A Vendor Partner provides products and/or services that impact a large section of the University community. Examples include office supplies and furniture, copiers, mail, and general laboratory supplies. A vendor is defined as a "partner" only after a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) process which is coordinated by the Office for Strategic Procurement and involves stakeholders from around the University. Strategic Procurement works continuously with each vendor to identify additional value and reduce costs.
Once a company is granted Vendor Partner status, the Office for Strategic Procurement manages, measures, and monitors their activity on campus to ensure the services being provided meet the needs of the Harvard community. Vendors may also be subject to periodic benchmarking and auditing.
A Preferred Vendor typically provides specialized commodities such as laboratory coats, food items, and moving services. A vendor is defined as "preferred" only after a Request for Proposal (RFP) process which is coordinated by the Office for Strategic Procurement and involves stakeholders with specific interest in the particular commodity. The opportunity for saving through a Preferred Vendor is typically not as significant as saving through a Vendor Partner since University-wide expenditures are usually less.
Once a company is granted Preferred Vendor status, the Office for Strategic Procurement maintains contact with the vendor to obtain selected reporting information and to assure the relationship continues to deliver value.
Harvard Pricing Vendor
To become a Pricing Vendor, companies are not subject to an official Request for Proposal (RFP). Pricing Vendors do however offer the University community their "most favored customer" pricing based on volume. Pricing is typically consistent across Harvard. The Office for Strategic Procurement actively negotiates with these vendors to achieve the best possible price.
Vendors who work directly for Harvard and provide their services solely to the University community. (example: Harvard University Hospitality & Dining Services)