Getting Started in Managing Procurement

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Procurement Services is committed to providing professional and value-added service to university staff and suppliers. We invite you to learn about the tools and resources for procurement and to partner with us to help you navigate the steps.

Getting Onboard with Procurement

Step 1: Get Authorized

Are you authorized to purchase for your department and use UB business applications?  Read the descriptions and consult with your supervisor, Dean’s Office, or Vice-President’s office to identify which applications may be most beneficial in performing your job duties.

eProcurement For state, UBF and RF online purchases up to $4,999 from custom web portals with Staples Advantage, UPS CampusShip, Fisher Scientific, and VWR.  
Procurement Cards For state purchases up to $4,999, and UBF and RF purchases up to $2,500.  
eRequisition System For state, UBF and RF purchases for any dollar amount. Any faculty and staff can create eReqs, but prior authorization is required to be an approver for state and UBF accounts. Principal Investigators can request delegation of authority for others to approve expenses.  
ShopBlue ShopBlue is a fully integrated eProcurement system allowing authorized UB faculty and staff to place orders for necessary goods and services. ShopBlue is in a phased rollout, and is currently available to select departments for state and RF purchases of any dollar amount.  
SIRI SIRI is a web-based business intelligence system. It is UB's single authoritative source for financial, HR, research, student, enrollment and facilities data. The information is provided to you through the use of dashboards. 
RF Report Center The RF Report center is an analytical tool allowing you to view data from the RF business system.  RF Report Center provides reports through dashboards.  

Step 2: Get Training

Our procurement staff will guide you through the procurement process and offer you tools and resources to empower you to make decisions that improve your work. We invite you to collaborate with us for your specific needs.

Step 3: Discover Purchase Method Options

The way to make a purchase depends on the goods and services you're ordering, your funding source and the dollar amount of your purchase. You will probably use all these tools to manage your procurement needs.

eProcurement   Procurement Card eReq ShopBlue
For state, UBF and RF purchases up to $4,999 from Staples Advantage, UPS CampusShip, Fisher Scientific, and VWR.

For state purchases up to $4,999, and UBF and RF purchases up to $2,500.

For state, UBF and RF purchases for any dollar amount.
For state and RF purchases for any dollar amount. In phased rollout to select departments. 
Learn more about eProcurement Learn more about Procurement Card Programs
Learn more about eReq Learn more about ShopBlue

Step 4: Learn Best Practices for Finding Suppliers

Finding a responsible supplier to meet your needs is important. Consult with our purchasing agents, follow all purchasing guidelines and strive for the best combination of service and cost when selecting a supplier.

Step 5: Find Out How To Receive and Pay For Your Purchase

For ShopBlue purchase orders/invoices of any dollar amount ShopBlue Receiver required A receiver is required for every transaction in ShopBlue except for Payment Requests.  
For eReq purchase orders/invoices UNDER $5,000 Web Receiver required if discrepancies Accounts Payable will issue payment ten calendar days after receipt of the invoice unless notified by the ordering department of any damages or discrepancies.   
For eReq purchase orders/invoices OVER $5,000 Web Receiver Required


When you receive part of or all of your purchase order, submit a Web Receiver to authorize payment of the invoice. 



Step 6: Manage Your UB Asset

All assets purchased with state, Research Foundation or UB Foundation funds become the property of the University at Buffalo. Consult the UB policy Managing University Assets for the exact procedures for all asset management. 

Purchasing Buying Teams

Our purchasing and contracts buyers are grouped into teams based on goods and services. Our knowledgeable staff can guide you through the purchasing process.

Purchasing Dollar Thresholds

There are specific dollar thresholds and requirements for purchases with state, Research Foundation (RF) and UB Foundation (UBF) funds utilizing eProcurement, Procurement Card (PCard) or the eRequisition system (eReq).

Special Purchasing Needs

Some purchasing circumstances are unique. We can help you manage your special purchasing needs.

Tips for a Successful Purchase

  • Know which funds you are using (state, Research, UBF) and how much you have available.
  • Allow enough time for order processing.  Sometimes your purchasing agent will have to obtain additional documentation.
  • Contact a purchase agent for guidance when planning a complicated or large purchase.
  • If you know that your supplier is new to UB, please ask for a W-9 form, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. This form is required for all suppliers doing business with UB. 
  • Be aware of your departmental path for eReq approval so that your purchase request can move through the workflow in a timely manner.
  • Purchasing goods and services without authorization is usually inappropriate. Only Procurement staff and select pre-authorized departmental staff have the authority to buy goods and services on behalf of UB.  Do not sign anything to commit a financial obligation.You could be personally liable for committing transactions on behalf of the department that deviate from our approved guidelines and processes.

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