Finance Division

Buyer's Toolkit - Existing suppliers and agreements

The University has a number of contracted and approved suppliers already set up on the finance system.

Useful policies and guidance

Policies

Procurement and Purchasing Policy 

Guidance

Purchasing Goods and Services Guide [PDF 6.94MB]

Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guide [PDF 3.35MB]

Finance systems access and financial literacy training

Contracted suppliers

Where they are in place, contracted suppliers should be used providing they meet business need. These suppliers have been competitively tendered and appointed on the basis that they will be the only supplier of certain goods and services to the University. A list of contracted and e-marketplace suppliers is provided below.

Contracted suppliers
  • Estates and facilities management: all campus requirements must be purchased from Sussex Estates and Facilities.
  • Catering: campus catering should be purchased via SussexFood unless business need cannot be met.
  • Couriers: Sussex Estates and Facilities is the supplier for all courier activity (except temperature controlled items).
  • Travel: Key Travel are the supplier of travel, hotel and international vehicle hire services to the University.
  • UK vehicle hire: Enterprise is the preferred supplier for all vehicle hire within the UK.
  • Printing: all requirements for general printing and reprographic services should be directed to the University's Print Unit.
  • Printers and photocopiers: IT services should be contacted for all printer and photocopier requirements.
  • IT equipment and software: IT Services should be contacted for general buying guidance.
  • Managed Service for Non-Permanent Workers: Reed Talent Solutions
  • Laboratory Consumables and Chemicals: Fisher Scientific are the preferred supplier for these products and are available on Punchout.

Orders to the following suppliers should be made in the Finance System via punch-outOrders to the following suppliers should be made in the Finance System via the e-marketplace
  • Fisher Scientific
  • Office Depot
  • Rapid Electronics
  • RS Components
  • Air Liquide
  • All Batteries
  • Alpha Laboratories
  • Aspen Electonice
  • BOC UK Greiner
  • Bio-one Sarstedt Ltd
  • Smith Scientific
  • Starlab
  • Thistle Scientific
  • Triple Red
  • Wolf Laboratories

For more information on how to purchase via punch-out and the e-marketplace, please read the Purchasing Goods and Services Guide [PDF 6.94MB]

Approved suppliers

If your purchase cannot be sourced from a contracted supplier, other suppliers can be considered. Where possible, a University approved supplier should be used. 

If there is no approved supplier of the goods and services required, or there is an insufficient number of approved suppliers to allow you to obtain competitive quotations, then a new supplier can be considered.

New suppliers are a significant risk to the University and must 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. Visit our Buyer's Toolkit - New supplier set up page for more information on requesting new suppliers.

FAQs

What to consider before purchasing

1. What should I do if I need to make a purchase?

Firstly, you should refer to the relevant guide for information on the correct purchasing method.

If you need access to the Finance System, complete the New User Set-Up Form - Non Finance [DOCX 43.82KB] and email it to the Finance Service Desk at financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk.

If you need access to a purchasing card to buy your goods or services, please visit our Purchasing using a purchasing card webpage.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk 

2. How do I find out what budget to charge something to?

You should always check with the budget holder to ensure that you know where to charge the expenditure.

If you have already agreed with the budget holder that you can purchase against a particular budget, but aren’t sure of the full subproject code, you can find this on the Requisition Input screen in the Finance System.

Start typing the information you have into the Subproject box (i.e. name or part of code) and the Type Ahead function will generate a list of subprojects that match the characters you have input so far.

If you need a more detailed search, use the Field Help button or contact the Finance Service Desk at financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk

The Purchasing Goods and Services Guide [PDF 6.94MB] provides screen shots of this process, and detailed guidance on raising requisitions.

3. How do I know if there is enough budget to cover my purchase?

If you are planning a purchase, you should check with your budget holder to ensure that there is enough budget.

If you are in the process of raising a requisition in the Finance System, you can do a ‘Funds Check' to see if there is enough budget.

  • Once you have completed the Requisition details tab press Funds Check.
  • There are 3 possible icons that will appear against each line of the Requisition Details tab in the Funds check column. These are:
  • Red circle with exclamation mark = Funds overspent (over budget)
  • Green tick = Funds available (within budget)
  • Orange triangle with exclamation mark = Funds available, but remaining funds less than 10%

The Purchasing Goods and Services Guide [PDF 6.94MB] provides screen shots of this process, and detailed guidance on raising requisitions.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk

4. What do I do if my purchase is over £25,000?

For goods and services likely to exceed £25,000 over their lifetime, fill out a Request for Procurement Support [DOCX 16.16KB] and return it to the Finance Service Desk at financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk

5. How do I find out if there’s a contracted supplier for what I want to buy? Do I have to use them?

A list of contracted suppliers can be found near the top of this page.You should use a contracted supplier unless they cannot meet business need.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk

6. How do I find out if there’s an approved supplier for what I want to buy? Do I have to use them?

If your purchase cannot be sourced from a contracted supplier a University approved supplier should be used. If there is no University approved supplier of the goods and services required, then a new supplier can be considered.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk

7. A supplier is asking me to sign a contract, what should I do?

Contracts should only be signed by those authorised to do so.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk

8. How do I check if a supplier is already set up on the Finance System?

To check if a supplier is set up on the Finance System before starting a requisition, login to the system and click on ‘Purchasing’ in the main menu.

Click on ‘Suppliers (New/Amend/View)’ and begin typing the name of the supplier in the ‘Lookup’ field.

Options will begin to appear after you have typed three characters. If your supplier is set up on the system you will see them listed here.

9. I need to get a new supplier set up. What do I do?

Please see the guidance on our Buyer’s Toolkit – New supplier set up page.

10. How do I book a vehicle through the University's preferred supplier (Enterprise)?

You will require an a user login for the University’s account. To get one please email  U1B2Requests@ehi.com copying in Robert.A.King@ehi.com

(This can take up to 2 working days).

Once you have a user login navigate to the B2B Enterprise portal. Here is a generic guide from Enterprise on using the portal.

If you have any University specific questions please email the Finance Service Desk.

If you have any questions about your booking or how to book, please call Enterprise on - 01273 688 222 option 4 (for the Brighton Branch). Our Account Manager at Enterprise is - Christine James. christine.james@ehi.com - 01273 688 222 option 4.

 Brighton Branch Manager at Enterprise is Seb Western - sebastian.j.western@ehi.com - 01273 688 222 option 4.

11. How do I book/amend/cancel travel through the University's preferred supplier (Key Travel)?

You will require a user login for the University’s account. To get one please email your @sussex.ac.uk or @bsms.ac.uk email address to bookers@keytravel.com, along with your name, department and contact number. (This can take up to 3 working days).

Once you have your login details please navigate to the Key Travel portal.

We recommend adding your mobile number to your Traveller Profile so that you can receive essential information such has travel and safety updates. (Please remember you will only receive these updates where you have mobile signal).

Key Travel have provided this guide for travel as the sector reopens. Please also check the university’s guidance on travel and insurance here

Here is a list of useful contacts at Key Travel. 

If you have any University specific questions please email the Finance Service Desk on financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your booking or how to book, please email sussex@keytravel.com in the first instance but you can also call Key Travel on 0161 819 9767 for complex or urgent travel needs.

The 24 hour emergency assistance line is + 44(0)20 7843 9602.

As an escalation point our account manager at Key Travel is: Paul Accountmanager@keytravel.com (please email the Finance Service Desk on financeservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk to let us know about any queries you escalate and if you require additional assistance from the Procurement team).

If you need to cancel or amend your booking, in most cases, if you booked via the portal you can also make amendments or cancel in the portal following this guidance.

12. How do I book a courier service?

As of 07/12/2020 SEF is responsible for all courier activity within the university. Contact the Service Centre at SEF.ServiceCentre@mitie.com, with details of your delivery.

The only courier accounts that should be used by staff are through SEF (unless this is for dry ice/temperature controlled deliveries which should be processed through existing methods). All other accounts listed for the university will be closed. Any other accounts will not be prepared for any changes due to Brexit and as the approved supplier all courier requests should be actioned via SEF as per the Purchasing Policy. Please email - SEF.ServiceCentre@mitie.com. If you have any questions.

13. Brexit and Imports

The situation regarding Brexit is still under discussion and so any guidance may be subject to change. Below is a brief list of items that you should take into account. Please refer to the Import duty and VAT pages for information (and updates regarding Brexit).

  1. INCOTERMS on purchase. Where possible ensure your contracts/agreements with the other party are “Delivery Duty Paid (DDP)” – this is an import term meaning the sender is responsible for all delivery costs, taxes and duties. There may be a premium on the charges but it makes it a known cost and reduces processing time here and issues relating to consignments being held at customs. If your supplier is unable to arrange DDP deliveries then an alternative supplier should be selected. If this is not possible you can arrange the delivery (consignment) via SEF. Please email SEF.ServiceCentre@mitie.com as soon as possible with your request.
  2. Importer of Record. This is the entity named on Customs entries and is legally responsible for the payment of import VAT and/or Import Duty. This can be the university or the supplier depending on who is responsible (as per your contract). E.g. DDP deliveries would be the supplier and costs would be built into your purchase.
  3. Payment of import taxes. The university does not have a “deferment account”. If the supplier has not arranged a DDP delivery, in most cases the freight forwarder (courier) applies these charges to the university courier accounts. As the university does not “control” the imports made by suppliers you may be contacted by the freight forwarder to pay these charges immediately to release goods (as the end recipient). Paying these charges with your university purchasing card (or departmental card held by an admin) is the easiest option to minimise delays. (Please exercise caution this could be a risk area for scams post-Brexit and ensure you have copies of all the relevant invoices/receipts).
  4. Commercial invoice. The university has set up “paperless billing” with our couriers which allows digital submission of this document to move with the package. Your supplier should have similar arrangements. This is used to determine full price of the goods. This is the full amount paid to the supplier including any delivery and insurance costs.
  5. Commodity codes. Every type of item imported has a code number. The supplier in control of the consignment should have these listed as part of their delivery paperwork on the package. If you are asked for one by a courier your supplier may have provided, or be able to provide the UK commodity code for import purposes and should know the commodity code they will use for import. For further information and links see our Import Duty webpage.
  6. Duty or VAT relief. Import duty relief can be claimed on: Scientific instruments imported for educational purposes or non-commercial scientific research; and Purchased / donated medical equipment to be used for medical purposes. For more information, visit our Duty Relief webpage.
  7. Import controls or import licences. There are controls in place for the import of firearms, artworks and antiques, plants and animals, medicines, textiles and chemicals, and an import licence may be required. You can check the gov.uk website for more information.
14. Imports - EORI Number

As of 01/12/2020 the university’s EORI number is listed on all PO’s. This number should be referenced on deliveries where the university is responsible for paying Import Duties and Taxes. An EORI number – which stands for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number – is a unique ID code used to track and register customs information in the EU. From January 1 2021, businesses based in Great Britain will need an EORI number (starting with GB) to import and export goods to the EU. The University’s EORI number is - GB692712320000

Please refer to the Import duty and VAT pages for information (and updates regarding Brexit).