Over the past several years, the university has made operational excellence a priority. Operational excellence is about identifying areas to increase efficiency and effectiveness without compromising quality. It means the university must think differently about how it has historically conducted business and use data to drive decision-making. During the operational excellence review of communications and marketing practices universitywide, which was conducted by University Communications (UC), creative services was identified as an area with high potential for the optimization and modernization of business practices in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
A universitywide contract serves multiple purposes:
Many units across campus use outside vendors for creative services. Thus, it was deemed important to have a reasonably large selection to ensure timely service and appropriate attention to each unit. We also wanted to provide a range of vendors, from individual freelancers to full-service creative agencies—with expertise in a variety of areas—allowing each unit to find the best fit for their particular projects.
Each of these contracts has a three-year term that commenced July 2020.
You begin by filling out a short creative brief. This will help the vendor understand your creative needs as well as the timing. The vendor will then schedule a kickoff meeting to review the brief with you and/or your team. (Please refer to the step-by-step procedures for more detailed information.)
The creative brief provides a clear outline of the project’s scope and helps the vendor understand all aspects of the project: the objective, target audience, voice and tone of the creative, along with deliverables and timeline. It puts everyone on the same page and makes the ensuing discussions more efficient and effective.
You may finish your current projects with your selected vendor. However, for future creative/design service projects you will need to work with one of the vendors awarded the contract. The exception would be for editorial services such as copywriting. You are not required to use these vendors for editorial services. Additionally, if you receive creative services from a freelancer who is a sole proprietor and they are paid via an honoraria, you may continue to use their services.
We have every confidence that the selected group of vendors will be able to get up to speed quickly and provide exceptional service to your unit. University Communications is available to help ensure a smooth transition from your current vendor to one of the selected vendors for this contract.
If you are in a contract or formal agreement with another agency, vendor or freelancer, please contact University Communications and Procurement Services. Together, we will discuss how you can best transition while adhering to any current contractual obligations.
Several factors were considered by the committee in the selection of these eight vendors, including not just price, but the quality of their work and their experience in higher education/non-profit. Additionally, the eight vendors are receiving annual training from University Communications to ensure brand compliance.
The pricing from our pool of eight vendors is very competitive; the range of hourly rates available is most likely in line with your discounted rate and may even be lower. Therefore, a transition to one of the eight vendors should not impact your project budget.
Finally, it is important that all of UB’s business operations are in alignment with SUNY and state ethical and procurement requirements. Leveraging these universitywide contracts ensures quality and business continuity.
You may send your brief to several of the vendors to determine which one is the best choice for your project. You can then review the proposal each vendor presents in response to your brief and select the vendor that seems to best fit the needs of your project and the overall timeline.
The following services are not part of the creative service contract:
No, the creative services contracts do not allow for print buying or other production costs. To select a print or production vendor, each unit is responsible for following all applicable procurement guidelines and policies. This includes competitive bidding requirements to ensure price reasonableness. Your creative services vendor may recommend print or production vendors to include in the bidding process. Contact Procurement if you have questions regarding contracting with print or production vendors.
No, University Communications has provided one license per vendor for the typeface families of Sofia Pro and More Pro, along with Freeland, for the term of this contract.
You can use state, Research Foundation (RF) or UBF funding sources.
Every effort was made to assemble a committee representing a cross section of the university. The eight committee members were:
Please reach out to University Communications for any further questions.