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Ordering and Purchasing

Contact: Fiscal/administrative coordinator

Faculty advisors will assign research budget numbers to graduate students working under their direction. Under audit rules, budget numbers can never be used without prior approval. Teaching assistants, working with the faculty and the technician in charge of each lab, will obtain supplies for use in specific courses. These orders from state funds need to be approved in advance by a fiscal specialist or an administrator.

On-campus purchasing

On-campus sources include printing services, electrical engineering stores, physics and the chemistry stores. You should check these on-campus sources before ordering from off-campus venders. The UW has contracts for supplies and equipment with various off-campus vendors such as VWR and Office Depot through eProcurement. eProcurement offers a wide range of products to the campus community from office supplies, to lab and glassware, medical and dental, custodial and maintenance supplies. Due to the high volume of purchases, eProcurement has established contractual relations with vendors and is able to offer large savings on many of the most commonly used items at the UW. eProcurement allows you to place orders up to any amount approved by your faculty advisor. Your research group should have one or two designated purchasers on the eProcurement system that will place the orders for your group.

External vendors

When ordering supplies from an external vendor via purchase order, use MSE PurchasePath.

Orders $3300 and above

All orders over $3300 dollars go to bid unless you have a justification for a specific vendor. You will need to supply names and quotes from three vendors. Additionally, it may take as long as a month for the bid order to be placed from the UW Purchasing Department. If there is clearly a single source that meets the requirements, write a sole source statement. Include alternate vendors you have contacted, including sales representative name and address; the item they can provide, model number and price; and why these do or do not meet your requirements, provided in a formal quote via email.

Petty cash (under $200)

You may purchase items from local vendors with petty cash, which means you pay the vendor with cash or credit card and the department reimburses you. Consult with the fiscal/administrative coordinator before you make the purchase. To get reimbursed, use MSE PurchasePath.