There are two ways to do business with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln: competitive bid and competitive quote. Both methods should result in either a purchase order or a contract being issued when procurement occurs.

Competitive Bid

All suppliers interested in doing business with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln must register with the UNL eBid system. Registration is required to gain access to eBid for submission of bids. We suggest completing your registration at least 4 days prior to the closing date of a project and to allow adequate time for reviewing and submitting your proposal prior to the bid deadline to ensure all required responses have been completed. Incomplete bids will be rejected by the system.

University Procurement Services Bidding Process

The process begins with the development of a bid opportunity and ends with payment to the awarded supplier.

  1. A Procurement Services Sourcing Specialist reviews departmental need(s) and determines the appropriate acquisition method
  2. Sourcing Specialist prepares the bid in eBid and sends out bid invitations
  3. Suppliers receive bid invitations via email
  4. A Supplier completes the bid request and submits in eBid
  5. Procurement Services makes an award to the lowest responsive bidder
  6. Purchase order sent or contract signed
  7. Product or Service delivered to the university and invoice sent to Accounts Payable
  8. State of Nebraska Department of Administrative Services sends warrant or ACH payment to supplier
  9. Supplier receives payment for goods and services delivered

Types of Bids

There are 3 types of bids. Procurement Services will determine which of the following methods will be used to purchase goods and services.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

  • Competitive method used when the estimated value of the goods and services to be purchased exceeds $150,000
  • Quotes are secured from suppliers by means of an “Invitation to Bid” or “Request for Proposal” in eBid
  • Goods and services are “open” or solicited for fifteen (15) days
  • Bids and RFPs are closed at a specified date and time
  • Award is made to the lowest responsible bidder

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

  • This competitive method is used when the estimated value of the goods and services is between $25,000 and $149,999
  • Price quotes are secured from suppliers via eBid
  • Price quotes are due on a specified date and time
  • Award is made to the lowest responsible bidder

Invitation to Bid (ITB)

  • This competitive method must be used when the estimated value of the goods and services exceeds $150,000
  • In eBid, detailed specifications provide the bidder with the exact nature or functionality of the goods and services required
  • Price is the major determining factor once all the specifications are met
  • Sealed ITBs are opened publicly at a specified date and time and are read aloud
  • Award is made to the lowest responsive bidder
  • An ITB must be “open” or solicited for a minimum of fifteen (15) days

Competitive Quote

Also known as informal competitive bidding:

  • This competitive method is used by campus departments when the estimated value of the goods and services falls between $5,000 and $24,999
  • Informal price quotes are secured and documented in a manner determined to be the most appropriate for the goods and services to be purchased (i.e. email, fax, phone, supplier written quote)
  • Award is made to the lowest responsible bidder

Purchase Order

A purchase order is a legal document used by the university authorizing a supplier to provide goods and services to the institution. All goods and services with a purchase price of $5,000 or more should be ordered using a purchase order. The university will not be responsible for payment of goods and services bought without a purchase order.

Purchase Order Cancellation

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln may cancel a purchase order for any of the following reasons:

  • Supplier not meeting delivery date specified on the purchase order
  • Requirements of the purchase order not being performed properly
  • Goods and services not conforming to the specifications of the purchase order
  • Damaged or defective goods delivered
  • Any other reason of noncompliance with the purchase order

The supplier will be notified when a purchase order has been cancelled.

Change Order

A change order is used to initiate action to modify or cancel a current contract or purchase order. The change order identifies the affected portion(s) of the original contract or purchase order and the corresponding change(s) required.

Contract Procurement

  • UNL Procurement Services may enter into a contract or purchase agreement for certain goods and services when continuous procurement is expected (as opposed to a one-time purchase)
  • Formal competitive bidding or a negotiated process may be used for acquisitions of this nature

Certificate of Insurance

Any individual or entity performing services for the University of Nebraska is required to provide a Certificate of Insurance, naming the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska as an additional insured. 

The Certificate of Insurance provides proof of insured coverage for a suppler/company with limits to include $1 million per occurrence and $3 million general aggregate.  This certificate must be on file in Procurement Services PRIOR to any commencement of services. Insurance coverage varies by service provided.

Use the Certificate of Insurance Lookup Form to see if a company has a certificate of insurance on file with us.

Additional Information

Business as Usual

Contains information regarding taxes, expectations on packaging, delivery, payment, and invoices.

link iconBusiness as Usual

Bidding Information

Information related to the bidding process. For example sample requirements, bid correction/withdrawal, bid rejection, awarding a bid, bid protest, and price adjustments.

link iconBidding Information