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Brown First FAQ

Food Services

Purchasing


Here are some of the most common questions asked about Brown First, compiled by Food Services, Graphic Services, and the Office of the Controller.

What is the Brown First policy, and why is Brown implementing it?

Do I have to use Food Services and Graphic Services exclusively? And what's this I hear about a service fee?

I need film processing and laboratory analysis done. Are these services included under the Brown First policy?

Are services purchased under a federal contract exempt from Brown First?

Will Graphic Services print everything for the University from now on?

May I still use non-Brown designers?

How will I know whether Graphic Services' price estimate is competitive?

May I suggest a printer?

How can I get copies done when Metcalf is closed?

What other capabilities does Graphic Services have?

When I bring my job to Graphic Services do I need to do a Purchase Order request?

How will Graphics Services handle the increase in work?

Whom do I contact with questions or concerns about Graphic Services?

Will I get an estimate before printing?

Do departments have to use Food Services or the Faculty Club for every event?

In the past, Brown catering has been more expensive than non-Brown caterers. Are Brown's prices more competitive now?

I don't need a full-service catered event; I just want to pick up a few things for an office meeting, and sometimes I need those within a day!

If we take visitors to lunch at a local restaurant will we be reimbursed?

Can Food Services handle events featuring ethnic foods?

Is there an arrangement between Brown and Eastside Marketplace that allows faculty and staff to make purchases and still comply with Brown First?

Can I use my Brown purchasing card to buy groceries?

My department is not on campus. Must I use Food Services?

How do I comment on the quality of the work Graphics or Food Services does for me?

Is there any way I can be billed more promptly?

Are Graphic Services and Food Services available after hours during the week and during the weekend?

Whom do I call in Graphics or Food Services if I have questions or concerns after hours or on weekends?

Whom do I call if I have questions not answered on this list?

What is the Brown First policy, and why is Brown implementing it?

The Brown First policy was implemented as a way to help the University retain funds that previously had been spent with external vendors. The policy will provide revenue to support the president's program of academic initiatives, the hiring of new faculty members, need-blind admissions, improvements to the University's health care benefit, and tuition assistance programs, to name a few.

Each year, University Food Services, Graphic Services and other auxiliary departments — which receive no general revenue from the University — contribute a significant portion of their annual earnings to Brown's operating budget. By using the University's own auxiliary departments for such services as catering, printing or copying, the auxiliary departments will be able to funnel more funds toward support of the Initiatives for Academic Enrichment.

Do I have to use Food Services and Graphic Services exclusively? And what's this I hear about a service fee?

The policy does not mean that only Brown can provide such services. It does mean that Food Services and Graphic Services are the preferred choice and should be the first vendor you speak with regarding your food or print requests. However, if they cannot supply what is needed, Brown's auxiliary services will obtain bids from outside vendors and will manage the contract on behalf of the department or group. There is a service charge for this contract supervision, but the proceeds of this fee ultimately benefit the University's operating budget.

Brown First is being implemented in stages. Right now the most important step is to go to Graphics and Food Services first. There is a lot of flexibility on using outside vendors once contact with Graphics or Food Services is made. Rigorous lists of preferred vendors are being developed and will ensure that the vendors meet University requirements and have the appropriate licenses or certifications. In addition, because Brown is a sizable customer offering vendors a sustained business relationship, Brown will be able to obtain preferred pricing from these vendors. The preferred pricing the auxiliary departments are negotiating with external vendors will offset service fees.

Departments must go through Graphics and Food Services to obtain the services from the approved outside vendors.

I need film processing and laboratory analysis done. Are these services included under the Brown First policy?

No. Only services provided by Graphics and Food Services are covered by Brown First.

Are services purchased under a federal contract exempt from Brown First?

No. Services purchased under a federal contract are required to contact Food Services and Graphics to obtain food or printing/copying services. If the grant is required to comply with a Small Business Subcontracting Plan, the department should notify Graphics or Food Services of the requirement and an estimate of services required. Graphics and Food Services are developing relationships with vendors to fulfill these requirements. But they will work with you to ensure that the work is performed by the appropriate outside vendors.

Will Graphic Services print everything for the University from now on?

No. Graphic Services will outsource work that is not appropriate to its niche. This would include high-volume process color work, large quantities of envelopes, oversized posters, engraving, letterpress work and other specialty processes. Toward this end, Graphic Services has partnerships with several external print vendors commonly used by University departments.

May I still use non-Brown designers?

Yes. Brown First relates to printing and copying. However, Graphic Services will handle the print procurement even if a job is designed by an external firm.

How will I know whether Graphic Services' price estimate is competitive?

Three bids are obtained on all outsourced work. Graphic Services frequently compares internal pricing with external vendor pricing.

May I suggest a printer?

Yes. Graphic Services will be happy to obtain bids from any printer suggested by a University client, and will manage the contract.

How can I get copies done when Metcalf is closed?

Graphic Services works with Kinko's on Meeting Street so that copying can be done nights and weekends without interruption. If your department expects to use copying services after hours, you should contact Graphic Services to obtain a Kinko's ID copy authorization card.

What other capabilities does Graphic Services have?

Here are just a few:

  • Full mailing capabilities. Graphics can inkjet electronic file addresses onto print pieces, non-profit sort, handle insertion into envelopes, bar code and deliver your job to the U.S. Post Office or Campus Mail Room.

  • Design. The office has three fulltime designers and a Web page designer.

  • Full-color Xerox copies on paper up to 12 inches by 18 inches, perfect for low-quantity posters.

  • Full-color prints on paper or canvas, perfect for oversized posters or banners.

  • Free pickup and delivery.

  • Metcalf Copy Center offers a high-speed digital black-and-white Heidelberg printer offering near offset quality.

When I bring my job to Graphic Services do I need to do a Purchase Order request?

No. Graphic Services will handle the paperwork for you. All you need to do is fill out a Graphic Services requisition form, bring it with you or fax it to us.

How will Graphics Services handle the increase in work?

Production runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and on weekends if need be. Graphics Services' print partnerships consist of 25 print vendors commonly used by University departments for outsourcing.

Whom do I contact with questions or concerns about Graphic Services?

Graphic Services has three fulltime customer service representatives to answer your questions; management is always there to help. Graphics phone is 863-2258.

Will I get an estimate before printing?

Yes, you may request an estimate on any job submitted to Graphic Services.

Do departments have to use Food Services or the Faculty Club for every event?

No. However, if you are planning an event that will not be held at the Faculty Club but involves catering services you must contact Food Services to coordinate the purchase of the catering services.

In the past, Brown catering has been more expensive than non-Brown caterers. Are Brown's prices more competitive now?

In most cases, yes. But if you have specific needs and budgets, when you call Catering, explain your expectations and your particular needs. Catering will try to find a way to meet those needs within your budget.

I don't need a full-service catered event; I just want to pick up a few things for an office meeting, and sometimes I need those within a day!

Food Services' express program should serve your needs. Express catering offers breakfast and lunch items appropriate for meetings and informal gatherings. These are available with as little as 24 hours' notice. You can also order express meals from the Blue Room, the Ivy Room and the Gate, and even have them delivered. For more information or for an order form, refer to the Web site.

If we take visitors to lunch at a local restaurant will we be reimbursed?

Meals in restaurants are not part of the Brown First program. If you are entertaining in a restaurant on Brown business, you will likely be reimbursed. Information about the meal and hospitality policy is available online.

Can Food Services handle events featuring ethnic foods?

Call Catering at 863-2712. Most likely, Catering will outsource the contract to an insured vendor that has the appropriate health certificates, and will work with you to manage the contract.

Is there an arrangement between Brown and Eastside Marketplace that allows faculty and staff to make purchases and still comply with Brown First?

Brown has no arrangement with Eastside Marketplace in regard to Brown First. (However, the store does offer discounts to Brown faculty and staff on Thursdays, according to Human Resources.)

Currently, groceries are not a part of Brown First. If you need grocery supplies, we encourage you to use your Brown purchasing card

Can I use my Brown purchasing card to buy groceries?

We do allow departments to make small purchases such as juice, cream, coffee, a dozen cookies, etc., at grocery stores using the purchasing card. We do expect you to use Food Services whenever possible, but we also recognize that to provide refreshments for meetings with small numbers of participants, using grocery stores may be easier and more efficient.

The Purchasing Card program, which is managed by the Controller's Office, is unaffected by Brown First. Purchases will be reviewed to ensure that the card is being used appropriately.

My department is not on campus. Must I use Food Services?

Special arrangements have been made for some remote departments, including Butler Hospital, Campus Compact and Facilities Management. Contact Food Services to explain your circumstances. They will make every effort to accommodate you.

How do I comment on the quality of the work Graphics or Food Services does for me?

A Graphic Services feedback form is included with every print job. The Food Services Web page includes a feedback form. In addition, comment cards are included with each express order.

Is there any way I can be billed more promptly?

The accounting system at Brown bills to the ledger sheets monthly via a requisition number, but estimates on print jobs can be given up front on any job. Food Services similarly will give estimates, and bills on net 30 days.

Are Graphic Services and Food Services available after hours during the week and during the weekend?

They do have exceptions on certain projects and may provide services after hours. Speak with them to review your concerns.

Whom do I call in Graphics or Food Services if I have questions or concerns after hours or on weekends?

For Food Services:

  • Do you need a last-minute pizza? If so, the Gate and Josiah's are open seven days a week until 1 a.m.

  • Do you plan to run an event after hours or on weekends? Food Services will provide hands-on and easy access to the staff providing the service throughout the duration of your event.

Is your question business or billing oriented? Please contact Food Services during business hours Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

For Graphic Services:

  • If you anticipate the possibility of needing weekend/evening consultations, let Graphics Services know when you are discussing your project with them. They can provide managers' home phone numbers.

Whom do I call if I have questions not answered on this list?

  • Ellen O'Connor, vice president of finance, is available to discuss the policy in general and will try to rectify difficulties. Call her at 863-1718, or send e-mail.

  • Graphic Services 863-2258

  • Brown Catering 863-2712

  • Controller's Office 863-2716

  • Faculty Club 863-3404


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