When the University of California enters into Vendor Agreements, we’re looking at a total savings UC-wide. We’re looking for Total Cost of Ownership; which is the pursuit of suppliers that can deliver the best overall value in cost, quality and service over time. The sticker price of a non-catalog item is not always what you can end up paying over time; UCOP Agreement vendors provide warranty, free shipping, returns, and customer service that non-catalog vendors generally do not provide. The UC and all UCOP contract vendors have agreed to and signed common Terms and Conditions to protect us from any unforeseen issues that non-catalog vendors may present – such as no returns, unexpected shipping fees, no warranty, distributor fees, etc.
Having catalog items readily available in Gateway with our UCOP Agreement vendors saves time (and therefore money) across the board, rather than spending your time and admin time processing “non-catalog” quotes. While some products in the UCOP Agreements catalogs may be priced higher than you are able to find elsewhere, many of the commonly used products are provided at deep discounts. The UCOP Contracts are negotiated based on bulk and recurring need across all 10 UC campuses. Some products offered at the discounts are due to the fact they are education grade; some other products are offered at retail pricing because they aren’t directly negotiated to be discounted further.