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Bid Process

If there is no Northwestern Preferred Vendor for a product or service needed or if a Preferred Vendor does not meet the needs of a department or school, competitive bids may need to be solicited.

Bid requirements

  • Bids are required for purchases of $25,000 or more. Bids are recommended for purchases of $5,000 or more. Note: If an average monthly spend for a particular product or service is less than $25,000, a bid may still be required. Departments/schools must consider annual or total multi-year spend for products or services needed on a regular or repetitive basis to determine whether a bid needs to be performed.
  • Bids must be solicited from at least three vendors.
  • Departments/schools should generally plan to have established contracts re-bid at least every three to five years.
  • Departments/schools must maintain copies of all documentation related to purchases in accordance with University Record Retention guidelines.

Options for soliciting a bid

Departments/schools have the following options if they need to solicit competitive bids: