Purchasing Advice

Department procedures about how to actually submit a requisition order are given elsewhere at Requisitions, Orders and Equipment Purchasing Information pdf ~118kb.

Currently within the Department several groups use the university R12 iProcurement system for the purchase of goods and services. This is a system whereby shoppers will create shopping carts for goods and services typically from on-line supplier catalogues, the carts when complete are sent to supervisors for approval and onward processing by the accounts team. The advantages include direct access to supplier catalogues where product pricing has already been negotiated through the University purchasing department (value for money), time savings as paper requisitions are no longer required to be completed and increased speed in placing the orders.

All requests to purchase goods and/or services (both paper requisitions and iProcurement requisitions) should follow the purchasing procedures as stated in the financial regulations. Where possible items should be purchased from preferred suppliers. Where items are purchased from preferred suppliers no quote is necessary for purchases between £1000 and £25,000 excluding VAT. Purchases from all other suppliers for goods and services less than £1000 (excluding VAT) require confirmation of the price of the item - ie stated on the requisition. For items priced between £1,000 and £25,000 purchased from a non-preferred supplier, then two or more written quotations must be supplied with the requisition. These must clearly have been sent from the suppliers, and contain sufficient detail to show that they are quotes for the same item(s).

Goods priced between £25,000 and £100,000 excluding VAT are subject to the full tender procedure, which must be carried out in collaboration with the University's Purchasing Department, and include Tim McAree (Financial Administrator) in the process. This is not only a University requirement, but also one stipulated by Research Councils and other funding bodies when awarding money for these purchases.

Below provides advice about choosing a supplier and finding the supplier with best value for money.

Checklist for ordering standard small items.

  • Decide what sort of item you want to buy.
  • Check if there is already departmental advice about purchasing that sort of item and if not consider who could advise you.
  • Choose a supplier (check Departmental Purchasing Advice, check list of university suppliers by product category. if you wish to buy from a Supplier who does not feature in the University’s Purchasing database, please seek guidance from the Department’s finance team. 
  • Consider costs - always compare costs for several different suppliers (total cost including vat and delivery charges). Note that many of the preferred suppliers offer discounts on the public prices, and it is often difficult to know how to access the discounted prices in order to make a comparison between suppliers (hence the need for Departmental Purchasing Advice below).
  • Consider stock availability - many suppliers deliver within a couple of days of receiving the purchase order but if the item is out of stock delays can be months.
  • Consider costs of processing orders - one order to one expensive company may be more cost-effective than multiple orders to multiple cheaper companies
  • Prepare requisition according to the Requisitions, Orders and Equipment Purchasing Information

University Purchasing Advice

There is a central university purchasing office. They keep a central list of suppliers as listed by product category. The assumption is that it is best practice to order from preferred suppliers since if everyone in the university uses them then the university is a big customer and therefore should get a big discount. The preferred suppliers have been selected on a wide range of criteria affecting value for money (not just price). The suppliers database tries to give access to the special pricing details.

Departmental Purchasing Advice

Summaries of departmental experience of purchasing is available for the following categories of purchases. This advice is based of local experience within this department and due to constant changes in the market may be out-of-date. Please send any comments or corrections to the webmaster.

Computers

Computers

Since Department IT staff have to support all the computers within the department, it is beneficial to try to standardize to certain models of computers if possible. Dell is our recommended supplier but there are several other preferred suppliers for computers listed on the University Purchasing website.

Desktop Computers

Department IT staff carry a stock of "Standard" PC's for general usage. We buy in batches when the offers are good. These are medium specification (powerful but basic) desktop computers. These computers are considered adequate for the majority of desktop users. Currently our stock PC is as follows:

  • Dell Optiplex 7050
  • i5-6500/7500 processor (or higher performance i7-6700/7700)
  • 8Gb RAM
  • 256Gb PCIe SSD (or 1Tb HDD if required)
  • 1Gbit ethernet
  • Onboard intel graphics
  • 24" TFT height adjustable 1920x1080
  • software : Windows7/10 plus Office2016, Sophos, Windowsupdate, Altiris management, PDF Pro, Putty, WinSCP, Corel suite, Origin, Matlab, Mathematica, Endnote, Acrobat Reader
  • 4yr next day business warranty
  • Cost: varies depending on recent Dell promotions. Example cost £660 including VAT.

Laptop Computers

Department IT staff do NOT carry stock of laptops since user preferences vary considerably, however we recommend Dell and for other suppliers we recommend making use of the National Notebook Agreement (NNA) pricing. We also recommend at least 3year NDB support so that if problems arise they are repaired quickly. Currently recommendation:

  • Dell Latitude E7480
  • various processor options (e.g. i5-6300U/7300U i7-6600U/7600U)
  • 14" various resolution (1366x768 or 1920x1080)
  • onboard intel graphics
  • 8Gb RAM
  • 256Gb Solid State disk
  • software : Windows7/10 plus Office2016, Sophos, Windowsupdate, Altiris management, PDF Pro, Putty, WinSCp, Corel suite, Origin, Matlab, Mathematica
  • 4years Next Day Business support (worth paying for laptop support)
  • Cost: varies depending on recent Dell promotions. Example cost £900 including VAT.

Note that we are unable to purchase direct from Apple due to unacceptable commercial terms and conditions, therefore the university PRAC has negotiated pricing with XMA who are recommended as sole suppliers of all Apple devices. To access pricing information users can either register on the XMA portal or email ouapple@xma.co.uk

Usability Guidelines: if you laptop is to be your primary computer then in order to avoid health issues associated with prolonged usage all laptops users are recommended to also purchase keyboard&mouse, height adjustable large monitor and a laptop stand.

Home Computer Discounts

There is not much available in the way of discounts for personal purchases. Dell have now stopped providing university pricing for personal purchases.

All staff and students are entitled to university discount prices (maybe cost price plus 5%) from http://uk.insight.com (login details available from IT staff on request) if paying by credit card online or via account manager John.Southwood@insight.com Tel +44(0)20 8061 5187  Fax +44(0)114 219 5187

Recommended procedure for ordering computers

Step 1. Talk to department IT staff about what your requirements are and find out what the current status is for "standard" stock PC's and to get quotes for your requirements.

Step 2. If a standard stock PC or a standard laptop is not suitable, then you need to configure your own, preferably from Dell (via the university iProcurement website if you have access https://www1.admin.ox.ac.uk/finance/support/) and preferably with guidance from Department IT staff.

Step 3. If you do not have access to the university R12 iProcurement system then fill in a standard requisition form and get it authorized by the costcentre holder and send it to the finance office (in Hume-Rothery Building Reception) with attached printouts of the full quote for the computer. All computer requisitions are passed from the finance office to the Senior IT officer for authorization so it is best to talk to Department IT staff first!

Please send any comments or corrections to the webmaster.

IT bits

IT bits

Several companies are University Purchasing preferred retailers for IT bits.

Insight - our recommended IT bits supplier
http://uk.insight.com (Username: paul.warren@materials.ox.ac.uk Password: available on request)

Misco - an IT supplier (recently added to R12)
https://www.misco.co.uk/Account/Logon (Username: paul.warren@materials.ox.ac.uk Password: available on request)

BT Business Direct - an IT supplier (no-longer on R12 but still used)
http://www.businessdirect.bt.com/ ( Username: paul.warren@materials.ox.ac.uk Password: available on request)

Recommended procedure for ordering IT bits

Step 1. Check with IT staff about whether the item you need is already available in IT stock.

Step 2. Compare prices and availability for the items you need at a variety of preferred suppliers.

Step 3. If you do not have access to the university R12 iProcurement system then fill in a standard requisition form and get it authorized by the costcentre holder and send it to the finance office (in Hume-Rothery Building Reception) with attached printouts of the full quote for the computer. All computer requisitions are passed from the finance office to the Senior IT officer for authorization so it is best to talk to Department IT staff first!

Please send any comments or corrections to the webmaster.

Printer purchasing advice

Printer purchasing advice

Several companies on the university R12 iProcurement system supply printers e.g. XMA, OfficeDepot, Insight

If you do not have access to R12 then you should check valid prices on XMA website using these login details https://he.xma.co.uk/login (Username: paul.warren Password: available on request)

Printer pricing varies between suppliers dependant upon model of printer. For example:

Item (Prices 13/4/2015)

XMA

OffieDepot

Insight

HP Laserjet M401dn £177.63 £259.00 £152.37
HP Laserjet P3015dn £302.67 £685.22 £315.48

Recommended procedure for ordering printers

Step 1. Talk to department IT staff about what your requirements are. We recommend networked printers for easy management and sharing (network tends to add £100). We recommend shared use of larger workgroup printers (rather than personal desktop printers). We recommend HP. We recommend laserprinters (inkjets have high consumable costs).

Step 2. XMA are usually cheapest, deliver swiftly, have good customer service and a good quick website. Login to https://he.xma.co.uk/login (Username: paul.warren Password: available on request) Browse or search for printers. We recommend ordering a spare set of toners with the initial order for the printer so that there is initially a spare toner in stock.

Step 3.  If you do not have access to the university R12 iProcurement system then fill in a standard requisition form and get it authorized by the costcentre holder and send it to the finance office (in Hume-Rothery Building Reception).

Please send any comments or corrections to the webmaster.

Printer Supplies purchasing advice

Printer Supplies purchasing advice

Firstly please note that departmental departmental Stores keeps stock of spare toners for most mono printers in use within the department, however all colour printer toners need to be ordered directly. As of August 2016 the university PRAC designated XMA as the sole supplier for toners.

If you do not have access to the university R12 iProcurement system then you an also check valid prices on XMA website using these login details https://he.xma.co.uk/login (Username: paul.warren Password: available on request)

Recommended procedure for ordering printer supplies

Step1. Find the product code for the item you want. Try searching for your printer model on google (e.g. "HP 1320n toner") or search the HP website.

Step2. Search the university R12 iProcurement system or https://he.xma.co.uk/login for the product code to get the correct pricing (zero delivery cost).

Step 3. If you do not have access to the university R12 iProcurement system then fill in a standard requisition form and get it authorized by the costcentre holder and send it to the finance office (in Hume-Rothery Building Reception). 

Please send any comments or corrections to the webmaster.

Stationery purchasing advice

Stationery purchasing advice

Note that many stationery supplies are stocked by departmental Stores. If you need to purchase directly, as of August 2016 the university PRAC designated Office Depot as the sole supplier for stationary. Pricing is available via the university R12 iProcurement system https://www1.admin.ox.ac.uk/finance/support/

Recommended procedure for ordering stationery

Step1. Search for the product code or description within the university R12 iProcurement system to access the OfficeDepot pricing.