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COVID-19 Operations: Procurement

This page outlines Procurement Services' adjusted operations during the phased return to campus. This page will be updated as circumstances change. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

Drexel University is committed to preserving and maintaining the health and safety of all members of its community. Details on all University-wide measures being taken can be found on Drexel's Response to Coronavirus website.

Technology Purchases During COVID-19

Drexel University stands as a center of innovation, and it is in that spirit that we must develop creative solutions to the challenges COVID-19 presents to our everyday operations. Purchasing technology for remote use should be viewed as a last resort when adapting to current conditions. There are often options that can be explored to replicate functions in a remote environment without incurring additional costs. For example, Zoom has a built-in whiteboard function, which works with all pen-enabled screens for real-time written instruction. If a pen-enabled screen is not available, Zoom also integrates with most smartphones and tablets on which a free app like Microsoft Whiteboard can be used for the same purpose.

Please consult with your IT support team before making any purchase. They will assist you in identifying replacements for broken or damaged equipment, exploring alternatives for new equipment, and verifying the correct equipment is being requested. Technology purchases will only be made after undergoing careful review to determine if they are essential to business continuity.

Be aware the purchase of some equipment is currently prohibited, including:

  • Personal use items such as headphones and microphones
  • Recording studio equipment such as lighting, green screens, or microphone filters
  • Equipment currently available on campus that can be temporarily taken remote such as monitors, docking stations, keyboards, and mice
  • Any item being purchased for use with a non-Drexel owned system

Drexel has eased restrictions on taking office equipment home while remote work is in effect. Everyone is strongly encouraged to retrieve any items, technology or otherwise, from their office on campus that they need to complete their daily work activities. Please consult with your supervisor/department head to make any such arrangements.

Additionally, our technology vendors are extending discounts on numerous items to all members of the Drexel community for personal purchases. More information on personal purchases can be found on the Drexel IT Computer Discounts & Purchases page.

Resuming On-Campus Services

To resume commonly used services that were previously suspended, such as water delivery and document management and shredding, please contact the appropriate supplier representative to restore the service. Contact information for many Drexel suppliers can be found on the Supplier Information Dashboard in Smart Source. Below is the contact information for some of Drexel's most commonly used services.

Nestle Waters North America (bottled water)
Dave White, Key Account Development Manager
phone: 267.688.3911
fax: 856.486.7754
email: david.white@waters.nestle.com

DocuVault (records management and document shredding)
Rocky Lascio, Customer Service Representative
phone: 856.853.5160 ext. 325
email: jlascio@docuvaultdv.com

Deliveries

Off-Campus Delivery Information

If you require off-campus delivery of business-critical goods, prior to submitting your Smart Source cart, email sourcing@drexel.edu and provide the following:

  • Smart Source cart number;
  • Off-Campus shipping address;
  • and the business case for the order.

Your order will be reviewed and, once approved, you will be informed when the address has been added to the system. The address will be inactivated once normal operations resume.

Amazon Off-Campus Delivery — Multiple Orders

As we continue to accommodate alternative work arrangements due to COVID-19, Procurement has established a process whereby faculty and staff members with an ongoing need to ship Amazon purchases to off-campus addresses may do so directly through Amazon.com using their P-Card. If you have such a need, please contact Dave Collins, Executive Director of Strategic Sourcing and Surplus, at dcc328@drexel.edu and provide an overview of the products to be purchased, the business need for such purchases, and the estimated number of purchases.

For one-time Amazon shipments to an off-campus address or shipments to an off-campus address for any other Smart Source supplier, please refer to the Off-Campus Delivery Information section above.

P-Card

The P-Card program is being assessed for each department/school to drastically reduce the number of cards in circulation by consolidating to department cards, shifting spend to our Smart Source system, and/or transitioning P-Cards to travel cards. Procurement will also be lowering individual card limits based on historic spend for those cards that remain active.

The process of determining reduction of cards will be a collaborative effort: The P-Card office will provide the financial managers and deans a listing of cardholders with card activity comprised of merchant category types (ex. airline, restaurants, transportation) spend. The P-Card office will make the appropriate recommendations to reduce the number of unused cards, lower limits on existing cards, and move to travel-specific cards and closures by transitioning some cards to department cards. Department cards are P-Cards that will offer financial managers and budget owners more transparency and identify areas where departments can consolidate purchases, which will help limit duplication of purchases, as well as ensure we are getting the best quality and pricing for all essential purchases.

Travel

Travel remains prohibited for faculty and professional staff for the remainder of the summer, and nonessential travel restrictions will be in place for FY21. For FY21, once travel restrictions are lifted in accordance with all CDC guidelines and University authorization, a preapproval form will be implemented and must be completed prior to booking travel through Drexel’s busines travel portal. This form, with instructions, will properly identify travel as grant funded and essential, and will be made available on the Procurement Services website.

Off-campus events have been placed on hold for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year. At this time, the Travel Department is assisting with the cancellation and rescheduling of off-campus events that were contracted prior to COVID-19. Once the University allows new, essential events to be planned and contracted, the University community will be notified. We highly recommend that community members conduct their events with social distancing in mind by hosting webinars, Zoom meetings and conference calls for the duration of 2020.

Announcements

Accounts Payable and Procurement Services have moved to a remote work model under their COVID-19 business continuity plan. Please know that we remain committed to supporting the University and are fully functional as we navigate through this unprecedented situation together. This page will be updated as circumstances change. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

Expense Management Reminders for Fall 2020 — August 20
Drexel University Proudly Supports Black- and Brown-Owned Businesses — June 18
Unrestricted Expense Management Plan for FY'21 — June 5
P-Card Program Changes Effective Friday, March 27
Purchasing & Expense Management Updates — March 17, 2020
Postponed: 2020 Supplier Expo — March 17, 2020
Travel & Purchasing Updates — March 5, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

How is purchasing affected by the coronavirus pandemic?

All non-essential spending should be halted immediately. Following departure from campus on March 20, 2020, Procurement Services notified Nestle/Ready Refresh, DocuVault, and Canon to discontinue all campus services and/or deliveries. Read the complete announcement here. As you return to campus, please reach out directly to the appropriate supplier representative to arrange for resumption of service. Supplier representative contact information can be found on the Supplier Information Dashboard in Smart Source.

Out of an abundance of caution due to concerns about the potential for cyber-enabled financial crimes, Drexel is suspending its P-Card program until further notice, effective Friday, March 27. Select cards directly related to critical areas of business operations and research activity will remain active. Now that Drexel’s operations are predominantly off-campus, with all travel prohibited, most critical purchasing needs can be accommodated through our Smart Source system. Please remember that all expenses, regardless of purchase method, must be approved by a supervisor or financial administrator before purchase. Read the complete announcement here.

Should I be ordering business-critical supplies?

Yes. There has been a significant disruption in the global supply chain, so please be aware of your inventories and order appropriately to plan for several months.

How should I handle purchasing in-demand supplies (e.g. cleaning, sanitation and personal protective equipment products) affected by the coronavirus pandemic?

Pay close attention to pricing and do NOT order items at inflated pricing. Please visit the Procurement Services website for information about purchasing such products.

Please refer to this guidance document [PDF] from the federal government regarding precautions to take when purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE). If you have any questions, concerns, or needs with respect to PPE or other purchases related to the COVID-19 situation, please contact sourcing@drexel.edu.

Where do I charge my COVID-19 related purchases?

Unbudgeted expenses directly related to the COVID-19 emergency response should be charged as follows:

  • Chart D: 110001-5999
  • Chart S: 111001-5999
  • Chart O: 112001-5999

Are there any Smart Source workflow changes I should know about due to the pandemic?

Yes. Procurement Services implemented changes to requisition review workflows to ensure appropriate stewardship of essential Drexel funds during this critical and unprecedented time. Strategic Sourcing is reviewing all requisitions of $500 or more, and Procurement leadership reviews all requisitions of $50,000 or more. In addition to reviewing to ensure that goods or services meet a critical need during modified operations, Strategic Sourcing is also reviewing to ensure that purchases directly related to COVID-19 response are allocated to the appropriate cost center.

What if, due to coronavirus concerns, I need or want to change any personal or professional travel arrangements already booked through Drexel’s Business Travel portal?

You can contact World Travel Inc. directly at 855.809.8166 or drexeltravel@worldtravelinc.com, should you have any questions or concerns. Please also visit the Procurement Services website for more information about the logistics associated with travel bookings on behalf of Drexel.

How do I clean and sanitize my printing device?

Please consult this PDF provided by Canon that outlines steps to disinfect your printing devices. Please do not submit service requests to Canon for the purposes of device cleaning.

Are there any exceptions being made during FY2021 for business travel?

Currently, travel is restricted and will be approached on a case-by-case basis, preferably for grant-related travel whereby remote collaboration cannot be performed. If travel is the main function of your job and deemed essential, you will need to fill out the preapproval form and review.

Why do I have to book travel via the Business Travel portal and log my itinerary in GRAND?

This will allow the University to have more transparency about where our faculty and professional staff are located while on business travel status. We want to ensure all of our travelers remain safe and healthy.