Doing Business with the University

It is the policy of the university to acquire needed goods and services in such a manner as to obtain maximum value for each dollar disbursed, subject to the terms and conditions made by donors, grantors and government agencies.

The elements of maximum value include more than price, quality and delivery. Technical innovation, assured supply and cost reduction assistance are some of the vendor contributions that we consider in determining value. The university welcomes information on new or improved products, methods or technologies and encourages vendors to suggest more economical alternatives and options whenever possible without sacrificing quality. Further, business awarded to suppliers is not based on price alone. Our Procurement staff, together with the user departments, carefully weigh other equally important factors (e.g. - service, availability, performance, reliability, maintainability, quality, etc.). Vendors are encouraged to bring to our attention those unique functions and features that are inherent in their products and services being offered to the University.

Supplier strategies for success:

  • Develop competitive value-based pricing
    Pricing plays a role in any supplier selection criteria, but many suppliers incorrectly assume it is the most important part of a formal proposal. Procurement & Contract Services (P&CS) is interested in more than the price and considers the overall cost of products or services to the institution.
  • Be innovative
    P&CS is interested in new products and services that deliver a competitive advantage, but also new ways of doing business. How quickly can the supplier adapt to changing customer requirements? Will the supplier use the latest technology? Does the supplier pass along the benefits of its cost reduction initiatives?
  • Emphasize support and service
    One competitive advantage for suppliers in strategic sourcing is strong customer service and support. This ranges from how the supplier answers complaints to whether it guarantees levels of performance, such as on-time delivery and damage-free shipments.
  • Invest in technology
    One way many large businesses reduce supply chain costs is with electronic commerce and better use of technology. These cost efficiencies can be to the benefit of both the supplier and the customer.

Promote proactively

A key to success at the University of Waterloo is the innovative and proactive marketing of products, services and added value.  A supplier should keep Procurement & Contract Service up-to-date on developments within the company that may impact the business relationship with the broader campus community.



Procurement and Contract Services

University of Waterloo

200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

Tel.:       519-888-4501


The University of Waterloo is a member of various co-operative procurement groups:

Goods and Services –

  • Grand River Cooperative Procurement Group
  • Ontario University Procurement Management Association
  • Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace
  • Ontario Ministry of Government Services
  • Canadian Association of University Business Officers


  • Canadian College and University Food Service Association

Facilities / Utilities

  • Ontario Chapter of Association of Physical Plant Administrators

At this time, the University of Waterloo designated ADR Chambers as independent arbitrators for dispute resolution under CETA.