Finance Division

Buyer's Toolkit - New supplier set up

Find out how to use the supplier management system to propose a new supplier.

Please note: New suppliers should only be requested if you cannot buy what you need from a supplier already set up on the Finance System. To check if a supplier is already set up on the system, follow these steps:

  • Login to the Finance System
  • Click on 'Reports', 'Purchasing reports', 'Suppliers - active or closed'
  • Input the name of your supplier and click 'search'
  • 'N' means that the supplier is active in the system and available for you to use. 'P' or 'C' means that the supplier is on the system but that the supplier file is now closed. In this case, please contact the Finance Service Desk if you wish to use this supplier.

If your supplier is not on the system at all, you can request that they are set up. However, new suppliers are a risk to the University and will only be considered if, in addition to providing better value for money, they are financially secure; have a good service record; have high ethical and sustainability standards and are an acceptable business partner for the University. For more information on our existing suppliers, see our Buyer's Toolkit - Existing Suppliers and Agreements page.

How to set up a new supplier

  1. Request login details from the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.
  2. Enter the supplier management system and propose a new supplier. This video explains how to do this.
  3. We'll review the proposal and approve it, if appropriate. You'll get a system notification.
  4. We send an ‘Invitation to Engage’ to your supplier, asking them to submit bank details and answer a few questions about their organisation. You'll get a notification from the system.
  5. When your supplier responds, we'll review their information, and call them to independently verify their bank details. Once they're verified, the supplier will be available to use on the Finance System. You'll receive a notification from the system.

Additional tips for proposing a new supplier

  1. If you are proposing a supplier as part of a Research project, please upload the project contract and collaboration agreement in the documents section.
  2. Ensure your description of the purchase explains what you need to buy clearly. 
  3. Explain how value for money is achieved by using the new supplier.
  4. Remember to fill out the risk section – i.e. what would happen if this supplier could no longer provide the goods or services?
  5. Make sure you enter the correct email address for the supplier.

FAQs

1. How do I propose a new supplier to be set-up on the Finance System?

If you cannot purchase what you need from a contracted or approved supplier already set up on the Finance System (see our Buyer's Toolkit - Existing suppliers and agreements page for more detail on this), then you may need to propose a new supplier to be set-up. 

To do this, you will need to login to the supplier management system. If you are doing this for the first time, you can request login details from the Finance Service Desk on rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

This video explains how to complete the supplier proposal. If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

2. How do I check whether IR35 applies to an engagement I wish to make with a service provider?

Please liaise with the HR IR35 team. Guidance and advice can be found on their IR35 Guidance and Advice page.

It is important you seek guidance before contracting with any provider, before attempting to add them as a new supplier or raising a requisition on the Finance System.

Please note that purchasing cards should not be used when engaging a personal services company.

3. What happens once I propose my new supplier?

Your proposal will be checked and, if appropriate, approved internally. The proposal then moves from the “Supplier Proposal” section to the “Supplier Directory” with a "Prcourement Approved" status.

The supplier will then be sent an email containing a link to the supplier management system. You can speed up this part of the process by asking your supplier to follow the link and submit their neccessary information as soon as possible.

After the supplier has submitted their details, we verify their bank details to help prevent fraud. At this stage, the set-up status will show as “Bank verification attempt(s) in Progress”.

Once this is complete and the information has been added to the University Finance System, the status will show as “Active and Registered in the Finance System”. This means your supplier is now live in the Finance System and ready to use.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

4. How long does it take to get my supplier set up on the Finance System?

This will depend on the length of time it takes your supplier to respond to our information request and verify their bank details.

If your request is urgent, or you have a particular deadline, you are advised to let the supplier know and follow up with them if they have not responded within your required timeline. Automated reminders are sent from the supplier management system to the supplier for the first three days after they have accepted an invitation to engage, however it is the supplier’s responsibility to respond.

The ‘History’ button on the top right of the supplier management system screen allows you to see our progress notes on your proposal, and the status descriptions allow you to see what stage your proposal is at.

5. How do I check the status of my supplier proposal?

You can check the status of your proposal by logging in to the supplier management system and looking under SRM - Supplier Directory. The status will appear in the column on the right next to your supplier.

The ‘History’ button on the top right of the  screen allows you to see our progress notes on your proposal.

6. My proposal came up with an 'error' page. What does this mean?

This indicates an error in your typing, such as a space in a field or an incomplete email address.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at rt-finance-servicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

7. What do the statuses in the supplier management system mean?
  • Procurement approved: Your proposal has been reviewed internally and approved to move to the next stage in engaging a new supplier. When this status is applied, your proposal moves from the “Supplier Proposals” section to the "Supplier Directory" section.
  • Invitation sent – prompt your supplier to respond: An “Invitation to Engage” email has been sent to your supplier. They will need to follow the link in this email and complete the online form.
  • Responded to supplier set up information: Your supplier has responded to the questionnaire.
  • Information missing/incorrect – with supplier: The initial answers to the questionnaire have been returned but there is something missing or incorrect to be completed.
  • Bank verification attempt(s) in progress: We are attempting to verify bank details with the supplier.
  • Registered: The new supplier details are being transferred to the Finance System.
  • Active and registered in the Finance System: Your supplier is live in the Finance System and ready to use.
8. Why can't I see my proposed supplier any more?

Your supplier has changed status. See FAQ 7.

9. My supplier has told me about a change of bank details. What do I do?

The supplier management system allows suppliers to take responsibility for logging in and updating their own information.