Purchasing Procedures


The President, the Vice President for Business, Finance and Technology, and the Director of Purchasing have been delegated authority by the Board of Trustees to enter into agreements and commit University resources. Additionally, the Director of Purchasing has been assigned the authority to commit the University for the purchase of goods and services based upon properly documented requests and available funds. The Purchasing department is further responsible for securing quality material and services at the best overall value. The procurement of goods and services may be accomplished through the contracting process for the fulfillment of departmental and University needs.

A. Purchase Requests

1. The purchasing procedure is initiated by executing a purchase request. To facilitate the processing of requests and to give the best possible service, please include the following:

• Date
• Quantities, catalog numbers, complete item description(s), prices, or a copy of quote
• Complete mailing address of vendor
• Account number to be charged
• Delivery requirements
• Shipment methods – usually F.O.B.
• Concise and clearly written comments
• All approvals by budget manager and/or Dean/Vice President as required

2. Original should be sent to the Purchasing department.

3. Yellow copy should be retained for files

4. Separate requests should be provided when items are to be ordered from different supply sources

5. Requests should be submitted with sufficient time to obtain price quotations and place orders without causing undue delay. Please provide as much lead-time as possible

6. To duplicate a purchase, the previous order should be referenced

7. Use of the downloadable request document is encouraged. This method provides a clearer reference copy and reduces delays due to unrecognizable handwriting

B. Competitive Buying

Whenever possible, competitive quotations from vendors handling the same or similar goods and services will be secured. Individual departments may secure price quotations on items under purchase consideration. The requesting individual should indicate the companies and prices on the request, or as an attachment. Suggestions of good sources for price quotations are helpful and appreciated. Sufficient time to obtain prices and to place the order should be provided so that the shipment arrives when needed. All orders above $200.00 require a Purchase Order number. Purchasing may provide individual departments with a P.O. number as necessary.

C. Small Orders

A purchase request is not required for an order that costs less than $200.00 unless required by the vendor. The budget manager’s signature and account number must be indicated on the invoice and sent to Accounts Payable.

D. Office Supplies

The University office supply contract provides an efficient method of ordering without leaving your desk. Office supplies are available from Boise-Cascade via on-line ordering. Secretaries and budget managers must be pre-approved and trained to take advantage of this service. Please contact Purchasing for details.

E. Emergency Orders

When necessary, a purchase request may be “walked through” prior to placing an order. The purchase request should be filled out completely, including required signatures, then carried to the Purchasing department where a purchase order will be given to the person or faxed/mailed to the vendor.

F. Receiving Shipments

1. The department receiving merchandise is responsible for promptly unpacking and inspecting its contents. Discrepancies, shortages and damages must be noted on the freight bill and reported promptly to the Purchasing department.

2. In order for invoices to be paid promptly, the receiving report (green copy of the purchase order) must be signed, dated and returned to the Accounts Payable office as soon as the material or service has been received.

G. Unauthorized Purchases

No one has the authority to enter into purchase contracts or in any way obligate Elon University for procurement indebtedness unless specifically authorized to do so by the President or Vice-President for Business, Finance and Technology. Any such negotiations are considered unauthorized purchases and the individual may encounter a personal obligation to the vendor. Firms ordinarily doing business with the University are aware of this policy and are advised that all purchases chargeable to the University must be accompanied with a purchase order signed by an authorized individual.

H. General Information

The Purchasing department is here to help with providing goods and services for the entire University. By performing this aspect of the business process, Purchasing can help individuals concentrate on their specialized areas. If you would like us to meet with your department or have any questions, please call us or stop by our location in the Business Services Building. We look forward to working with you.

Purchasing Department
Campus Box 2950
314 West Haggard Ave
Ph: 278-5580
Fax: 278-5599