Purchasing Services

Vendor Resources

UNCW Purchasing Services is dedicated to conducting its business in accordance with UNCW policies and State laws so that taxpayers receive full value for their money. We endeavor to make our procedures conform to open, ethical and sound purchasing practices. We welcome qualified vendors and invite them to compete for the University's business.


A purchase order is a legal obligation to pay you for a product or service. You should request a purchase order from an authorized purchasing agent at the university before performing any job. ONLY CHARGES SUPPORTED BY A UNIVERSITY PURCHASE ORDER NUMBER WILL BE HONORED FOR PAYMENT.


We realize that your time is valuable. To ensure your time is not wasted, we encourage vendors to set up appointments. All campus visits should be coordinated through Purchasing. Sales representatives may visit the various departments for the sole purpose of demonstrating equipment. Please do not leave goods on consignment or attempt to sell directly to the departments. Only the Purchasing Department has the authority to commit the University to a purchase, and in most cases this must be done through competitive bidding.


Unless otherwise specified, all goods are to be shipped prepaid FOB Destination. Note ship-to information on the purchase order. In most cases, deliveries will be made to Central Receiving. THE PURCHASE ORDER NUMBER MUST BE VISIBLE ON OUTSIDE OF PACKAGES, SHIPPING TICKETS, AND PACKING SLIPS TO ENSURE TIMELY DELIVERY TO THE DEPARTMENTS AND PROMPT AND CORRECT PAYMENT TO YOU. The regular hours for receiving are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, but are subject to change during summer session of classes. Please contact Central Receiving at (910) 962-3181 if you have any questions about hours of operation. There are exceptions when installation of product is involved. A contact name is indicated on the purchase order to coordinate an installation time convenient for both parties. The university does not have facilities for storage. Those specified installations are to be handled by the vendor.


Invoices should be submitted to accountspayable@uncw.edu. If a paper invoice must be sent, please address it to the attention of UNCW Accounts Payable, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403.

To expedite payment, please include the purchase order number on all inovices and correspondence.

We are unable to pay from a statement, so invoice separately for each purchase. Please do not send the invoice with the merchandise as it may be mistakenly discarded or misplaced by the campus department receiving the goods. Unless negotiated otherwise, your invoice payment terms will be honored. Goods or services must be received prior to payment.

Inquiries regarding payments should be directed to Accounts Payable at (910) 962-3076. Please reference purchase order number when making inquiries.


UNCW has purchasing authority for most purchases under $200,000, and for specially designated purchases. Contracts for the University are awarded on the basis of best value to the University--price, quality and other factors. Where price and other factors are identical (tie bids), preference is given to North Carolina bidders and/or recycled products.


To be notified of business opportunities, visit NC's Vendor Link at www.ips.state.nc.us/ips/vendor/. Once business is awarded, a UNCW vendor registration form may be required.


The Invitation for Bid is generally used for pricing established, specified criteria for equipment, materials and supplies over $25,000. Responses must be in writing and must be delivered ''sealed" to the Purchasing office.


A Request for Proposal may be used in establishing contracts which seek creativity or different ways of accomplishing a task.


A Request for Quote may be issued in the form of a telephone or faxed request, or issued in a more formal, written request. The bid packet will indicate whether a faxed response is acceptable for that particular request. This method is normally used for items costing between $5,000 and $25,000.

All forms of competition (IFB, RFP and RFQ) are awarded on a number of criteria and being the "low bidder" does not ensure the award of a bid. The evaluation process takes into consideration price, quality, adherence to specifications, delivery, service, warranty, etc. Other factors used in evaluation consider the intended use of the commodity or service required. The purpose of our evaluation process is to determine the "best buy" for the University.

it would behoove agencies wishing to do business with UNCW, to check IPS (Interactive Purchasing System) for available opportunities. Awards are posted on IPS for 30 days.


For small purchases, the use of a Purchasing Card is being made available to campus departments. This Visa Card is to the vendor the same as any other accepted credit card.


Construction procurement thresholds differ from that stated above. Informal contracts under $300,000, may waive formal competition. $300,000 - $2,000,000 opportunities will follow formal processes.


In an effort to reduce costs statewide for frequently purchased items, the State Division of Purchase and Contract competitively awards contracts to cover designated state agencies for a period of one or more years. UNCW is obligated to purchase items specified from the appropriate State Term Contract vendors.


It is the policy of this University to encourage and promote the purchase of products with recycled content to the extent economically practical, and to purchase items that are reusable, refillable, repairable, more durable, and less toxic to the extent that the purchase or use is feasible and cost-effective.

We also encourage and promote using minimal packaging and the use of recycled/recyclable products in the packaging of commodities purchased. However, no sacrifice in quality of packaging will be acceptable. The company remains responsible for providing packaging that will protect the commodity and contain it for its intended use.

Companies are strongly urged to bring to the attention of the purchasers in Purchasing Services those products or packaging they offer which have recycled content and that are recyclable.


North Carolina General Statute 133-32 addresses the legal implications of State Employees accepting gifts or favors from vendors. Briefly summarized, this statute states that it is unlawful for any vendor to give gifts or favors to any employee of a governmental agency who is charged with preparing plans, specifications, or estimates for public contracts, awarding or administering such contracts, or inspecting or supervising construction.


UNCW is committed to the principles of Affirmative Action and shall endeavor to apply these principles in its purchasing process. UNCW does not discriminate against applicants, students, employees, or suppliers bases on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. The university actively promotes increases special interest group participation in procurement practices. Let us know if you are interested in hearing about our goals and efforts related to this area.

UNCW is actively seeking HUB participation. HUB vendors are strongly encouraged to register on Vendor Link NC: www.ips.state.nc.us/ips/vendor/ under the subheading "Vendor Registration and HUB Verification Process." If you are a HUB vendor doing business regularly with UNCW, please verify recorded status.


The Department of Purchasing Services' mission is to provide direct support to the educational mission of the university by assisting departments in obtaining products and services of a high quality, at the lowest cost, and in the time needed. Purchasing achieves this mission by processing and expediting orders in an efficient manner and within the constraints of state purchasing requirements, UNCW policies, and the highest ethical standards. Meeting the needs of the university community is the focus of Purchasing Services' efforts.

We appreciate your interest and cooperation in a joint effort to support the educational mission of UNCW. A commitment to quality requires the best communication practices. Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any inquiries or concerns.

John Robinson, CPSM, CPPO. C.P.M., CPPB
Director of Purchasing Services