Purchasing

Purchasing 101

Purchasing at USF is as simple as 1. Sourcing Your Purchase, 2. Knowing Your Limits and 3. Choosing A Purchase Method.

Procurement Services assists and oversees the purchase of all goods and services. (except for travel expenses and some other direct payments, which are managed by Accounts Payable)

University purchases are generally made by 3 methods depending on what is being purchased and the dollar amount and/or nature of your purchase(s). 

  • Purchase Order (Requisition request) 
  • P-Card  
  • Contract  

Check out our Procurement Quick Reference Guide for a downloadable overview of what you need to know. 

guide


1. sourcing your purchase

What is sourcing?  Sourcing is the process of vetting, selecting and managing suppliers who can provide the goods and services you need.  This can involve getting quotes, negotiating costs and interviewing potential vendors. 

Why is sourcing important? When it comes to making a purchase, sourcing is everything! Sourcing from a pre-existing publically solicited contract means that a supplier has already been vetted to provide best value services.  Sourcing ensures that you are getting the best value, for the fairest price from a supplier with a reputation for providing good service. It can also save you time!    

How we can help! All of USF's Bull Marketplace Punch-Out suppliers are already on contract, so making a purchase is as easy as filling up your cart.  USF's Procurement team also solicits local vendors for a variety of commodities (see our Available Contracts), and maintains relationships with national purchasing co-operatives and other public agencies. Visit the links below to look for existing contracts, suppliers and other sourcing options:  

Bull Marketplace

USF’s “One-Stop Procure-to-Pay Solution” and the most preferred option for your purchase.  Bull Marketplace Punch Out Suppliers offer University price discounts and because they are under contract, there is no need for further quotes*. Visit the Bull Marketplace page to view a list of current enabled suppliers and to learn more.

*so long as item is covered under pricing agreement.

Shopping Guide

COMING SOON

IN THE MEANTIME PLEASE SEE AVAILABLE CONTRACTS AND A-Z INDEX.

A searchable USF guide that organizes policies, and contract suppliers by the commodity (ies) and service (s) you are looking to purchase.  

Available Contracts/Sourcing

A resource page with links to USF and other Government and University contracts available to use for purchasing.

Office of Supplier Diversity

Help USF's strategic mission by engaging with Certified Diverse Business Entities.  The OSD team can help you find a vendor to suit your needs. 

Speak to a Purchasing Agent

Our Purchasing Agents and Strategic Category Managers have the experience to help you with procuring commodities and services you need.

Purchasing Agent

Major Categories

Muhammed Higgins 
Sr. Procurement Agent 
Tampa Campus

Athletics, Facilities, Human Resources, Security Services & Supplies, Transportation & Freight, Vehicles, Utilities

Clifton James 
Temporary Coverage
Tampa Campus

Agriculture, IT Equipment & Services, Education Services & Supplies, Office Supplies & Equipment (including copiers), Printing & Publishing, Professional Services, Travel

Armelia Russ
Procurement Agent
Tampa Campus

Events & Entertainment, Financial Services, Food & Beverage, Library Resources, Marketing/Media & Advertising, Laboratory & Medical, SubAgreements

Louis Curry
Temporary Coverage
Tampa Campus

AV Equipment, AV Services, IT Peripherals Laboratory Equipment, IT Services, Laboratory Equipment, IT Services

Treesha Morris
Procurement Manager
St. Pete Campus

All Commodities
Jacob Cizenski
Procurement Agent
Sarasota-Manatee Campus
All Commodities

2. Know your Limits 

Guidelines for Competition 

As a public entity, USF must ensure fair and open competition exists in all procurement activities to prevent the opportunity for favoritism and to inspire public confidence that contracts are awarded equitably and economically. 
Depending on the total estimated dollar amount of the purchase, including shipping and handling, but excluding sales tax, the Guidelines help purchasers determine the number of supplier quotes and type of solicitation needed for their purchase.

Dollar Amount How to Purchase
$0.00 - $ 4,999
  • Departments can make the purchase using Bull Marketplace or P-card
  • (1) Documented verbal quote or current catalog prices are required
$5,000 - $24,999
  • Departments can make the purchase through a Requisition Request to Procurement Services (asset), Bull Marketplace or P-card.
  • Two (2) Documented written or verbal quotes are required. At least 1 quote must be from a diverse supplier.
$25,000 - $74,999
  • Departments can submit a Requisition Request to Procurement Services.
  • Three (3) Documented written quotes. At least 1 quote must be from a diverse supplier.
$75,000 and greater
  • Departments should contact Procurement Services with their need.
  • Procurement Services will determine the best method for procurement through exemption, existing contract, or Formal Bid.
Exemptions to Competition Exceptions to the quote and bidding requirements are listed in regulation USF4.02010.
Sole/Single Source

If an item or service is determined by Purchasing to be non-competitive in nature and is available from only one supplier, a Purchase Order may be issued for that item. The Justification should be written by the department describe in lay language.  

  • The service/commodity and its intended use, 
  • The reasons the item is not subject to competition from other sources,  
  • The necessity for purchase, and  
  • Why only this service/commodity has unique features or qualities that will accomplish the required needs of the requestor.
  • Why this provider is the only one who can provide a service or commodity in a needed time frame.* (departments are responsible to plan accordingly)  

Sole/Single source written by the supplier will not be accepted. If the cost is $75,000 or greater, the Sole/Single Source Certification must be approved, signed by a Procurement Director, and publicly posted for 72 business hours prior to a Purchase Order being issued. 

Public Solicitations

USF requests Formal Bids through either an Invitation to Bid (ITB) or Invitation to Negotiate (ITN).  

Requisitioning departments without specific delegated authority MAY NOT, under any circumstances, issue formal solicitations without coordinating with Procurement Services. Attempts to split items among different requisitions to keep the total below the competitive solicitation threshold is against USF Procurement Regulation USF4.02010, Board of Governors Regulation (BOG) 18.001, and Florida Statute 287.057 (9) is prohibited. For information on how to request a Formal Solicitation contact Mike Hernandez, Associate Director. 

 Delegation of Authority Only Procurement Services can legally bind USF to contractual agreements. It is a violation of USF Policy 0-100 for all other non-delegates to contractually obligate USF in any supplier agreement.

3. Choose your Method  

Bull Marketplace Through BMP, you can purchase directly from Punch Out Suppliers, submit requisitions for purchase from all other suppliers, manage suppliers, receive against purchase orders and submit contracts for review.
P-Card Allows the cardholder to make small-dollar purchases of goods, services, and travel expenses.
Contract Administration When an agreement between USF and second party requires a signed agreement, in lieu of or in additional to a Purchase Order, it is necessary to execute a contract. Only Procurement Services can legally bind USF to contractual agreements. It is a violation of USF Policy 0-100 for all other non-delegates to contractually obligate USF in any supplier agreement.