Bulk Up on Computers and Save Big Money

New computer bulk purchasing program will help units save 34% on purchases this year

June 22, 2017
By Lindy Gervin

Photo of employee in computer storage room

Admin IT support analyst, Stacey Waller, managing the new Dell computers.

UC Davis has launched a bulk purchasing program for five desktop and laptop computer models — all Dell products — telling departments they can save about 34 percent over previous contract prices.

The program — which departments can use whether they are buying one computer or a dozen —could save both the Davis and Sacramento campuses a half-million dollars in its first year, officials said.

The campus IT community and the Financial Sustainability Initiative came together a year ago to explore the possibility of taking advantage of the university’s buying power. The Administrative Computer Bulk Purchase project set standards for administrative computers to help identify the best models for bundled purchases.

The project team ended up negotiating reduced rates for two Dell desktops and three Dell laptops.

Administrative units buy more Dells than any other model, about 5,000 over the last year. But the campus also buys Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo computers, and Apple products, too — more than 200 models in all.

The Administrative Computer Bulk Purchase program offers two desktops:

  • Dell Optiplex 3050 Micro (standard) – $548.99
  • Dell Optiplex 5050 SFF (advanced) – $856.17

And three laptops:

  • Dell Latitude 7480 (standard) – $997.08
  • Dell Latitude 7480 (advanced) – $1,268.49
  • Dell Latitude 7280 (lightweight) – $1,041.55

Discounts through the bulk purchasing program are effective now through May 24, 2018. To take advantage of the program, log in to AggieBuy and access Dell’s punch-out catalog. The discounted prices automatically display for the five Dell models. Departments will still receive the savings even if only one unit is purchased.

“Having this many models makes it difficult for the university to get the best pricing for computers,” said Britany Duyanovich, a strategic sourcing manager with Supply Chain Management. “By coordinating better on purchasing, departments can get deeper discounts on new computers.

“This is a great opportunity for departments to save money. By planning ahead and identifying annual purchasing needs in advance, departments can provide more affordable, new and replacement computers.”

While departments still have flexibility to purchase outside the bulk purchasing program, they will not generate the significant savings negotiated by the university’s strategic sourcing team.

An added benefit of streamlining computer options is it creates a more simplified computing environment, allowing IT units across campus to handle desktop support requests quicker. With the hundreds of requests IT receives per day, improving service times is high on the list of IT priorities. IT will also be able to update or patch systems more quickly, which will reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats.

Lindy Gervin is a senior writer for the UC Davis Division of Finance, Operations and Administration, a unit with includes Procurement and Contracting Services.