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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

New Adobe Creative Cloud Agreement

Thanks to financial contributions made by most department and schools across Northwestern, the University campus-wide agreement (covering all faculty and staff) has been extended for an additional three years. Please see the Northwestern IT Adobe software page for additional information.

Other new contracts:

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) vendor
  • Preferred Software VAR RFP – CDWG
  • Northwestern IT Secure Enclave Consultant – Accenture
  • Global Marketing Sprinklr software renewal
  • Siteimprove software renewal

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

PGI Agreement Expiration

Users of PGI audio conferencing services (now known as LoopUp) are recommended to transition to using Teams or Zoom instead.

PGI, who provided audio conferencing services to Northwestern, recently purposefully allowed the contractual agreement between the parties to expire, and then sold their audio-conferencing business to a separate company named LoopUp. Although LoopUp appears willing to continue to allow existing accounts to function as they did through PGI, there is no contract in place and PPS cannot guarantee that the accounts will continue to work indefinitely (and pricing is undetermined). Without any formal agreement in place, PPS does not recommend utilizing LoopUp. In consultation with Northwestern IT, the current recommendation is to no longer use PGI/LoopUp and to instead utilize Teams or Zoom for any conferencing needs (a formal recommendation list by scenario is available on the Northwestern IT website here).

If you have any questions, please contact Dave Zohfeld at

CDWG Computer Peripherals Agreement Extended

The existing Preferred Vendor agreement with CDWG for Computer Peripherals, Supplies, and Printers has been extended for another year. This contract continues to be available through iBuyNU, and end users can also contact with any quote requests or questions.

Document Imaging Agreements Extended

The existing Preferred Vendor agreements with Datamation and Databank IMX have both been extended for another year. These vendors both offer a variety of services related to electronic imaging and storage of physical documents. Each vendor has different pricing for their various services, but both are highly qualified and capable of completing all projects, large or small. Departments or schools are encouraged to contact both vendors for quotes prior to commencing any large project.

If you have any questions, please contact Dave Zohfeld at

New B&H Account Representative

The main Northwestern sales representative for B&H has changed. Richard Lewis can be reached at or 212.239.7500 (x4169). For customer service issues (quotes, order issues, etc.), our new representative is Stephanie Cacador, who can be reached at

New Dell Account Team

The Dell team that is dedicated to Northwestern has changed. End users are still encouraged to contact with issues. However, if you need to directly contact someone on the team, Chris Harper (Account Representative) can be reached at or 847.373.6127. For customer service issues (quotes, order issues, etc.), our new representative is Allen Howe, who can be reached directly at or 512.513.8307.

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

  • Alumni Relations and Development CRM RFP
  • Northwestern IT Secure Enclave RFP
  • Facilities Pre-Qualified Vendor “refresh”
  • Recycling-Computers & Electronics
  • Laundry machine service
  • Signage
  • Maintenance, Repair, Operational (MRO) supplies
  • Pest control
  • Local hotels

Travel Related

Travel Related Updates
Travel Related Updates

New Notifiers for Travel in Egencia

In September, an update was made to the Egencia notification settings. Notifications regarding travel booked through Egencia was very inconsistent.  We therefore have standardized on notification going to Expense Report approvers. The setting is consistent across all staff and notifies those approvers in an effort to align with the expense report process. If someone does not have an expense report supervisor in the system, it will default to their timesheet approver.

Please note this is just notification that travel was booked, it is not a formal request for approval.  Notification that travel was booked prior to the travel occurring is considered a best practice consistent with other procurement methods such as requisitions.

Since this implementation we have been hearing from some staff that a business or financial administrator also needs to be notified of travel, as they may discover incorrect or incomplete chartstrings used in the booking process. We are working on a solution to add a financial person as a notifier along with the expense supervisor and timecard approver as back-up.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Koestring.

Stranded at the Airport After Hours? Our Travel Agencies Can Help

For travel booked through Egencia, Egencia agents are available 24 hours a day for assistance: 877-801-3068 (in the US), 702-939-2532 (international). Fees may apply. Be sure to download the Egencia app so you can have access anywhere in the world in your phone.

T100 Group, Northwestern’s brick and mortar travel agency, also offers Northwestern travelers access to afterhours emergency assistance for travel booked through T100 Group. You will find the emergency number at the top of every T100 Group itinerary. “AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL 800-823-2593 FEES APPLY”. Emergency calls are often related to flight cancellations, personal emergencies, mix-ups about names or dates, TSA pre-check, or weather issues. T100 also offers a priority or expedited after hours emergency line that is answered before regular calls. This number is best used when issues like a blizzard, strike, or other event that affects a large number of travelers thereby increasing call volumes and hold times for their regular line. This number is: 303-801-2360. There is a $16 fee per call for this service on top of the regular fees incurred by speaking with an agent.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Koestring.

Fly United and Earn 5,000 Bonus Miles When You Travel for Business

In recognition of our relationship, United is offering all Northwestern University employees the chance to earn 5,000 MileagePlus bonus award miles when traveling for business. Simply register for this promotion, book your business travel and complete your flight by May 31, 2023, to receive your bonus miles.

  • In order to take advantage of this promotion you must be a MileagePlus member. It’s free to join. You can join when you register for the promotion.
  • You must be registered to receive your points. Register here: 
  • Make sure that your MileagePlus number is entered in your Egencia profile under “Loyalty Programs”. Your MileagePlus number will automatically be applied to your United ticket when purchased. 
  • You can also have your MileagePlus number added to your ticket record by calling your ticketing agency (i.e. Travel100 Group or Egencia) or by contacting United. A United airport agent can also assist with this or you can access your reservation online at and add your MileagePlus number there.
  • This is a one-time offer. Points will only be applied for one trip booked and completed from now until May 31, 2023.

Need to Rent a Car or Other Vehicle?

Generous discounts are available when a vehicle needs to be rented while travelling through the Big Ten agreement with Enterprise/National for business use. When booking a car through Egencia for business purposes, please note that at this time there is no chart string validation between Egencia and Enterprise/National. When you book a car through Egencia, it cannot be charged to your chart string and you will have to pay with a personal credit card (reimbursable) or your Corporate Card when you pick up your vehicle. We are working to find a solution for this issue. Stay tuned! 

Are you renting a vehicle for local use?  Local rentals for business use can be charged to your chart string when booked through the website. You may be asked for your Northwestern ID when you pick-up your car and students who are employees may be asked for proof of employment like a copy of a paycheck. Pick up and drop off for local rentals is at an Enterprise branch location, near the Evanston or Chicago campus:

  • 1780 Maple Avenue, Evanston
  • 555 W Madison St, Suite 102, Presidential Tower by Union Station, Chicago
Discounted rates are available for rentals for personal use as well. Visit the ‘Reserve a Vehicle’ webpage for all information related to renting vehicles.

Planning a Vacation?

United is extending Northwestern’s Break from Business leisure travel discount promotion for ticketing through the end of 2023. Please review the flyer for more information.

Sustainability Highlight


Sustainability Highlight
Sustainability Highlight

Sustainability Update

This quarter, sustainNU released a new Green Labs Certification, similar to the Green Office Certification, this initiative engages campus partners in best practices for sustainable lab management and operations.

In the spirit of campus sustainability, we encourage you to do your part to save energy during the coming winter recess. Turn off all electronics, unplug appliances and like coffee pots and printers, clean out the office fridge and unplug it, switch off lights, and close and lock all windows before heading out for break. If you’re hoping to explore more ways to care for our environment in your daily life, explore sustainNU's Green Home Certification

Surplus Property Exchange

Procurement and Payment Services manages the University’s Surplus Property Exchange. The Surplus Property Exchange is an online bulletin board where Northwestern departments can list surplus University property such as office supplies, furniture, and lab equipment. It is a great resource to reduce waste while saving money.

Departments may post items that are for free, for sale, or wanted items to this online board. Email notifications are sent to the Surplus Property Exchange listserv on a biweekly basis, informing staff of newly posted items. University departments are the primary participants; however, University employees and students may bid on items for personal use after the item has been listed for more than 30 days. After the item has been listed for more than 60 days, outside parties may participate.

To post an item, sign-up for the listserv or learn more about the program, visit the Surplus Property Exchange webpage. If you have any questions, please contact Dessa Buglio.

Small Business Spotlight

We are starting this feature in our newsletter to spotlight local, diverse, and/or small businesses that are Preferred Vendors.

We currently have 12 Preferred Vendors for various printing services.  One of those vendors is Speed Pro Imaging. Speed Pro Imaging is a specialty print firm that focuses on banners, wall decals and coverings, window graphics, event graphics, car wraps, trade show displays, or other types of graphics and large format printing solutions. It is a small business located in Skokie.

For more information, contact John Phelan at 847.983.0095 or You can also visit their website at

General Updates

General Updates
General Updates

iBuyNU Updates

  • Apple: Some iBuyNU requestors were recently having trouble accessing the Apple punchout catalog. Some requestors were unable to see certain products or pricing, and some were unable to access the catalog. Apple added our email domain to their system which has resolved the issue.
  • Amazon or Evanston Marketplace: After checking out of Amazon or Evanston Marketplace catalogs, some Firefox users may be routed to a log-in screen in error. If you experience this issue, please follow our browser error solution steps, found on the iBuyNU webpage.
If you have any question or continue to experience issues, please contact Keith Paddy.

Requisition Attachments

When creating non-catalog requisitions in NUFinancials, remember that attachments should not be included more than once. For example, if you received a single vendor quote, be sure to include that quote as an attachment to only one requisition line. By attaching the same document to several lines, the system will notice the duplication and halt the requisition from dispatch, creating a delay.

For instructions on how to add attachments to a non-catalog requisition, please review the IT Knowledge Base guide. If you have any questions, contact PPS Customer Service.

Supplier Registration and Supplier Change Request Reminder

Has Vendor File Management returned a supplier registration or supplier change request because of missing or invalid information and documents? You can edit a returned supplier registration or supplier change request! No need to start all over again, simply edit the request and resubmit. Review the IT Knowledge Base article to learn more. For question, contact Vendor File Management.

Direct Payment Request Form Reminder

When using the Direct Payment Request Form (DPR), remember that you must download the form to see the unique barcode. Also, it is important to note that a new form must be used for each individual request. Using the same form for different requests will cause a delay due to the incorrect duplicate barcode number. If you have any questions, contact PPS Customer Service.