Transylvania University has partnered with Lexington-based Equity Solutions Group to develop a new web portal that will expand and diversify the university’s vendor pool.
Suppliers of goods and services can visit the new site to check out requests for proposals and register to participate in a competitive bid process for projects.
In addition to expanding the pool of suppliers — which increases the odds of getting lower bids — the portal will help Transylvania bring on board more local businesses run by owners who are Black, women, veterans, or from other underrepresented groups.
“To be successful with Transylvania University, suppliers must provide impeccable quality and deliver as promised at competitive costs,” according to the site. Those who want to do business with the school should pre-qualify by registering as a new vendor at no cost.
All of the potential suppliers are certified through a rigorous vetting process and identified with the assistance of Equity Solutions Group, a firm that helps clients reduce expenses “while ensuring competitive participation from qualified diverse businesses.” The project is part of the university’s Project One initiative.
Deidra Dennie, Transylvania’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, said the partnership is an example of how the university is reaching out beyond campus to strengthen its bonds with the community. “What is good business for Transy is good business for Lexington.”
The university often goes back to the same legacy vendors for projects. “New businesses didn’t have an opportunity to get into the mix,” Dennie said. “This is a way to let new business in.”
It had been more difficult for suppliers to connect with the university, resulting in fewer bids. “We really didn’t have a mechanism in place for other vendors to know how to do business with us,” said Eric Ramsey, the university’s purchasing coordinator. “I’m excited that we have this platform in place.”