Frequently Asked Questions

1. I want to establish an account with SAMs or Office Depot or Home Depot. How do I proceed?

Currently, contact Sarah Rincon in Purchasing for establishing a new account with SAMs, Office Depot or Home Depot. She may also help if you run into a problem with the account

2. Why should I use Office Depot for office supplies? Sometimes I can get a better deal through a smaller firm.

Office Depot was selected in a competition run with firms that could provide a website, desk top delivery, accept a procurement card, and can deliver a full range of office supplies. Office Depot also provides SMU with a 5% rebate on all purchases & fully participates in training & learning classes as well as the yearly Vendor Trade Fair. We also received a substantial rebate to continue to utilize Office Depot so the University greatly benefits from using Office Depot as our preferred source. Office Depot may be beaten on an individual price but they remain the best overall source for SMU.

3. What if my daily & monthly limits on my procurement card are too low? What do I do to raise the limits?

If you feel that your daily & monthly limits on your procurement card are too low then request a change with appropriate written justification through your financial officer to the Procurement Card Administrator.

4. What kind of discounts are there for car rentals?

We have agreements with two of our buying consortiums for rentals of cars. Through the Educational & Institutional Cooperative Service, Inc we have discounts with Avis, Budget, Enterprise & Hertz. With the Horizon Resource Group buying consortium we have discounts with National and Alamo. The discounts start at 5% and go up for larger cars. If you would like complete information on the plans contact Purchasing and they can provide you the information by e-mail or you can access the buying consortiums directly.

5. What benefit do I gain from going to a Preferred Provider or a firm that is part of one of our buying consortiums?

Price justification is required for all purchases greater than $5,000 (grants have a higher threshold). If you use a Preferred Provider or one of the sources from a buying consortium then no competition is required and the price is automatically justified since these contracts and agreements have already been competed and the prices are deemed fair and reasonable.

6. What kind of competition is required on a $10,000 purchase?

Three bids must be attached to the purchase request or Purchasing must perform the competition or the selected firm is a Preferred Provider or from a buying consortium. If the firm must be sole source then you must document why it must be sole source and additionally why the price is fair & reasonable.

7. I’m having problems with one of our shipping companies, who do I contact?

First try and work the issue with the shipping company; secondly check the Purchasing website if the firm is a Preferred Provider to find the SMU representative listed; lastly report your problem to the Director of Purchasing for assistance.

8. I researched and ran my own competition for some audio visual equipment that will cost about $50,000. Now I’m told competition will still be required by Purchasing. Why?

New requirements greater than $25,000 are expected to be competed through Purchasing. If the paperwork submitted to Purchasing does not demonstrate effective competition and/or the price justification documentation is inadequate then the determination is made that the competition gathered is not adequate to justify the pricing. Additional vendors from either the Preferred Provider listing or the buying consortiums will be included for further competition.

9. I understand that SMU has discounts for parking at Love Field and DFW, where do I find that information?

Check the Purchasing website and you will currently find information on Park ‘n Fly and The Parking Spot. Park ‘n Fly discounts are available at DFW and The Parking Spot has discounts for Love Field and DFW.

10. I have ordered equipment over $5,000 & been notified that Accounts Payable will not process my invoice because there is no purchase order or contract in place. What do I do?

To order supplies, services & equipment you must possess the requisite signature authority. If you ordered material above your signature authority you must  comply with the following paragraph:

Reference: Purchase Order Requirement

All after-the-fact purchases require a memorandum signed by the applicable Vice President or Dean stating why a purchase order or contract was not obtained prior to the order being place & responding to the bullets below. Generally, the memorandum is submitted to the Director of Purchasing for approval with the payment request.

• State the name of the individual ordering the supplies or service & signed the contractual document.
• State the Signature authority this individual possesses or thought they possessed.
• State why the selected company is sole source or if any competition was obtained and the results.
• State what makes the price fair & reasonable.
• State why proper procedures were not followed.

Proper Procedures are:

• Estimates/Quotes are obtained first
• An eProcurement requisition is entered into the system
• A Purchase Order is generated prior to the purchase being consummated
• An invoice is submitted to Accounts Payable for payment after the service is rendered

11. I want to purchase furniture & fixtures totaling $75,000 with one firm I’ve selected from the Preferred Provider listing.  Do I have to go through Purchasing to make the purchase?

Non-project related furniture requirements, even if with a Preferred Provider, must be formally competed by the Purchasing department if the value is greater than $50,000. Contractor Proposal requirements will be detailed in a formal Request for Proposal as well as establishing Evaluation Criteria to select the “best value” firm to meet SMU’s requirements. The expectation is that furniture requirements will be competed among several of the Preferred Providers. Please contact either Sarah Rincon (X8-3240) or Chanda Arnold (X8-4647) in Purchasing to discuss your furniture needs. Project related furniture requirements are purchased by PD&C/Jasmine Efrussy.

12. How do I arrange for local bus charter services? 

SMU currently has contracts for local bus charter services with three firms, Buses by Bill, & Gotta Go Trailways (both firms under the umbrella of Echo Companies), and Wynne Sedan & Limousine Group & Wynne Motorcoaches.

All itinerary transportation services are amendments to the original agreement between these three firms and Southern Methodist University. Prior approval for any scheduled trip is generally required within your respective schools or departments by the:

a. Financial Officer or Department Head

b. Dean of Schools or Associate Vice Presidents

These three firms will generate a “Confirmation Notice” for the scheduled assignment. Please make sure to specify at the top of each notice:

1. Buses by Bill – “This confirmation is issued pursuant to paragraph 3 of Amendment 2 to the Ground Transportation Services Agreement dated May 21, 2005, as amended between SMU & Buses by Bill”

2. Gotta Go Trailways – “This confirmation is issued pursuant to Article 1 & Exhibit (Contractor Directive) of the contract dated May 8, 2013”
3. Wynne Sedan & Limousine Group & Wynne Motorcoaches – “This confirmation is issued pursuant to Article 1 & Exhibit B (Contractor Directive) of the contract dated April 19, 2011”.

Purchasing will create a Purchase Order upon receipt of:

a. Eprocurement purchase requisition, and

b. Approved Buses by Bill, Gotta Go Trailways, or Wynne Sedan & Limousine & Wynne Motorcoaches confirmed notice

To obtain preliminary rates from Buses by Bill for your scheduled services, you may contact Gary Woods, 817-572-4114, ext 7528 or go to

To obtain preliminary rates from Wynne Sedan & Limousine & Wynne Motorcoaches for your scheduled services you may call 214-361-6125 or or

To obtain preliminary rates from Gotta Go Trailways for your scheduled services you may contact Gary Woods, 817-572-4114 ext. 7528 or or

If you decide to go with another firm for local bus charter services other than the three mentioned above, they your request must be reviewed by SMU Legal Counsel and Risk Management before submitting a purchase request to Purchasing in order to issue a purchase order.

Any questions regarding bus charter services should be referred to Sarah Rincon, Senior Purchasing Agent at 214-768-3240 or