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Purchasing gives tips for speeding up requisitions

The Purchasing Department is offering some suggestions for the community which should help in getting requisitions processed as quickly as possible by the Purchasing and Subcontracts offices.

It is important for requisitioners to remember that they can distribute the charges for each line item on a requisition either by percentage or by quantity to different accounts. For example, you can send one requisition to Purchasing for five laser printers. The printers can all be charged to one account; they can be charged to five separate accounts; or two could be charged to one account, two to another account and the fifth to a third account. (Using SAP, the distribution cannot be done by dollar amounts.)

If the account distributions are not clear, Purchasing has to contact the requisitioner, which delays issuing the purchase order.

Most retail firms that normally work on a cash or credit-card basis do not accept purchase orders from MIT. The Purchasing staff can, in most cases, provide the name of another vendor who will supply an equal-quality or better product at a lower price, and who will accept an MIT purchase order. The Institute prefers to do business with these established partners, but there are emergency situations when a department requires a product which can be obtained most quickly from a retail firm.

If a department needs to make an MIT purchase from retailers such as Lechmere, the Micro Center, Somerville Lumber, Sears, Service Merchandise or Home Depot, it's best to use cash or a credit card and then submit a request for payment form for reimbursement. Since MIT is a tax-exempt organization, requisitioners will not be reimbursed for sales tax. Therefore, it's advisable to get a tax-exempt certificate from Purchasing before buying the product.

Mail-order houses such as Dell Marketing, Gateway and Microware-house usually require a hard copy of a purchase order rather than just a purchase order number over the telephone. Though mailing or faxing the purchase order takes more time, this is required by these vendors. (They do not require money up front and will invoice MIT for the goods and services provided.)

Other reminders about proper requisitioning include the following:

  • Provide the vendor's name and address
  • Specify the name of the person who should receive the blue copy of the purchase order in the field labeled "Send req. copy of PO to." (If this is left blank, Purchasing sends the blue copy to the requisitioner.)
  • When purchasing items such as food, beverages or flowers, include the name of the event or committee meeting for which they are needed, because this information is required by government auditors.

The procedure for blanket orders has not changed since the conversion to SAP. Requisitions for blanket orders can be sent to the Purchasing Office with an account number. (If requesting a renewal of a blanket order, reference last year's purchase order number.) All invoices against the blanket order will be approved by the department, which can charge any authorized account at the time of approval.

A Selection of Source justification form (available in the Purchasing offices) must be provided along with the requisition for all orders of more than $2,500.

All subcontract requisitions of more than $2,500 must include a copy of the vendor's quotation and a justification memo. This should contain a detailed cost analysis showing why the price is reasonable and explaining why this vendor has been selected.

The Office of Sponsored Programs must approve the following kinds of requisitions being charged to an OSP account: those for equipment costing more than $500 and all requisitions for more than $25,000.

The dollar limit for department-awarded purchase orders (DAPOs) was increased from $1,000 to $2,500 in September 1996. Using a DAPO is the quickest way to get a purchase order number. All previous restrictions on the use of DAPOs remain in place. For example, they may not be used to purchase restricted items such as syringes, food and beverages, license agreements or consulting services. A complete list of these items appears at the beginning of an EREQ transaction.

When a requisitioner isn't certain about how to properly order a product or service, it's best to call Purchasing first at x3-7241.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 15, 1997.

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