Information for IT Vendors

David Sisk here. I am the institutional purchasing agent for most computers, peripheral equipment and software for Macalester College. (For those items I do not order myself, such as servers and network infrastructure, I know which of my co-workers would be interested in hearing about your products and can refer vendors accordingly.) I understand that you would like your firm to be considered as a potential partner whenever we need to order such products and services. I am willing to do so. The College's Web pages begin at; those for my department, Information Technology Services, start at

Please note these keys to getting and keeping our business:

  The College prefers to form long-term relationships with a small number of vendors. We would rather do business with one firm that gives us excellent service and products, rather than with different vendors each time. Price is important to us, but your having the lowest price does not guarantee that we will give you our business. Quality of product, excellent customer service and responsiveness are critical factors. In cases where we must choose between a vendor offering the lowest prices and another vendor offering the highest quality and best service, we will prefer the latter firm.

  Macalester is a private institution - not part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. We do not bid out most purchases.

  We prefer to use institutional credit cards, also purchase orders with standard 'Net 30' terms. Copies of our tax-exempt certification and financial information are available on request. More information can be obtained from our Procurement Office (phone (651) 696-6565, FAX (651) 696-6241).

  Macalester occasionally enters into computer purchasing consortia with other institutions of higher learning, most notably the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (C. L. A. C.) and the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (A. C. T. C.).

  I rarely do business with firms whose representatives cold-call me or drop by my office unannounced (and uninvited). For the best chance at getting your firm seriously considered as a potential IT vendor to Macalester, send me product information through email or regular mail. Please include one of your business cards or contact information. Send such information packets to my attention, either to or c/o Information Technology Services, at the College's address:

          Macalester College
          1600 Grand Avenue
          St. Paul, MN

  We are a small staff and we have plenty of work to do. We rarely make time for "just a short meeting to introduce your firm." If we are interested in your products or your services, we will get in touch with you, and if we want to meet with you, we'll invite you. For this reason, please make sure that you send me your contact information, again preferably by email or regular mail.

  If you cold-call me and ask me to describe Macalester and our current IT projects, hoping to find an opportunity matching your product(s), you've already lost the sale. Do your research first, find out what you think Macalester may need from your firm, then contact me as above.

  Don't call me 'Dave.' My name is 'David.' There are perhaps a dozen living people who can call me 'Dave' and get away with it. You are not one of them.

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Most recently updated 8 May 2012