Loyola University Chicago


Purchasing Options


5.1 - Creating Purchase Requisitions
5.2 - Making a Purchase with a Purchase Order
5.3 - No Charge PO for Equipment Evaluation or Supplier Loaned Equipment
5.4 - Written Agreements & Contracts (License, Leases, Hotel/Conference Facilities)
5.5 - Deliveries
5.6 - Concealed Damage
5.7 - Invoice Processing and Credit Memos
5.8 - Prompt Payment Discounts
5.9 - Surplus Furniture - Redistribution of Assets Program
5.10 - Purchasing Responsibilities by Organization
5.11 - Supplier Performance

5.1 Creating Purchase Requisitions

A purchase requisition is an internal request for goods or services that originates from a Loyola employee. Each requisition can include many lines, generally with a distinct item on each requisition line. Each requisition line includes at least a description of the item, the unit of measure, the quantity needed, the estimated price per item, and the accounting distribution to which the employee is charging the item.

A purchase requisition must receive the required approvals before a Buyer can create the Lawson purchase order. A requisition is fully approved only when an employee who has enough authority approves it. For specifics on transactions exceeding $5,000, prior to the issuance of a commitment, please refer to Approving Requests in Excess of $5000. Requesters determine needs for goods or services that will be procured with a purchase order. The requester may also suggest a specific supplier for each requisition.

An approver reviews the requisition and has the option to reject (return to requester), approve, modify or forward the requisition to another approver. The approver can modify anything on the requisition (e.g., quantity, items, item attributes).

If the requisition is rejected by the approver, it is returned to the requester for modification or cancellation. Once the requisition has been approved, it automatically is placed into the Buyer’s work queue and the buyer creates a purchase order. 

5.2 Making a Purchase with a Purchase Order

(Note: When external funds are being used, Sponsored Program Accounting must approve the transaction.) With non Pre-Qualified Suppliers, an expenditure of $5,000 or greater with award funds will also include the approval of the Purchasing Department.

Authorized approvers are responsible to ensure that the purchase is appropriate, that the correct account distribution is being used and, when necessary, the proper departments (e.g., Purchasing, Sponsored Program Accounting, etc.) or individuals (e.g., Principal Investigator) have signed off on the purchase.

When the ProCard cannot be used, a purchase order should be used for the following:. when a separate contract must be signed and attached to the PO; when detailed transaction data will be required at a later date; when Statements of Work or product specifications are provided to a supplier; or when external funds equal to or exceeding $5,000 are being committed with a non Pre-Qualified Supplier.

Purchase Order Requirement/Information

  1. Define the need in terms of description of the material or service, quantity, quality and price; if needed, develop a scope of work
  2. If necessary, consult with multiple suppliers on style, models and technology issues that will assist in defining the exact item for purchase.
  3. Contact a Loyola Buyer/Purchasing Manager, if needed. He/she will assist in any aspect of the procurement process, such as specification development, supplier sourcing, commercial terms and conditions, University insurance requirements, liability issues and strategies to ensure that the University receives the lowest evaluated cost at the required quality. Typically, the earlier in the process a Buyer gets involved, the greater the amount of added value.
  4. The Loyola buyer will complete an online Lawson purchase order after the appropriate approvals are noted on the requisition. At a minimum, the document should be reviewed for adequate funding, allowable items and correct account.
  5. If the purchase amount is $5,000 or greater, and a Pre-Qualified Supplier is not used, competitive proposals or quotations (written if over $30,000) should be obtained and recorded on the Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary Form. When using external funds at LSC, all Purchase Requisitions (document completed by Loyola user requesting a particular product or service) will automatically be reviewed by Sponsored Program Accounting (SPA). A Lawson purchase order (PO) (document completed by a Loyola Buyer which initiates the purchasing process with the selected vendor) will not be printed by Purchasing without all appropriate approvals. When using external funds at HSC, all Purchase Orders will be reviewed by Sponsored Program Accounting (SPA) electronically.
  6. Upon completion of all necessary reviews and departmental and management approvals, the order can be processed and sent to the supplier.
  7. At LSC, when an order for goods is received, the requestor must inspect the delivered materials for damage, missing parts or errors in shipment. Compare the material received to the packing list. The item(s) will need to be received in the Lawson system before Accounts Payable can pay the supplier. At Maywood, the Receiving Department receives the shipment. The Purchasing Department may assist in the system receipt of the received items.
  8. If there is damage or the purchased item(s) needs to be returned, contact the supplier to arrange for a replacement, a credit memo or return authorization. Always request a Return Authorization Number from the supplier. If there is a problem with the return, having this number will be a great benefit. If the issue cannot be resolved with the supplier, contact a Loyola Buyer for assistance.
  9. Per the instructions on the purchase order, all suppliers should send invoices to Loyola University Chicago, Accounts Payable, 820 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 602, Chicago, Illinois 60611. 

Blanket Purchase Orders: Blanket purchase orders can be issued by a Loyola Buyer (312)915-8780. Users who need to make repetitive purchases over a select period of time from non Pre-Qualified Suppliers can utilize a blanket purchase order.

Draw Down Purchase Orders: A draw down PO (a PO written for a total dollar amount which can be drawn down monetarily by paying periodic invoices) can be created. Contact a Loyola Buyer (312)915-8780 to assist with this process. 

Emergency Purchases: In the event that an emergency or rush order needs to be placed, the fastest method is to use the Procurement Card. If the card cannot be used, contact a Loyola Buyer to determine the best method to expedite the order.

Zero Dollar Purchase Orders: Zero dollar purchase orders are normally used for transactions where there is no cost to the University, but there is a need to document the transaction for ownership, responsibility or liability reasons. For instance, whenever a supplier intends to leave a piece of equipment or software on University property for the purpose of evaluation or for a short-term loan, it is necessary to pre-establish the ownership rights, the value of the equipment or software, the responsibility for care and use, and the liability in case of accident, loss or damage.

Prepaying for Purchases: Prepayment for goods or services should be avoided whenever possible, but can be used with departmental management approval. If necessary, the University would prefer to make periodic payments during the term of the order for specific milestones reached by the supplier rather than just a “pre-payment.” A Lawson purchase order is to be used if prepayment must be made. Obtain all necessary approvals, and notify the Loyola Buyer that immediate payment is requested. A
ProCard is not to be used for a down payment.

5.3 No Charge PO for Equipment Evaluation or Supplier Loaned Equipment

Evaluation/loaned materials and/or equipment become no-charge transactions by which physical custody of property is granted to the University without transfer of title or accountability. However, the University may be accepting the responsibility and liability for its proper use, protection and return. Therefore, commitments for loaned articles are to be made via a “no-charge purchase order”. Buyers are responsible for assuring University protection, negotiating and documenting the instances where
suppliers provide the University with equipment or software as a loan or an evaluation trial in anticipation of making a sale.
The Buyer must negotiate mutually agreeable contractual terms and conditions of the loan/evaluation, and a no-charge purchase order must be issued with a copy provided to the appropriate department and Accounts Payable.

The no-charge purchase order must include specific information about the loan/evaluation, i.e., the purpose for the transaction, a purchase order number, an indemnification clause protecting University interests, identification of the equipment and its value, the location of the equipment or software on University premises, and what the University is required to provide at the completion of the evaluation.

“Loyola’s Request” should be used when the University is requesting equipment/products as loaned property or for evaluation purposes. In this case, the University accepts responsibility and liability for the property’s use, protection and return (possibly including shipping, usage and set-up costs). 

“Supplier’s Request” should be used when a supplier is attempting to sell its equipment/products to the University and wishes to loan the property for evaluation purposes. In this case, the University should accept only limited responsibility and liability for the property’s use, protection and return (shipping, usage and set-up costs should be borne by the supplier).

If a purchase is not made after the loan or evaluation period, the Buyer must assure that the items are always returned at the end of the agreed upon term. Supplier items received for University requested evaluation may or may not be returned depending upon whether there are any other suppliers providing equally effective items. If items under evaluation have a value in excess of the capitalization threshold, consideration of University policies regarding capital equipment must be considered; and, if items have a value equal to or in excess of $5,000, consideration of University policies regarding the establishment of competition and proper documentation must still be made.

5.4 Written Agreements and Contracts

Commitments for some arrangements and services cannot always be placed solely on a purchase order or ProCard without the supplement of a written contract which is signed by both parties. The written contract often incorporates much more detail than a simple purchase order or credit card transaction alone can provide, especially related to the operating terms and conditions and the details of the transaction itself (i.e., payments under leases, incorporation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, escrow for software source code, liability and indemnification issues, warranty statements, export controls, etc).

The link to the University Contract Policy can be found on the Purchasing Department website.

5.5 Deliveries

For purchases on the LSC campus, deliveries are made to the requestor’s desk top (department office). The first choice for delivery should always be directly to the requester’s location. Packages are also accepted at the Loyola Mailroom on both campuses. The mailrooms will deliver packages to the appropriate Departments or offices during their normal mail runs. It is very important that a contact person’s name be included in the delivery instructions given to the supplier.

For purchases on the Maywood campus, deliveries are typically made to a receiving dock and transported to the requester via University employees.

For liability reasons, the University does not allow personal purchases to be delivered to the University. Such purchases should only be delivered to a home address. 

  • FOB (Freight on Board) & Shipping Costs: When a purchase is being made, the buyer and supplier must determine which of two ways a shipment will be handled:
  • FOB Delivered (Destination): Ownership (title) of the goods transfers to the buyer when the item is received by Loyola University; this is significant when there is a shortage or damage to the goods. FOB Delivered means that the supplier will be responsible to file a damage claim with the freight hauler.
  • FOB Shipping Point (Origin): The buyer takes ownership of the goods at the supplier's dock. If the item(s) is damaged when received, it is the buyer's/University’s responsibility to file a claim with the freight company.

There is no significant price impact between the two FOB choices. Shipping costs are separate and are negotiable. Shipping costs can either be “allowed” (supplier will assume the cost of shipping) or “prepaid and add” (costs of shipping will be added into the invoice). The preferred choice is “allowed”. If the package is received by the Mailroom or Receiving, they will inspect the shipment for evidence of damage. If none is detected, the item(s) will be delivered to the recipient or the designated location. If there is evidence of damage or a shortage, the Mailroom may refuse the shipment and/or notate the damage on the shipping papers. If the item is returned to the seller, the recipient is notified of the problem.

Imports/Exports: Import and export laws and shipping terms have become very complex in the past several years. If expertise is needed in obtaining import entrance through customs or exporting items to international locations, you may contact the Purchasing Manager.

5.6 Concealed Damage

The originating department is responsible to contact the supplier if concealed damage is discovered when a package is opened. Loyola Buyers can assist in this process. This applies to both deliveries received directly from the supplier or from the University Mailroom. The FOB selection that was made at time of purchase will determine responsibility. If the purchase was FOB Origin (see above), the Buyer will need to file a claim with the carrier within fifteen (15) days of the original receipt by Loyola University. If assistance is needed in filing the freight claim, contact the Purchasing Department at (312)915-8780.

5.7 Invoice Processing and Credit Memos

If a purchase is made using the ProCard, the supplier should send a net zero dollar invoice directly to the Cardholder indicating the purchase was paid for using the Loyola ProCard. This invoice is for the cardholder’s information only, and is not payable by the University. If a purchase order is used, the supplier should send the final invoice to Loyola Accounts Payable, who matches the invoice with the purchase order and the system receipt, if applicable, and schedules the invoice payment date.

The Cardholder/Buyer is responsible to track and ensure that credit memos issued for returned items are received from the supplier in a timely manner and that they are credited to the correct account. Contact the ProCard Administrator at (312)915-8754 if you have difficulty resolving the situation.

5.8 Prompt Payment Discounts

The Lawson purchasing system has choices for prompt payment discounts. Net thirty (30) days means that the supplier expects to get paid in full within thirty (30) days from the date of the supplier’s invoice. 2% 10, Net 30 means that the supplier is offering a two percent (2%) discount off the total price of the order if the University will pay the invoice within ten (10) days of the invoice date. If early payment cannot be made, then the terms revert to the current payment cycle employed by Loyola Accounts Payable. The Loyola Buyer should negotiate the best payment terms acceptable to each party.

5.9 Surplus Furniture: Redistribution of Asset Program

Loyola University operates a redistribution of assets program to facilitate the redeployment of surplus furniture and furnishings. Contact (312)915-8780 for more information or access the Purchasing Programs website.

5.10 Purchasing Responsibilities by Organization

The following lists the responsibilities of each organization when making University purchases.

Originating Department

  • Determines need.
  • Prepares specifications.
  • Contacts a Loyola Buyer at any point, if assistance is needed.
  • Selects supplier and rationalizes choice.
  • Negotiates appropriate terms and conditions when using non Pre-Qualified Suppliers.
  • Determines price reasonableness.
  • Completes Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary Form, as required.
  • Obtains appropriate approvals.
  • Routes completed Purchase Requisition and supporting documentation to the Purchasing Department
  • Receives merchandise and compares receipt with original order.
  • Advises Loyola Purchasing that the product or service has been received or completed – at Lakeside, the Loyola Buyer processes the receipt of the item in the Lawson system; at the Health Sciences Campus, the Receiving Department processes the receipt.
  • Negotiates settlements of disputes with non Pre-Qualified suppliers (assistance from Purchasing may be provided, if desired).
  • Uses the PNC ActivePay system to distribute the charges, if needed, when the ProCard is used.
  • Provides Purchasing Department with appropriate documentation supporting transactions placed on purchase orders, as appropriate.
  • Provides invoices and packing slips to Accounts Payable, as necessary.
  • Reconciles ProCard monthly transactions and retains the receipt packet documentation/packing slips in the Department.
  • Provides a business justification for all ProCard transactions. 

Sponsored Program Accounting (SPA)
Responsible for Award Administration

  • Post Award Accounting Unit Set-Up
  • Expenditure Processing
  • Billing and Collection
  • Accounting Unit Close-Out
  • Financial Report/Audit

For more information relative to Post-Award Grant Administration Overview, please access the SPA Training Material.

Accounts Payable

  • Receives invoice from supplier
  • Verifies receipt.
  • Schedules invoice payments.
  • Pays supplier once all approvals are in order.
  • Pays the bank for all ProCard transactions.

Purchasing Department

  • Provides Product Management expertise.
  • Operates the Pre-Qualified Supplier process and program.
  • Coordinates purchases to achieve maximum discounts.
  • Coordinates purchasing efforts across departmental lines.
  • Ensures sound and ethical business practices are followed.
  • Encourages consideration of small, disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone businesses
  • Checks and coordinates University insurance requirements.
  • Standardizes University procurement forms, terms & condition, and contracts.
  • Provides mandatory Purchase Order approval on federally funded acquisitions with non Pre-Qualified Suppliers equal to or exceeding $5,000.
  • Minimizes University risk/liability.
  • Assists department personnel at any point in the purchasing process when related to Pre-Qualified Suppliers, if requested.
  • Maintains the following records:
    • Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary forms.
    • Purchase order files and supporting documentation.
    • Original contracts and agreements.
  • Periodically audits buyers and suppliers for compliance with policies, procedures, contracts and agreements
  • Provides Help Desk support for purchasing processes and procedures.
  • Ensures sound and ethical business practices are followed.
  • Provides various training programs related to University acquisitions.

5.11 Supplier Performance

Reporting supplier performance is extremely important as it relates to the provision of information, delivery schedules/promises, on-time performance of services, warranty support, accuracy in billing/invoicing, willingness to correct deficiencies, timely responses to inquiries and willingness to negotiate the University’s special needs.

In an effort to be fair to suppliers who wish to continue the pursuit of University business, written documentation of deficiencies are required to be provided to the Purchasing Department in order to potentially eliminate an existing University supplier from current and future bid lists and University business. Therefore, should any End User experience unsatisfactory performances by the supplier they are using, that inadequate performance should be documented on a Loyola Supplier Performance Survey Form and transmitted to the Purchasing Department.

If the problem(s) appears to be isolated, Purchasing will work with the supplier to correct the deficiencies. Should problems be numerous, consistent and not be corrected in a reasonable amount of time after notification to the supplier, Purchasing may make the decision to eliminate the supplier from bid lists and continued University business.

If a requestor still wishes to use a supplier who has been suspended by Purchasing, then a written justification and request for exemption must be submitted to Purchasing, no matter what the dollar level, prior to the issuance of the commitment.

Click here to continue to section 6.0 Restricted Purchases