Procurement & Payments

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Office Max Substitution Program

DATE:    September 18, 2012

TO:        Deans, Directors, Managers,  Managers of Academic Resources,
                 University Financial Analysts, Budget Analysts, PCard and Ghost
                 Card Holders, Administrative Assistants

FROM:    Deborah Wallace          AVP, Financial Services
                 Deborah Flugum          Mgr, Purchasing & Contract Administration

SUBJECT:  Mandated OfficeMax Auto-Substitution Program – Generic Office Products

Effective October 1, 2012, the OfficeMax auto-substitution program will be implemented at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). This program will automatically replace about 1,700 higher cost named brand products with lower cost OfficeMax or generic brand products with similar fit, form and function as the higher cost items.  The Program Announcement Letter, along with a list of the substituted items and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are all available on the Chancellor’s website.

Like our contract with OfficeMax, the auto-substitution program will be a “full participation” initiative contract, meaning that it is the primary source of office products in the CSU. The estimated cost avoidance using this process is a minimum of several hundred thousand dollars per year.

When ordering select products on-line through the OfficeMax website, the system will automatically display and substitute your selection with the alternative lower-cost equivalent. The OfficeMax website does not allow the purchaser to override the product substitutions at the time of placing the order.

Should the product substituted be of a substantially inferior quality or not usable for its intended purpose, the product may be returned to OfficeMax for a refund or complete the OfficeMax Auto-Substitution Overrides Request form to request a product override and send to Deborah Flugum, Manager, Purchasing & Contract Administration.

The CSU will continue to monitor the quality of substituted items to ensure the needs of the campuses are being adequately met.

Thank you for partnering with the CSU in support of this cost-savings program.

Please share this information with your respective areas.

cc:         Collin Donahue, VP Admin & Finance and CFO
              Diane Stephens, Associate Vice President, Academic Resources
Office of the President