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Supplier Diversity Frequently Asked Questions

Supplier Diversity Frequently Asked Questions?


How do I get on the University of Missouri bidders list?

We do not have a defined bidders list per se. Construction suppliers that want to be on a bid notification list can click this link . For architechts/engineers, there is a database you can be included in. Click this link for more detail. For suppliers of goods and services, you should register on the university's U-Bid site on this link. The supplier diversity effort seeks to include suppliers that have the capability to meet the university’s needs. 


I’d like to set-up a meeting to discuss what my business has to offer. How do I do that?

University of Missouri has very decentralized purchasing currently. Many items are purchased individually at each of the four campuses. We have a health care group that manages their own purchasing. A few items are purchased for the entire system and are serviced by preferred vendors. Yet, many items are purchased directly by end users via a purchasing card. All of our design and construction is managed by each campus. The website will provide significant insight and information including contact names. You can also send a brief letter of introduction about your company and what you have to offer to us. If we think there’s a potential opportunity, we will connect you with the right contact.


How does a firm become a preferred supplier?

Our procurement group has a limited number of preferred suppliers. Typically, these are for goods and/or services that may be used across all of our sites. Firms that become preferred suppliers either have a specific experience and capacity and/or have been suppliers of ours already. 


Does the University have a process for quick payment to M/WBE firms?

No. All suppliers are paid under the University of Missouri System standard payment process. If any current supplier does have any issues that come up, requests can be reviewed by the procurement agent or construction manager that manages the contract. 


How would a firm introduce themselves to the procurement and design and construction groups?

  • Provide us with information about your company. You can either e-mail or write us with a letter of introduction and any other marketing material about your firm. Tell us how you believe you can help UM System’s overall business goals as a supplier to the university.
  • If there is a need for your product and/or services, we may schedule some time to learn more about your firm. That may include a site visit to your facility. We’ll want to learn more about your overall capabilities.
  • Once an established relationship is made with one of our buyers, it is good to stay in contact and update them if anything changes. Understand that if an opportunity presents itself at this point, you will more than likely be invited to bid.
  • The main thing is to always check our procurement and design and construction websites for updated information.

Does the University of Missouri and its campuses require suppliers to be certified?

Yes. We require M/WBE’s that do business with us to be certified by an appropriate state, regional, local and/or national agency. Veteran and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) should also be certified. Please visit our website  under resources to find out more about certification.

Is the University of Missouri Supplier Diversity program a set-aside program?

No. Missouri State Law does not permit the university to show preference or discriminate in the awarding of contracts based on the ethnicity or gender of business owners. While we may not establish set-asides for the use of minority and women-owned business, the university maintains a commitment to providing maximum practicable opportunity to participate in any and all procurement and contracting by the University. Supplier Diversity is part of the overall value equation we use in supplier selection.

I'm a supplier to the University of Missouri and am being given a goal for supplier diversity. Is that legal?

Yes it is. You are being assigned a goal, not a mandate/quota. Of course, you can choose to not help the University meet its goals. However, you may not be as competitive versus other companies that are being inclusive of subcontractors they are using in thier bid requests and/or to meet their contract commitment with us. The same would apply for preferred suppliers as well. 

What is the mailing adress for sending inquiries in?

University of Missouri Supplier Diversity and Small Business Program

1105 Carrie Francke Drive

Suite 109

Columbia, Missouri 65203

Email: UMissourisupplierdiversity@umsystem.edu

Phone: 573-884-3200

Reviewed 2014-01-28.