer 2020

Published August 26, 2020
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Featured Stores
Guide to Personal Protective Equipment Supply Ordering
To prepare campus and reduce waste, Procurement and Payment Services is coordinating the roll out of several campus wide PPE initiatives and centrally sourcing numerous items for distribution to campus upon request by departments and schools. 

Amazon Business added to iBuyNU

We recently added an Amazon Business Prime Catalog to our iBuyNU.  We have many great contracts with our established Preferred Vendors in iBuyNU offering great prices, service, delivery and warranties. The purpose of implementing Amazon Business in iBuyNU is to complement all of the Preferred Vendor catalogs already in iBuyNU.  It will allow you to purchase items not available through our other Preferred Vendors.

Fiscal Year End Preparation
As we conclude Fiscal Year 2020, visit the Northwestern Fiscal Year End website for important information including key dates, task reminders, and contacts. Due to the fact that the Year End Town Hall Session could not occur in person this year, the website also includes a recorded version of the session and presentation slides. We have also highlighted some key dates related to Procurement and Payment Services.

Net30 Payment Terms
Northwestern University's standard payment terms have returned to Net 30. Even though our standard payment terms in the past were net 30, NUFinancials was configured to essentially pay net now. The standard for vendors will now be a true net 30 and we will make few exceptions to this. 

Operational Update
Procurement and Payment Services would like to share a few operational changes for the fall.

Contractor safety and COVID-19 vendor procedures
Northwestern values its relationships with our business partners and is fully committed to environmental health and safety (EHS). The University has developed a Contractor Safety Program to provide our contractors with a clear understanding of Northwestern’s expectations that all work performed on University property is safe. In addition, the University has developed a COVID-19 Return to Campus Policy with the intention to mitigate the risks of spread of COVID-19.

Phishing Attempt Alert
A Northwestern staff member was recently asked to provide personal information to someone posing as a vendor.  This scam involves a fraudulent email from someone pretending to be a vendor, asking for a staff member's NetID and password.

Reactivating Document Shredding Service
Due to the University’s guidance on limiting non-essential staff on campus, Northwestern put shredding services on hold. As departments bring staff back to campus and would like to reactivate your location for Iron Mountain shredding service, please contact our dedicated Iron Mountain representative.

Policies Regarding Food Purchases
As indicated by leadership in a communication to faculty and staff on April 16, most discretionary spending is being paused, and the University is under an essential purchasing directive. Procurement would like to remind staff that departments and schools should not be arranging for the University to pay for food for virtual meetings while working remote. Also, as we prepare to return to campus, here are some important reminders to keep in mind regarding food purchases.

Monthly Open Lab Sessions
Beginning in May, Procurement and Payment Services has hosted a monthly Open Lab session via Zoom. We have received great feedback about the Open Labs, and will continue to host them every month through this virtual platform. We encourage staff to drop-in at any point during the one hour Zoom meeting to ask questions, review processes, and speak with our team.

New Paper Pricing
To strengthen our suitability goals, Procurement has recently negotiated improved pricing on recycled paper with Northwestern’s preferred office supply vendor Office Depot OfficeMax. Boise Aspen multi-use recycled copy paper contains 30% recycled content, is FSC Certified, and made in the USA. We strongly encourage schools and departments to purchase at least 30% recycled content copy paper, therefore this item should be considered a standard purchase among office supplies. Boise Aspen 30 is available in the Office Depot OfficeMax iBuyNU catalog.


Spring 2020

Published May 26, 2020

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Featured Stores
Procurement and Payment Services Operational Update
In support of our staff members and following the University’s guidance on limiting non-essential staff on campus, we are implementing the following changes to mail delivery, accounts payable, and related services. 
Essential Purchases Only
As indicated by leadership in a communication to faculty and staff on April 16, most discretionary spending is being paused.  The overall goal is to mitigate spending with a focus on reducing non-essential expenses as much as possible. Your partnership as University leaders and budget leaders is critical to us successfully navigating a rapidly changing financial landscape. 
Additional Purchasing and Payment Policy Reminders
Even in these trying times, departments and schools should still adhere to certain procurement and payment core policy requirements.
PPE Supplies

Please note that Procurement and Payment Services is purchasing general personal protective equipment (PPE) to support a phased return to campus.

New Open Lab Sessions
Beginning in May, Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) was to begin hosting in-person monthly Open Lab Sessions, in which staff are able to meet our team, ask questions, and review processes.  However, during the Stay at Home order from the State of Illinois, we will be hosting a virtual open lab session via Zoom.
Payment Terms Update
Northwestern University's standard payment terms were temporarily net40, but have returned to net30 terms.
iBuyNU Update
PPS has been successful in working with Aquiire on stabilization and enhancement projects.  Many new features have been implemented that will make iBuyNU more efficient and user friendly.
Amazon in iBuyNU
We are excited to announce that PPS has been working to implement an Amazon Business Prime Catalog in iBuyNU.  The purpose of implementing Amazon Business in iBuyNU is to complement all of the Preferred Vendor catalogs already in iBuyNU.  
Information Session Q&A
Procurement and Payment Services have posted the May 2020 Information Session presentation slides, and well as Q&A.
Short Term Vehicle Rental Program with Enterprise
Learn more about the short-term vehicle rentals with Enterprise, through the direct bill program.
Fleet Management
Northwestern recently established a strategic partnership with Enterprise for fleet management.
Accounts Payable Management Update
After nearly 31 years of service to Northwestern University, Guy Wilson, Manager of Accounts Payable in Procurement and Payment Services, retired. Gary Ernsteen will serve as the Accounts Payable Interim Manager.


Winter 2020

Published January 21, 2020
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Featured Stores
Procurement and Payment Services Information Session
Procurement and Payment Services is hosting a Procure to Pay information session. The presentation provides an overview of Northwestern’s entire purchasing and payment strategy. It will include a discussion about important policies and procedures, improvements recently implemented, current initiatives, and more. It is extremely beneficial for new staff, and a great refresh for experts.
Vehicle Rental Demo Now Live
A new online vehicle rental process demonstration has been added to myHR Learn. This demo provides students, faculty, and staff instruction on how to utilize the new vehicle rental process with Enterprise. The demo specifically discusses the ‘business use, local pickup’ and ‘student group, local pickup’ options, because those types of rentals allow for direct billing with your chartstring.
New Transportation Options with Lyft
We are excited to announce that Lyft is now a preferred rideshare partner for Northwestern. Schools and departments can now work with Lyft to set up rideshare programs to solve programmatic transportation needs in your department or school.
2019 Preferred Vendor Lab Expo
Thank you to all who attended the 2019 Preferred Vendor Lab Expo! Procurement hosted a Preferred Vendor Expo last fall, focused on our preferred laboratory vendors. 
Increase in Length of Time that a Supplier Record Remains Active
Effective immediately, supplier IDs will remain active for 24 months, up from 18 months.  As long as a supplier is used at least once every 24 months the record will stay active indefinitely. 
New Foreign Travel Expense Reporting Requirement Implemented
Effective September 16, 2019, a new reporting feature to the expense report process in NUFinancials will better track foreign travel dates and foreign spending by Northwestern.
Updated One Time Use Letter for Tax Exemption
Northwestern University’s Illinois tax-exempt status has been renewed.  The One Time Use Letter has been updated to reflect the new expiration date.