Office Supplies

I found the same office supply item at a lower price through another office supply vendor. Can I buy it from the other office supply vendor?

No. No purchases from any other office supply contract and/or vendor are allowed. Pricing was negotiated based on OWU’s aggregate spend, not by line item. University Purchasing encourages departments to purchase off the Core Item list whenever possible. Also, Friends Business Sources offers generic brand items as part of this contract. Purchasing encourages departments to contact Friends Business Source for more information regarding the generic brand items and purchase the generic brand whenever possible for further cost savings.


My department currently has HP printers which require HP toners. Can I purchase the toners from HP?

If your department has a model which requires HP toners, then you may purchase through HP. However, many HP printers now work with substitute brand toners. If your department has a model that has substitutes available through Friends, you should purchase through the office supply contract. Departments can check to see if substitute toners are available on the Friends website. After logging in, go to Supplies, then Toner, and then match the equipment type, manufacturer, and model. Models not listed do not have substitutes. University Purchasing encourages departments to research the life cycle cost of purchasing printers which require special toners versus the life cycle cost of other brands of printers to ensure the most cost-effective procurement decisions are being made. Toners for any piece of office equipment that has an established Service Agreement through the manufacturer which specifies the toner or includes the toner as part of the Agreement shall be purchased through the Service Agreement.

Do I have to purchase break-room (coffee, candy, paper plates, plastic utensils, etc.) and cleaning supplies through this contract?

The intent in establishing this contract is to cover the purchases of general office supplies. Break-room supplies such as coffee, candy, food, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, napkins, and cleaning supplies may be purchased from Friends, or they may be purchased from another source (grocery store, drug store, Wal-Mart, etc.) as long as that source is not another office supply vendor.

Do I have to purchase furniture from Friends Business Source?

Departments may obtain quotes and place orders with any vendor that sells office furniture. Departments are encouraged to seek competitive pricing in the marketplace to manage costs for OWU.

Do I have to purchase toner through Friends Business Source?

All toner cartridge for non-contracted printer purchases must be made through Friends Business Source.  Toners for printers under a managed print services agreement will be replaced by the print services company in accordance with the agreement.

Are printer repair services included as part of the Office Supply contract?

No. Printer repair services are not included in the Office Supply contract. Contact the OWU IS department for repairs.

What if Friends Business Source cannot provide an item?

All departments must purchase general office supplies from Friends Business Source. Non-general office supplies (printers, scanners, software, break-room supplies) may be purchased from Friends Business Source, or they may be purchased from non-office supply vendors. Specialty items that are not found in the Friends Business Source catalog may be purchased from non-office supply vendors. No purchases from any other office supply vendor are allowed. If the only source that can provide the item is another office supply vendor, then you must contact Melanie Kalb at, sufficiently in advance of the requirement. All paper purchases must be made through our Duplicating Office.

How do I return an item?

To process returned items to the company, contact our Customer Service Representative at Friends. Items to be returned should be left in the designated area of your delivery site along with a copy of the packing slip.