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Purchasing Power

Local Vendors

UT Knoxville Facilities Services conducts a substantial amount of business with local and Tennessee vendors. This money is in turn put back into the local economy and doesn't leave the state.

Contact: Sheree Spoons, Administrative & Support Services Director
Phone: (865) 974-8160
Email: sspoons@utk.edu

Fiscal Year 2015

Facilities Services made purchases from 203 small and/or minority owned businesses. The minority indicator is as follows: African American, Asian American, Native American, Service-Disabled Veteran, Small Business, and Woman owned. The total amount UT Facilities Services spent with these vendors during FY 2015 was $6,447,385.64.

The UT Facilities Services Department also made purchases from 223 businesses located locally in East Tennessee. Many of these businesses are Tennessee owned. These purchases totaled $8,108,456.24 during FY 2015.

Contact: Sheree Spoons, Administrative & Support Services Director
Phone: (865) 974-8160
Email: sspoons@utk.edu

P-Cards

The P-Card provides a rebate, which goes to help fund the System. Currently, the department has six P-Cards, five with $20,000 monthly limits and one with a $60,000 monthly limit for a total of a $160,000 monthly limit. The University receives a 1.82% rebate for purchases plus a $90,000 bonus each year.

Contact: Sheree Spoons, Administrative & Support Services Director
Phone: (865) 974-8160
Email: sspoons@utk.edu

EMS

EMS is an e-procurement platform which allows us to:

  1. Monitor spend and negotiate better discounts
  2. Allows us to see if UT is using one vendor a lot more than another, which can result in vendor consolidation (which will drive volume and lower pricing)
  3. Easily see what a vendor is charging UT
  4. Facilitates contract compliance verification (i.e. we can check the vendor’s catalog pricing against the contract pricing)
  5. Improve UT’s use of Certified Diversity Business Enterprises:
    1. The office is working with Tennessee Certified Diversity Business Enterprises (DBEs) to get them in the Marketplace. The office is working on adding more very soon, but right now, there are two:
      1. Personal Computer Systems
      2. 1-Point Procurement
    2. The office is working with our large vendors to collect more data on “flow through“ spend with DBEs. Grainger, Staples, and American Paper & Twine provide this data, and we’re seeking others to provide this data.
Contact: Sheree Spoons, Administrative & Support Services Director
Phone: (865) 974-8160
Email: sspoons@utk.edu

Bids

UT Purchasing follows State laws and policies when bidding.

Bids are published through the ESM bid board, which notifies hundreds of thousands of vendors. ESM uses NIGP codes, and the vendors are notified of bids within their self-selected NIGP codes.

UT Purchasing does check State of TN “statewide contracts” and uses them when it results in lower pricing for UT. UT Purchasing also looks to TBR for their "statewide contracts," and uses them when it results in better pricing.

UT Facilities Services follows many of the same purchasing policies listed above on a smaller scale when doing in-house bidding. Not all of the above is required for out bidding under $25,000, but it is still very competitive.

Contact: Sheree Spoons, Administrative & Support Services Director
Phone: (865) 974-8160
Email: sspoons@utk.edu

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