The Purchasing Office has announced two changes to ECAT, MIT's Web-based system for purchasing from Office Depot and VWR Scientific. The order limit has been raised to $2,500, and the system has been made available to all Windows users.
Effective October 1, the dollar limit per order will be raised from $500 to $2,500. This increase was recently approved by MIT's senior management in response to ECAT customers for whom the $500 limit was insufficient for many routine purchases. The higher limit also brings ECAT into line with limits on other MIT purchasing mechanisms such as department-awarded purchase orders (DAPOs).
ECAT users and their supervisors are responsible for ordering within the purchasing limits for which they are authorized by their respective offices. The ECAT system does not prevent authorized users from ordering up to the $2,500 limit, even though their individual purchasing limit may be less. The Purchasing Office will periodically review purchasing records, but it is the responsibility of the departments to monitor whether or not people are within their limits.
KSIGN FOR WINDOWS
For Windows 95 and NT users wanting to purchase through ECAT, the waiting is over. Ksign, the Netscape helper application that authenticates ECAT purchases, is now available for all Windows platforms, including Windows 3.1, 3.11 for Workgroups, 95 and NT. The new version of Ksign for Windows can be downloaded from the ECAT home page; go to <http://web.mit.edu/ecat> and click on "Ksign Information." ECAT users with the older Windows version of Ksign should upgrade to the new version.
Anyone connected to MITnet can go to the ECAT Web page, get information and browse the vendors' online catalogs. Currently, more than 300 purchasers at MIT are authorized to order through ECAT. Any MIT employee with purchasing authority is eligible and encouraged to apply for ECAT authorization.
For application information, go to the ECAT Web page and click on "MIT Procard/ECAT Application." For answers to questions about ECAT, contact Mike McNamara in the Purchasing Office at x3-7247 or <email@example.com>.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 24, 1997.