Vendor FAQ

Q: How do I do business with Harvard?

A: Harvard’s purchasing is decentralized. Individual faculty and staff in the various schools and departments across the University determine business needs, place orders, and authorize the payment of invoices. Centrally, the Office of Strategic Procurement facilitates University efforts to maximize value and create a focus for the University to consolidate and leverage purchasing power. Please review "Doing Business with Harvard" on the menu to the left.

Q: How are new opportunities identified?
A: Based upon University-wide expenditure reviews, new initiatives are regularly being explored. Strategic Procurement does not maintain a structured bid list for every commodity. Contact the appropriate Sourcing Manager for more information on the bidding process.

Q: What is the role of the Harvard Purchaser?
A: Employees who purchase on behalf of the University are encouraged to take advantage of these vendor partnerships. Using these partnerships can lead to reduced prices and improved service for everyone. Employees are encouraged to contact Strategic Procurement with any feedback or concerns involving the University’s vendor partners.

Q: What is the role of the Sourcing Manager?
A: Strategic Procurement’s Sourcing Manager are the liaisons between the University and its vendor partners. Sourcing Manager compare the performance of these vendors to the performance of their competitors within the University and help solve problems and disputes between vendors and University employees.

Q: Does Strategic Procurement manage any other vendor relationships?
A: Yes. There are many other vendors that offer special pricing or commercial considerations to the University community. This type of relationship often applies to scientific supply vendors, who incorporate Harvard’s specific agreements into quotations and account pricing.

Q: Where can I get a pass/Harvard vendor ID that allows me to visit my Harvard customers? 
A: Policies and procedures related to building access are developed at the local level by the Schools and Units. We suggest you speak with your specific customers.

Q: How can my company participate in a Harvard vendor fair and/or offer a seminar/trade show on the Harvard campus? 
A: The Strategic Procurement office occasionally hosts selected vendor exhibits for the Harvard community. Vendor participation in all other events is at the discretion of the School or Unit and should be arranged through local contacts.

Q: How do I find out if an invoice has been paid?
A: In many cases it is the purchaser and their department who is responsible for authorization and payment and they should be contacted directly. You may also contact University Financial Services Customer Relations at 617-495-8500.

Q: Where can I find Harvard’s Credit and Trade references?
A: You can find the Credit and Trade references webpage here.

Q: Where can I find copies of tax exempt certificates?
A: Tax exempt certificates can be found on the procurement website here.

Q: How do I get to Harvard and where do I park?
A: See Parking on the Cambridge campus and the Longwood Medical area is limited. Public garages, on street parking, and public transportation are available. More information about University parking can be found on the Parking Service website.

Q: Who do I contact at Harvard to sell X (supplies, services, equipment?)
A: See Harvard website for listing of all Harvard Schools and Units. If you have sold similar products to another Higher Educational institution, identify previous customer locations and look for similar departments at Harvard (e.g. if products are typically purchased by the Human Resource department, look for equivalent department at Harvard.)

Q: Who do I contact for questions on a purchase order I received from Harvard?
A: All questions should be directed to the person who placed the order. Contact information can be found on the Harvard on-line directory or the department the order was received from (bill to: address). Orders are placed locally-review purchase order or invoice for any local contact information provided.