In 2010, the University of North Carolina General Administration (UNC-GA) announced the Combined Purchasing Initiative (CPI) for desktop and laptop computer purchases. CPI was developed in response to State law SB 202 passed in 2009, requiring the UNC system to save money and improve efficiencies by consolidating IT purchases for the full UNC system. Participation in CPI is mandatory for NC State. (CPI website, including the November 2010 memo to Deans, Department Heads and Directors)
The faculty and staff of NC State have embraced this initiative and continue to participate in the UNC-GA Computer Procurement Task Force which renews the desktop and laptop configuration specifications for inclusion in the CPI each year. They also monitor pricing and require vendors to update system prices to be competitive with other purchasing channels. While this program has saved the UNC system significant money in equipment and support costs over the past three years, it requires continued vigilance on the part of all NC State IT hardware purchasers to adhere to the following procedures:
- Purchasers are required to use the university’s MarketPlace e-procurement system for computers rather than a purchase order (PO), Voucher, campus PCard or personal reimbursement.
- At NC State, CPI applies to computer purchases made from all funding sources.
- Campus must procure approved standard configurations from CPI participating suppliers – Lenovo, Dell and CDWG (HP reseller), available only through the MarketPlace.
- All non-standard purchases must be approved by a college or division level IT Director or other designee prior to being ordered.
- All non-standard purchases are reported to UNC-GA and the State of North Carolina, annually. Total expenditures for exception purchases may not exceed 20% of the funds used for PC purchases.
Additional CPI details are online at the UNC Combined Initiative (CPI) Program at NC State website.