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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.

New Document and Media Shredding Contract Awarded

With help from a University wide evaluation committee, Procurement and Payment Services completed an RFP for a new service provider for the destruction of information and media materials. Iron Mountain has been awarded the new contract as they presented the overall best cost-effective and compliant proposal. PPS is currently working on the contracting process as well as designing a new centralized billing program for shredding services going forward. Schools and Departments will be getting more information when the contract is fully executed and the transition phase begins.

Please contact Kim Li with any questions at or 7.0837.

New UPS Contract

For years Northwestern has taken advantage of the E&I contract with FedEX for our shipping rates. E&I is a not-for-profit purchasing cooperative serving education. This year, E&I put their shipping contract out to bid and awarded the contract to UPS. We have signed up with E&I to take advantage of the new UPS contract.  The UPS rates for all services offered, ground, next day morning, next day standard and 2 day air, are typically less than the former E&I contract with FedEx.  This is particularly true for ground, lighter weight next day air, next day standard and second day air.

FedEx, not wanting to lose business to UPS, put Northwestern under their Educational Pricing, which is very close, and in some cases better than the rates we had with FedEx under their E&I contract.  What does mean for Northwestern shippers?  If you currently ship with FedEx, you certainly may continue to do so, and you will probably not notice a change in your rates.  However, keeping budgets in mind, you might want to consider using the new rates with UPS for potential cost savings. 

If you currently ship with UPS, the new rates will automatically apply to your shipments.  If you ship with FedEx using ShipManger, UPS offers a similar online shipping tool called CampusShip.  If you are a ShipManager user, or if you are not signed up to ship online and would like access to UPS CampusShip, contact Tom Luczkowiak,, or 1.8411 to get signed up.

For questions, contact Tom Luczkowiak at or 1.8411.

Other Recent Contracts Established by PPS
  • Northwestern IT – Civitas Advising Software
  • Northwestern IT – Cayosoft Advance Directory Group Management Software
  • Northwestern Recreation – Innosoft Fusion Software

Changes to Existing Contracts

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

External Caterer Enhancements
The Preferred Catering companies have recently partnered with Northwestern’s cost containment initiative by enhancing their already discounted services. If you are in need of drop off or full service catering needs, Procurement encourages you to review the updated Caterer Comparison Chart, located on the Catering webpage, or by visiting each vendor’s Preferred Vendor page. For questions regarding Northwestern's Preferred Caterer's, please contact Julie Maul at or 7.3345.

2019 Chicago Hotel Rates
Negotiations for 2019 Chicago preferred hotel rates are being finalized. The new rates are expected to be posted on the pricing section of the Chicago hotels’ Preferred Vendor pages the week of December 10For questions regarding the Preferred Vendor Chicago hotel contracts, please contact Betsy Costello at or 7.0590.

Dell Customer Service Representative
Northwestern’s Dell Customer Service Representative has changed. David Muehling will continue to be our main Sales Representative, but he will now be supported by Allen Howe. The best and most-efficient way to initiate contact with the Dell team will continue to be emailing, which is monitored by everyone on the Northwestern Dell team. However, for direct access to specific team members, Dave Muehling can be reached at and Allen Howe can be reached at or 512-513-8307.

Haworth/Kayhan Account Team
The Haworth/Kayhan account team has changed to better serve Northwestern. This contract is for office furniture. The new contact information is as follows:

Primary Point of Contact: Becky Schmid, NCIDQ
Senior Designer

Anne Maxwell
Team Lead Account Coordinator

Mary Basel Christopher
Haworth Account Executive

Farmer’s Fridge Vending Promotion
The Garage, Mudd Hall, 2020 Ridge, and 1201 Davis have new vending options! Stop by these locations to try the new Farmer’s Fridge machine, which offers fresh salads, sandwiches, bowls, and snacks. Visit the Farmer’s Fridge website to obtain 50% off your first purchase.

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

  • School of Communication - CRM Software
  • Registrar’s Office - International Credential Evaluation, Articulation, Translation Services
  • AV Vendor Master Service Agreements
  • Student Renter's Insurance
  • Life Safety Maintenance Program
  • Patent Prosecution/IP Legal Services
  • Laboratory Reference Testing
  • Carpet and flooring
  • Grease trap cleaning
  • Signage
  • Computer recycling
  • Banking
  • Copier Management
  • IT services prequalified list
  • Printing prequalified list
  • Staffing prequalified list
  • Construction prequalified list

Sustainability Highlights

Ready Refresh Site Visits

Northwestern University’s Preferred Vendor for drinking water, ReadyRefresh (Ice Mountain) is conducting on-campus site visits to help determine locations that would benefit from utilizing a filtration system in lieu of bottled water services. The filtration system not only supports our green initiatives (reduction in fleet footprint, gas usage, emissions, etc.) but can also provide significant cost savings. 

Filtration benefits:

  • One Low monthly cost
    • No fluctuating bills, No bottle deposits
    • Unlimited supply, Never run out
    • Filter replacement, maintenance included
  • Eliminates bottle deliveries and storage
    • Business hours do not matter
    • No storage space needed, reduced clutter of bottles
    • Less vendor on-site foot traffic, improved security

The site visit is a short inspection and will help calculate total possible cost savings. If you’d like to schedule a visit, please contact Tony Cayton at 847.493.9739 and

If you have any questions about this contract, contact Procurement Administrator Julie Maul at 847.491.5321 or

Flavia, a better choice than Keurig

Flavia offers a full menu of popular workplace drinks, coffees, real-leaf teas, chocolates, cappuccinos, lattes, specialty froths and authentic barista espressos; including brands such as Peet's and Starbucks.

Flavia was designed to be an “at work” coffee system and not a “at home system,” so Freshpacks will stay at work, which will helps control spend.

Mark Vend Co. is committed to helping Northwestern meet its sustainability goals, and offers the Recycle Your Freshpacks program. This program provides innovative recycling and prevents millions of single serve Freshpacks from ending up in a landfill at no additional cost to Northwestern.

In addition to the lower unit cost and recycling program, if your department makes the switch to Flavia, your department automatically qualifies for our 4th Month FREE coffee program.

Please contact Mark Vend Company if you are interested in learning more about Flavia.

Northwestern Releases a Comprehensive Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan

Northwestern launched its first Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (ISWMP) aimed at reducing waste and protecting the environment by taking a greener approach to waste management. Learn more >

Business Diversity Highlights

Local Suppliers Attend Meet and Greet
Procurement and Payment Services hosted a series of Meet and Greet sessions with local businesses seeking opportunities to partner with our new food service provider, Compass Group. Over 25 businesses from the Evanston and Chicago area met with Compass and Northwestern to introduce their businesses and discuss partnership ideas. Along with the great Compass brands, you will soon find other recognizable local brands on campus.

Northwestern and Compass are working collaboratively to boost economic viability of food service companies in the Evanston and Chicago region. The partnership agreement between Compass and Northwestern outlines our commitment to jointly work on efforts to help small businesses and report progress towards goals annually. The local Meet and Greet Series is one step towards that goal. The objective is to host Local “Meet and Greet” events quarterly to promote the involvement of small business on Northwestern’s campus.

Questions about Procurement Diversity? Contact Gwen Turner, Procurement Diversity Director, at or 847.467.6333

Wildcard Advantage Updates & Employee Discounts

New Wildcard Advantage businesses:

Business Category Campus Discount/Offer
Chicago Hot Dog & Co. Food & Restaurants EV 10% off
CloseKnit Yarn Store Arts, Crafts, & Hobbies EV 10% off
Eat Purely

Food & Restaurants CH 10% off
Evanston Dental Associates Health Care EV

15% new patients with Dr.  Adina Silberman

Falcon Eddy's BBQ

Food & Restaurants EV
10% off
Hotel Versey Days Inn by Wyndham Chicago Travel Supplies & Services CH 20% off best available daily rate
Ice House Gallery Entertainment & Museums EV 10% off art purchases
New City Moving Professional Services CH 10% off
OmniFit Personal Training & Nutrition Professional Services EV 10% off, free consultation
Orange Skin Home Furnishings & Maintenance CH 15% off furniture and lighting
Practical Angle Home Furnishings & Maintenance CH 20% off
The Cellar at the Stained Glass Food & Restaurants EV
10% off total bill
World of Beer Evanston Food & Restaurants EV
10% off meal

General Reminders

Some things to keep in mind for Fall 2018:

Supplier Request Tips
  • Effective 1/1/2019 – New Version of W-9 Form Required
    • To speed up the processing of your supplier registration request, be sure to check that you are using the most recent version of all forms, especially the W-8 and W-9 forms.  There is a new version of the W-9 form available.  Look at the top-left corner of the form – it should read October 2018
  • Denied Supplier Registration Requests
    • Supplier registration requests may be sent back to the submitter for a number of reasons, including old version of forms used or missing signatures on documents.  If your supplier request is sent back, you will receive an automated email indicating the Registration ID and reason for the return.  Click the link in the email to be directed to your original supplier registration request.  Then delete the attachment with the error, attach the corrected document, and click Save and Submit.  No need to process a new supplier registration request!  A job-aid with step-by-step instructions is available to guide you through the edit process: click here to view the job-aid.

For supplier request questions, contact Vendor File Management at or 1.4707, or the Northwestern IT Help Desk at or 1.4357.

Purchase Order Change Request Tips

Departments and schools are able to edit their POs using the ‘Add/Update POs' page in NUFinancials. Cancel or Close requests are submitted using the ‘PO Change Request Form’. Below are helpful hints to keep in mind while completing a change, or submitting a cancel or close request:

  • Attachments – Attachments can be added to your PO through the ‘Add/Update POs’ page. Please review the training guide provided below for additional information. 

  • PO Change Dispatch – If you would like the revised version of your PO resent to the supplier, please note the request as comment in the ‘Reason for Change’ box or as a PO Header Comment. Be sure to include the fax number or email address you would like the PO sent to (if different than what’s listed on the supplier’s profile in NUFinancials).

  • PO Change Send Back – For approvers, if you deny a PO Change Request, include your name and phone number in the Approver Comments box. This information helps the submitter quickly identify the approver who reviewed the change.
Visit myHR Learn to view the comprehensive Change, Cancel, Close a Purchase Order job-aid. For assistance with these processes, contact the Northwestern IT Help Desk at 1.4357 or
Furniture Repair Requests
If you have a chair that is damaged or in need of repair, contact Northwestern Procurement Administrator Laura Norton for assistance. Please provide a photo of the damage (e.g. broken arm pad), along with a photo of the label that is on the underside of the chair. Laura can be reached at or 7.3345.
Winter Recess Coverage
Northwestern recently announced a Winter Recess period beginning December 24, 2018 through January 1, 2019. During this period, all academic and administrative offices will be closedLearn more about PPS coverage >