Instructions for Making Purchases of Goods and/or Services
The office of Ocean Purchasing is located in the Ocean Teaching Building, Room 104. It is staffed by two people who are here to assist you in acquiring the necessary goods and services to accomplish your work. We also advise you on shipping, risk management insurance, issue building keys and permits, and handle petty cash purchases, or reimbursements.
In general, you may place orders (called Confirming orders) on your own with vendors for goods costing up to, but not exceeding, $3,500. The $3,500 limit applies per order, not per item, and does not include sales tax or freight/handling.
The University of Washington will not allow the following items to be purchased on Confirming orders: facility maintenance and repair, furnishings, hazardous materials, copy machines, printing and copy duplicating, book binding, photocopying, printing, telephone equipment and services including cellular and portable phones and radio pagers, and vehicles.
There are four ways to make purchases: 1) eProcurement; 2) a UW credit card (ProCard); 3) by purchase order; or 4) via petty cash check.
If none of these options work for your purchasing situation, please contact April or Chanthavy for assistance.
EProcurement is located at www.washington.edu/admin/stores/eprocurement. Vendors here include: Daigger, Dell, Fisher, Gov Connection, Grainger, Invitrogen, Office Depot, Qiagen, Sigma-Aldrich, Tech Depot, Troxell, VWR and others. More vendors are being added all the time. On this site you will find contracted pricing; there is no spending limit; no PO number required; no sole source statement is necessary; and everything may be paid for by entering your budget number. Contact Kittie Tucker at email@example.com for access to eProcurement.
This is a Visa credit card issued by the University of Washington for University-related purchases only - not for travel. The ProCard may be used for non-travel transactions up to $3,300 with limited approvals necessary outside the department. The School of Oceanography limits these cards to one or two per research group. The card holder must have been in the department for at least one year and must be employed full-time. Oceanography has strict rules regarding the use of ProCards and timely submission of proper documentation. Violation of the rules will result in the cancellation of the individual's card. See April or Chanthavy in OTB 104 for an application and instructions.
If your group does not have a ProCard, Ocean Purchasing does and can help you make a purchase. Please ask April or Chanthavy for assistance.
Purchase Orders are to be used for orders of $3,500.00 or more in which the vendor is not on eProcurement or does not accept credit cards. Print a Purchase Request Worksheet; get a purchase order number (also called a requisition number) either by phone, e-mail, or in person. You need to supply the budget number you are using, your name and phone number, a brief description of what you are ordering, the vendor's name, and a close approximation of the cost.
Next, call your vendor, identify yourself and your department, state that you wish to obtain price and availability/delivery for the vendor's products, note the name of the vendor's salesperson and verify the full and exact company name and address for making payment. If they have what you need then place your order and give the vendor the purchase order number. Finally, completely fill out and sign (if you have signature authority, otherwise get an authorized signature) the Purchase Request Worksheet and return it to our office within three days. The worksheet gives the department's delivery address as well as the address where the vendor should send their invoice (bill).
NOTE: AS of APRIL 1, 2010, ALL GAS INVOICES MUST BE PAID BY CREDIT CARD INSTEAD OF PURCHASE ORDER. Read the Change in Payment Methods document.
If there are any changes in price or quantity, or if any items are added or deleted, let Ocean Purchasing know immediately. Please remember that the revised order total may not exceed $3,500 before tax and shipping.
If items are exchanged or returned for any reason, fill out and submit a "Returned Goods Memorandum" (RGM). These are available from Ocean Purchasing. The top 2 copies go with your returned goods and the bottom 2 copies come to the Ocean Purchasing office. Call your vendor for a return authorization number. Be sure to write that number on the RGM and on the outside of the box you ship.
For return of items bought on the eProcurement website, find your vendor listed there and seek information on how to make returns. If in doubt, contact the sales representative listed there.
Goods are delivered to Room G of the Marine Sciences Building, or to Ocean Teaching Building, Room 104. We notify you of arrival by e-mail, by a note placed in your mailbox, or by phone.
Once you have unpacked your items and checked them over, please give us the packing list. If there is any problem with the order (damage, missing or wrong items) please contact Ocean Purchasing for resolution.
These are orders for goods costing more than $3,500 which you may not place yourself. By state law, Purchasing on upper campus must solicit quotes and/or bids from several vendors for anything exceeding $3,500. For these orders you need to provide any one or more of the following: 1) the name/ address/phone number of at least three vendors who can meet your needs written in the comments section of the Purchase Request Worksheet; 2) any quotes that you may get from the vendor or vendors that carry the product you want; or 3) a Sole Source Statement.
Orders that exceed $3,500 must be made on a purchase order and will require a sole source statement if you feel the item is only available from one vendor. This is defined as a situation in the marketplace where there is clearly and legitimately a single source of supply to meet your requirements. Complete the Sole Source Justification form, attach it to the completed purchase request worksheet along with the vendor quote(s).
By "requirement", it is meant that it is something that you need (not to be confused with something you want). In the purchasing process, "requirement" means to a pertinent need which can be explained by looking at how the product or service will be used in your operation or setting.
By "single source", it is meant making the determination that there is a single source of supply. This is a two step process:
Step 1 - The first step is to determine whether there is only one brand which can meet your requirements. Using your list of requirements, you must examine competing products available in the marketplace to determine how many can meet your pertinent needs. After examining products available on the market, you may conclude there is only one brand which can meet your requirements. If this is the case, you'll need to go on to Step #2.
Step 2 - The second step is to determine if this brand can only be acquired from a single source of supply. Can the same brand of item be acquired from more than one vendor? You have not determined there is a sole source meeting your requirement until you have addressed both the issue of sole brand and whether that brand is available from only one source of supply. It if frequently useful to give the buyer a call and work through the information you have.
You may find you do not wish to survey the market to ascertain there is a single brand and/or single source to meet your needs. This is fine. Supply us with a list of requirements and Big Purchasing on upper campus can perform the search for you. But if you are certain there is truly only one source of supply, by all means let us know by writing a Sole Source Statement. This saves everyone's time and avoids a pointless and costly search of the marketplace.
There are times when there is a bona fide need to continue buying a brand of product which you purchased previously. One such time, is when you clearly need to have a product which is compatible with a product you already own, and when no other source of supply can supply you with a compatible product.
The Sole Source Statement should describe what you currently own (referring to the requisition number on which the product was purchased is a great help) and should discuss that you have no other way to acquire compatible accessories, etc., except to go directly to the vendor who originally sold you the product (usually the manufacturer).
There may be occasions when you need to buy a product identical to one you have purchased in the past due to the need for continuity in (or replication of) a research project. You need to explain that your situation dictates you can not vary the product, because it is a variable you need to control. Once again, giving a requisition number on which the product was previously purchased helps to document your Sole Source Statement.
There are situations when there is an economic reason for purchasing a product from a single source of supply. An example of an economic justification is the following: your department already owns a centrifuge, including $15,000 worth of rotors. You require a new centrifuge to handle additional workload volume. Since the rotors can not be interchanged between brands, if you purchase a different brand of centrifuge you'll have to purchase approximately $15,000 worth of rotors you would not need to purchase if you purchase the same brand as you currently have. Since the purchase price of the centrifuge is $30,000 it is almost inconceivable that you could purchase an estimated $45,000 worth of goods from a competing vendor for $30,000. Furthermore, you would incur additional training costs by changing brands.
The above example illustrates an economic justification. It is important to note that price alone does not constitute an economic justification--there must be a technical element (such as rotor compatibility) as well.
Equipment purchased for certain University research and development activities may qualify for a sales tax exemption.
To qualify for this exemption, equipment must:
have a useful life of more than one year;
be directly used more than 50% of its useful life on qualifying research; and
have an acquisition cost of $1,000 or more.
The Tax Exemption Certificate form must be completed and signed by the PI. Of particular importance is the statement to be made in section four. In one sentence, state the type of research to be done and in a second sentence, the desired outcome of that research.
For details and to determine if your purchase meets the Machinery and Equipment Exemption visit: Machinery and Equipment Sales/Use Tax Exemption.
Petty cash checks are written Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in OTB 104.
The department has a petty cash fund which may be used to purchase supplies and non-personal services. All travel expenses must be reimbursed via the online eTravel system rather than petty cash. Please visit the administrative office to process travel claims.
Please note: We cannot reimburse via petty cash for any purchases made outside the state of Washington. The only exception is if you were in the field and had no other way of acquiring some needed item.
Unauthorized purchases include the following:
Personal choice, convenience, or decorative items (e.g. pens, clocks, picture frames, flowers, drapes, desk sets, briefcases, watches) unless the budget to be charged is a discretionary fund.
Food or beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and related items (e.g. banquet permits, glasses, paper cups and plates, mixers, ice) unless the budget is a food-approved budget.
Personal services or honorariums.
Services rendered by University employees.
Items on a state of Washington contract.
Items purchased from a University of Washington department. These items should be charged to the budget via a Cost Transfer Invoice (CTI). Personal choice, convenience, or decorative items (e.g., pens, clocks, picture frames, flowers, drapes, desk sets, briefcases, watches) unless the budget to be charged is a discretionary fund.
Our delivery address is: University of Washington/School of Oceanography/Marine Sciences Building, Room G/Seattle, WA 98195. If insisted on, the street address is: University of Washington/School of Oceanography/1501 NE Boat Street, Seattle, Wa 98105.
Express mail (UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, etc.) is delivered, generally, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Pickup of express mail from here is, generally, by 3:15 p.m. Express mail service is available from Fed Ex and UPS - both ground and air service.
Fed Ex has made an online shipping method available to the UW. You can now go online to www.FedEx.com and print your own air bill for your shipment and pay for it by entering your budget number. If you need help, contact Chanthavy or April. All packages of 20 pounds or less are to be left outside OTB 104 and all shipments greater than 20 pounds are left outside the Receiving Cage (Room G) of MSB for pickup. Remember that you will still need to call 1-800-GOFEDEX (1-800-463-3339) to schedule a pickup for your shipment from either OTB or MSB, Room G.
Our Fed Ex account number is 2591-4232-6.
UPS has a web-based shipping method called CampusShip. CampusShip allows you to print out a shipping label on your laser printer, put it on what you are sending and leave it for pickup outside OTB 104 in a designated spot. All services including ground service are available. A downloadable user tutorial is also provided to take you through the system step by step. If you need help, contact Chanthavy or April. Remember, there is no need to call UPS for a pickup. UPS stops by automatically each day.
If you want to have access to CampusShip, please send an email to April. Your name will be added and you will be sent a login name and password directly from UPS via email.
The following information applies to domestic shipments only. Keep in mind that there are restrictions on shipping chemicals, certain types of batteries, and mercury thermometers.
If you have something that is large and/or heavy that you would like to ship by ground it can go either UPS (available for multiple-piece ground shipments totaling 200 pounds or more), or by freight company. See the yellow pages under Trucking - Motor Freight, or by Fed Ex Ground. Call Fed Ex for details.
If you leave a shipment for pickup by the Receiving Cage, call and let Ocean Purchasing know. We may need to direct a driver to your shipment and can not do this if we don't know where it is.
Shipping by ground is less expensive than shipping by air, but you must allow at least 10 days coast-to-coast and 5 days down the West Coast. Call UPS at 1-800-742-5877, or a trucking company to get rates and times for delivery.
UPS and Fed Ex will both take large items for air shipping (shipments totaling 150 pounds or more).
UPS does limit the maximum size of a package to 150 pounds, up to 130 inches in length and girth combined, or up to 108 inches in length.
Call Fed Ex at 1-800-433-3339 (domestic) or 1-800-782-4747 (international) for their restrictions.
There are other air carriers like Lynden Airfreight. Look in the yellow pages under Air Freight and Package Express.
Remember that length is the longest side of a package or object and that girth is the distance around the package or object at its widest point perpendicular to the length.
Before you ship equipment out of the country (for instance items to be used on a research cruise), review the shipping invoice form from Ocean Purchasing, or print from this site. Follow the instructions at the top of the form and take a copy of the final, typed invoice to April or Chanthavy. We will make arrangements with the University's customs broker to pickup your shipment and get it to its destination. You do not have to figure out carrier or customs clearance issues. The University's customs broker will take care of it for you.
Incoming mail arrives once daily at approximately 10:00 a.m. We distribute to your mailbox. Ocean Sciences Building mail is distributed once a day at around 11:00 a.m.
Outgoing mail leaves the department once daily at approximately 10:00 a.m., and Ocean Sciences Building at 11:00 a.m. You may send University business mail by using a bar code sticker for your budget and placing it on the left hand side of the envelope below the return address. Personal mail may be sent with your own postage. Leave all outgoing mail in appropriate drop boxes in the mailroom.
All international mail, except letters and printed material under 16 ounces, must have a detailed customs form completed by the sender. This form is called a CN2 form. All insured and registered mail must indicate a dollar value. For more information call Mail Services Rating at 3-8758 or the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-ASK-USPS or consult the USPS website. CN2 forms are in a small box on the wall near the left end of the catalogues, outside OTB 104.