Why is approval required from the U-M Regents of the university to do business with companies outside U-M?

Because the State Conflict of Interest Law (Public Act 317 of 1968, as amended by Public Act 81 (of 1984) mandates it. The law prevents university employees, or enterprises in which they have an interest, from contracting with the university without prior regental approval. The approval process is subject to the Schedule of Regents' Meetings, and the process may take up to two months due to the number of steps involved.  For detailed information see the Conflict of Interest policy. Contact Procurement Services Customer Service at (734) 764-8212, option 1, or email at procurement.services@umich.edu for additional information or assistance.

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Who is authorized to sign contracts?

Per the SPG 601.24, only Procurement Services has the delegated authority to sign contracts. Faculty and staff from colleges, schools, and other units are not authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the university, regardless of the dollar amount. Doing so makes the individual personally liable for all commitments, monetary and otherwise.  Exceptions include lease agreements.

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Who is responsible for monitoring contracts?

Please see the Contract Monitoring document for more details on the responsibility of both the unit and Procurement Services based on the different contract types. 

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Strategic Suppliers

What is a strategic supplier?

A U-M Strategic Supplier typically has a multi-year contract with the institution and offers a number of advantages to the university community, including discounts on a wide variety of products and services, a commitment to exemplary customer service, multiple ways to execute purchases, and several other benefits such as extended warranties and customization options on certain items.

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Purchase Orders

How do I change the supplier name on a purchase order?

You cannot change the supplier on a purchase order (PO) after it has been dispatched. You should complete the PO Request Form to cancel the PO with the wrong supplier name, and then create a new ePro requisition with the correct name of the supplier.

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Why is Procurement Services the only unit that can cancel purchase orders?

Currently, the M-Pathways system only allows Procurement Services to cancel purchase orders. If you need to cancel a purchase order (for example, if the ordered supplies are no longer needed), you should submit your request by completing the PO Request Form. It is the department’s responsibility to cancel the order with the supplier. Note: After a PO has been canceled it cannot be reopened.

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How are purchase orders sent to the supplier?

The order delivery method is dependent on how the supplier has been established to receive purchase orders.  They can be sent to suppliers via:


Orders are printed nightly and mailed to the supplier via USPS the next morning. This is the default dispatch method if no other option is available for that supplier.


Some suppliers are set up to receive POs via email. If your supplier wants to receive orders via email, contact Supplier Maintenance to have the supplier record updated and an email ID assigned.


Orders can also be faxed to suppliers. A valid fax number is needed on the supplier record to use this option. You can also choose to provide a fax number on the ePro requisition and have that order faxed. If the dispatch method for the supplier was specified as 'fax' but no fax number exists, the delivery method will automatically switch to ‘print’ at the time of PO dispatch.


You can also order by phone, calling in your order to the supplier. Please note that in this case, no PO will be delivered to the supplier by the system.

M-marketsite orders are delivered by SciQuest, our software provider, to the supplier. You will notice that these orders have a dispatch method of 'EDX'.

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Does the university pay any sales taxes to other states?

Yes. Generally speaking, if merchandise is purchased in a state other than Michigan and delivered to that state, any sales tax imposed by that state must be paid.  

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What are the guidelines on what furniture we can order?

Furniture is a restricted commodity. Please see information on Restricted Commodities/Special Approvals for details.

There are different standards for furniture, depending on the building and department. Contact your building’s facilities manager for the standards that apply to you. Authorized staff members have the option of purchasing furniture directly through a strategic supplier or through our catalogs on M-marketsite.

Detailed information on furniture suppliers and interior design requirements is available on the Find Products and Services web page.

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