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General Purchasing Policy


The Office of Purchasing directs decentralized campus purchases for academic departments and administrative offices. Carefully negotiated contracts, along with constantly reviewed vendor partnerships, allow us to choose the best value for the most common goods and services used by the campus.


This policy seeks to facilitate the most cost effective buying practices, to help ensure college funds are used appropriately, and to inform employees of the existing partnerships that should be used when purchasing goods and services.


Existing vendor partnerships shall be used for the purchasing of goods and services. When goods and services are needed which are not provided by existing preferred vendors, please consult with the Office of Purchasing prior to establishing contact with additional vendors.

Administration of Policy

The Controller/Director of Business Services shall oversee this policy and review it at least once every two years. Changes to this policy shall be made in accordance with the college's Policy on Policies.

Travel arrangements, including airline tickets, overnight accommodations, and car rentals, are made on an individual basis. Making reservations directly with an airline, hotel, or car rental agency-or through their websites-is typically much more cost effective. The service fees charged by travel agencies, however, may be warranted when a trip involves detailed arrangements. In addition to personal credit cards and/or college Visa cards, a viable alternative when booking airline tickets is the use of the college's Universal Air Travel Cards, which are used like credit cards.

  1. Each department has been given its own Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) account number and receives a monthly statement, itemizing the details of the airline ticketing charge(s).
  2. Once the statement has been reviewed and approved with an authorized departmental signature-and the proper budget number to charge-it is returned to Accounts Payable (A/P) in Business Services.
  3. No A/P voucher needs to be completed, and only one campus-wide check for payment is written, thus saving the college time and money. *When using the UATP account numbers for booking, please use June 30, 2012 as the expiration date.

Please check preferred vendors to see if any new vendor contracts are available for use when making travel arrangements. Also, see the college-wide travel policy.

Office Supplies
All purchases of office supplies are made via on-line ordering with OfficeMax.

  1. A negotiated core list of the 100 most frequently used items by the college reflects discounts from 50-80+% off retail. This list changes quarterly to reflect current buying trends of the campus.
  2. Annual departmental rebates are earned from OfficeMax by ordering on-line, per order minimums, and thrice-weekly deliveries (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays).
  3. Another added benefit of using OfficeMax (OM) is the College's Employee Purchase Program. Each employee may purchase OM products for personal use, utilizing the same special pricing earned as an institution. Personal credit/debit cards are required when ordering; all purchases are delivered to campus offices only (no home deliveries).
  4. For more details about OfficeMax ordering and our Employee Purchase Program, please refer to the OfficeMax link under Preferred Vendors.

Copier, fax, and printer paper are purchased through OfficeMax. Only paper which is 50-100% recycled content may be purchased. Central Services offers different types and colors of paper for use with the multiple-copy job requests.

Stationery Items
Items such as letterhead and envelopes, both regular and Monarch-sized, are ordered in bulk between academic years by the Office of Purchasing. Mailing labels and name tags are also part of this order.

  1. Items may be printed with departmental information or simply the Davidson logo.
  2. It is important for departments to plan/anticipate stationery needs for the coming year as this group buying power provides significant cost savings.
  3. If emergencies occur, Central Services keeps a limited inventory of all stationery items.
  4. If items have to be re-ordered from the printer, pricing will be higher.
  5. Business cards are also ordered through the Office of Purchasing.

Desk/Laptop Computers and Inkjet/Laser/Networked Printers
Campus computers and printers are purchased through the Information Technology Services (ITS). For more information, please refer to the ITS purchasing policy.

Equipment Repairs
Printer repairs: Repairs on campus laser printers which are or can be networked are handled through the technology division of OfficeMax. If a printer problem is presumed, please go to ITS for further instructions. These printers are tagged by ITS for informational purposes both for ITS and the printer repair company (model #, serial #, date of install, contact, etc.) This information also gives OM verification that annual preventative maintenance calls can be made at no charge. Please visit ITS for further instruction.

Typewriter Repairs
For office typewriters requiring repair, please contact DeBriant's Office Services at 704-527-7600. Repair expenses are paid by Purchasing; please send bills directly to this office.

Fax MachineRepairs
Most campus inkjet fax machines were purchased inexpensively through OfficeMax. Repairs are cost-prohibitive; therefore, replacements are the preferred solution. For laser fax machine repairs, please contact Carolina Office Systems at 800-332-3716 or DeBriant's at 704-527-7600.

Printer Cartridges
Printer cartridges for both inkjet and laser printers are purchased through OfficeMax. Heavily discounted pricing is available for both "brand" and remanufactured cartridges (remains). Use of the remains is highly encouraged since pricing is substantially lower. All used cartridges are recycled by OM. Please send them to Central Services via campus mail.

Cell Phones
Verizon Wireless is the college's preferred carrier for wireless needs. Employees receive a 20% discount on monthly rates (except Family Plans which are already discounted), as well as discounted phones and accessories.

Shredding Services
Shred-it provides monthly, on-site shredding for the campus. A department can have its own office shredding bin or can share a larger bin (and the cost) with other departments. Annual and one-time shredding are also available.

Water/Coffee Units
Quench is the preferred supplier for water purification coolers and coffee brewers on campus. Campus water sources are filtered through these units, eliminating the need for "bottles". Lease payments are due quarterly and are paid through recurring journal entries arranged by the Office of Purchasing and Business Services. Coffee supplies are billed directly to individual offices. Annual filtration cleaning is also provided at an additional charge.

Most campus offices are outfitted with furniture purchased through the Workspace division of OfficeMax. The advice of OM's trained professionals in the areas of space design, furniture selection based on need and budget, ergonomics, and overall campus standards has resulted in significant savings over retail prices. Other furniture suppliers such as Herman Miller, KI, and Steelcase are also used. Please contact the Office of Purchasing for further information.

Purchase Orders
Single-form purchase orders are available through the Office of Purchasing. Most vendors do not require purchase orders, nor do Purchasing and Accounts Payable. Some vendors only require the actual purchase order number; others require the completed form faxed to them with an authorized signature (supervisor/department head). Please contact the Office of Purchasing for forms or more information.

New Vendors
When goods and services are needed which are not provided by existing preferred vendors, please consult with the Office of Purchasing prior to establishing contact with additional vendors.

  1. This office has access to numerous contracts as a result of memberships in several organizations and consortia, including E&I, NCICU, Premier, Provista, and US Communities.
  2. These contracts have been negotiated to provide excellent value due to group buying power.

The Office of Purchasing encourages departments to seek our advice when purchasing needs arise.