Read the instructions below. Fill out the Buying Request, print it, get an approval signature from your adviser/supervisor, and submit the request to the department office.
Buying Request forms are also available in the department office. If you make a mistake when filling out a Buying Request by hand, just cross the mistake out instead of starting over with a new form.
“Name” and “Project” (number or name) are required. Provide a cell phone number and/or an email address so you can be contacted promptly regarding any questions or problems about your order.
If buying a part for fabricated equipment, write the asset number by the project number on the Buying Request. Check "Purchase Order" under payment method; fabrication parts cannot be purchased with the purchasing card.
Since you are spending your professor's money, you must get his/her signature approving the purchase.
Fill out a separate buying request for each company.
If it isn't obvious what forms of payment the supplier accepts, ask them. If the supplier accept neither credit cards nor purchase orders, find another supplier. Checks and wire transfers can be considerable trouble.
If you are comparing prices, remember to include the cost of shipping. VWR and Fisher Scientific do not charge for ground shipping. See Kay to get a login and password to check their contract pricing online (you still have to ask her or Evelyn to make the actual purchase.
In the case of international orders, there will be customs charges as well, of amount of which can't be predicted beforehand.
If you are requesting a printer cartridge, you don’t need to specify a vendor. We'll use our regular supplier.
By preference, use suppliers who have state contracts. See the Purchasing department's list of state contracts. Prices are often heavily discounted from the price in the catalog and are lower than other suppliers.
If you are making a purchase from a company we purchase from all the time, we already have the contact information and you don’t need to write it down. Examples are Alfa Aesar, Amazon, Buehler, Cole-Parmer, Fisher Scientific, Home Depot, McMaster Carr, Omega, Salt Lake Valve & Fitting, Sigma Aldrich, or VWR.
If the company doesn't accept online orders, the order will be placed by fax. Provide the company's website address, fax number, and telephone number. If the company has a toll-free phone or toll-free fax number (numbers that start with 1-800, 1-866, 1-888), provide that.
If you have a quote or estimate from the company, provide a copy of the quote with your buying request.
Write part numbers clearly.
Specify the size of the package you want (that is, “case of 10 pack” or “500 g”) as well as the quantity. Some companies (for instance, Alfa Aesar and Fisher Scientific) use the same part number for several sizes of packages. A brief description and a price estimate allow a cross-check that the part number is correct.
If you need more than one or two items, you may check “see attached” and provide a separate page such as a printout of a website shopping cart. If you print a webpage with a description of the product, highlight or circle the part numbers.For purchases from Amazon, print the item's page and attach it to your request.
If you are requesting a printer cartridge, provide the number of the cartridge rather than the model of the printer.
If you don’t specify shipping, standard ground will be used. If you want express shipping, it is a good idea to point this out to the secretary when you submit the buying request.
Plan ahead to determine what supplies you need to order for your research. Allow eight to ten days for shipping for most companies. Express shipping or shipping for small orders often costs more than the purchase! Some companies have a minimum purchase, or charge a fee for orders less than a certain amount. VWR and Fisher Scientific do not charge shipping for standard ground.
Some local companies accept will-call orders, meaning that you can go to the store, pick out your items, and call the department for the secretary to give the credit card number to the cashier. These stores tend to be ones that sell to other businesses rather than to the general public. Ask the company, or check with Kay, if the company you want to purchase from accepts will-call orders. Turn in a buying request before you go shopping, so the office is expecting the call. Check "will call" under "shipping". Tell the cashier before s/he starts to ring up the purchase that it is tax-exempt.
The purchasing card is audited annually, and the auditor questions any purchase whose research nature is not immediately obvious. Therefore, you may be required to submit a written and signed explanation, of two or three sentences, explaining the research purpose of items that are not lab supplies or equipment. Examples include books or computers purchased on research projects, or household items being substituted for more expensive research supplies or equipment.
When your package arrives, we will write your name on the small blackboard next to the office door. We highlight or circle names on the packages. Any time you come to the office to check your mail or get coffee or on other business, look at the board. Once you see your name, check the packages on the desk nearest the door.
Ask for the purchasing book to sign for your package. Erase your name from the board.
Take your package to your lab and open it. Locate the packing list either inside the box or in a envelope or sleeve taped to the box. Compare the box contents to the packing list. If everything is okay, bring the packing list back to the office and put it on the shelf below where the blank buying requests are. If something is wrong, bring the packing list to the office and talk to the secretaries about what to do.
If your purchase includes chemicals, add the chemicals to your lab's chemical inventory. As chemicals are used up, remove them from the chemical inventory.
You may donate bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or used boxes to the office for others to use.