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Purchasing Streamlining Initiatives

July 22nd, 2010 by betty


May 3, 2010 – Implemented On-line requisitioning in the College of Engineering and Purchasing

On-line requisitioning eliminates the manual process of submitting various types of procurement documents; i.e., college requisition (used for requests for purchases from external and internal vendors), Limited Value Purchase Order (LVPO) (external purchases up to $5,000).

On-line requisitions are entered into PeopleSoft by the requisitioning department.  Departments choose from one of the following types of requisitions:  1)  College Requisition (CR) 2) Internal Vendor Requisition (IV) 3) Limited Value Requisition (LV) and 4) Subcontract Requisition (SC).

Requisitions are approved via workflow based on signature authorization, budget checked and the funds are pre-encumbered.

College Requisitions – Once a College requisition has been approved and is in a budget status of valid it is automatically sent to the Purchasing Department printer for processing.  Upon issuance of a purchase order by the Purchasing Department the college requisition pre-encumbrance is liquidated and the purchase order is encumbered.

IV Requisitions – Internal Vendor Requisitions are used for one-time delivery/one-time payment situations for purchases from a URI Internal Vendor.  Once a IV requisition has been approved and is in a budget status of valid a Internal Vendor Purchase Order is auto created, liquidating the requisition pre-encumbrance and encumbering the PO.  The purchase order is e-mailed to the requisitioning department for disbursement to the Internal Vendor.

LV Requisitions – Limited Value Requisitions are used for one-time delivery/one-time payment situations for purchases up to $5,000 from external vendors.  Once a LV requisition has been approved and is in budget status of valid a Limited Value Purchase Order is auto created, liquidating the requisition pre-encumbrance and encumbering the PO.  The purchase order is e-mailed to the requisitioning department for disbursement to the External Vendor.

SC Requisitions - COMING SOON.  Subcontract requisitions are used for Research subcontracts.  These types of requisitions will electronically route to the Research Office once they are approved and in a budget status of valid.  The Research Office will process the encumbrance purchase order liquidating the requisition pre-encumbrance.

College Requisitions processed by departments are then copied to a Purchase Order by Purchasing.  This eliminates duplicate data entry and reduces the time it takes to process a purchase order.  With on-line requisitioning all purchasing documents will be pre-encumbered and encumbered once a purchase order is created reducing the risk of a department overspending.

The on-line requisitioning project requires a phased in approach.   Training manuals have been developed and departments/colleges will be required to attend training.  Training is performed by Purchasing for the requisition process and by the Financials Lab for the approval process.


December 2009 – Research Sub Awards (Sub Contracts)

In December 2009 the Purchasing Department and the Sponsored Project Review Office developed and implemented a revised procedure for encumbering research sub awards.  This effort streamlines the number of offices involved resulting in a quicker turn-around time.

Link to pdf file: Research Sub Awards

September 2009 – Posting Bid Awards

In September 2009 the URI Purchasing Department began posting Public Bid Awards to the Rhode Island Vendor Information Program (RIVIP) at:

These posting eliminate the need for vendors to request this information in writing and need for us to respond to these inquiries.  Additionally, this provides complete transparency to the Public Bidding Process.

April 2009 – On-line Vendor Registration System

In April 2009 the URI Purchasing Department and the University Computing Services Department developed and implemented an on-line vendor registration system.

In order to get the word out to our then current vendors, we solicited a mailing to thousands of registered vendors informing them of this new process and required that they registered on line.  As part of the registration process we require an e-mail address for bid solicitation (see below April 2009 – E-mail bids)

Vendors submit their registration on-line at: and provide us with a URI W9 form via fax.  This commodity code portion of the vendor registration is uploaded to the PeopleSoft vendor file and the W9 is desposited in the W9 depository that was developed as part of this project.

Prior to the 0n-line vendor registration system, vendors would manually fill out a vendor registration package (approximately 25 pages), forward to URI Purchasing and we would have to manually enter the same information into PeopleSoft.  The on-line vendor registration has significantly reduced the amount of time that it takes a vendor to complete the registration process in addition to saving paper and time on our end.

April 2009 – E-mail bids

In April 2009 the URI Purchasing Department eliminated mailing Public Bids to vendors and implemented a system internally to e-mail all Public Bids to vendors that are registered with us for particular commodities.  This e-mail is in addition to all Public Bids being posted on the RIVIP in accordance with Rhode Island General Law (RIGL).

This effort saves postage, paper, envelopes, labels and time in addition to the vendor receiving the bid solicitation the same day it is solicited vs through the mail.

December 2007 – E-mail Purchase Orders

In December 2007 we began e-mailing purchase orders to departments.  This is the department receiving report copy.  At the same time, we began phasing in e-mailing the purchase order to the vendor.  As of April 2009 all purchase orders are now e-mailed to both the department and the vendor in addition to other areas that may require a copy of the po for a particular reason; ie:  Property Department, Public Safety, etc.

A significant savings has been realized by eliminating the mailing and copying of these po’s.

January 2007 – Excel College Requisition

The excel college requisition was developed by URI Purchasing in January 2007 and replaced the 4 part NCR college requisition.  The Excel College Requisition is available on our web site for departments to complete, print and forward to Purchasing upon obtaining the necessary approvals.  The Excel College Requisition will be obsolete once all departments have been phased in on the on-line requisitioning.

The excel college requisition has eliminated the need for departments to purchase the 4 part NCR form which were purchased and stocked by the University in Central Receiving.  Therefore, eliminating an additional item from URI’s inventory.

Link to pdf file:  Excel College Requisition

June 2006 – Purchases from URI Internal Vendors

In June of 2006 we eliminated the requirement for Purchasing involvement/processing of college requisitions for purchases from URI Internal Vendors for standard one-time delivery/one-time payment situations.

This allows departments to go directly to the internal vendor without Purchasing involvement.

Link to pdf file:  Purchases from URI Internal Vendors

February 2006 – Various

College Requisition signature authorization and account code verification:

College requisitions on state appropriated funds were previously sent to the Accounts Payable Office for signature authorization and account code verification and then forwarded to URI Purchasing once approved by AP.

The Purchasing Department assumed this responsibility in February 2006 whereby the requisitions are sent directly to Purchasing from the requisitioning department to perform this pre-audit function resulting in a quicker turn-around time.

Upon assuming the responsibility of signature authorization and account code verification, the Purchasing Department scanned the signature authorization forms in order to verify this information on line vs paper.  These scanned documents were shared with the Budget Office and the Financials Lab for uploading into PS as an attachment for signature authorization.

Office Supplies – WB Mason Order Form

Authorized departments to fax the office supply order form directly to WB Mason when using state appropriated funds.

This eliminated the requirement for AP pre-audit and Purchasing approvals.

Limited Value Purchase Orders (LVPO)

Increased the LVPO limit from $1,000 to $5,000.

Provides departments with the ability to process small dollar purchases up to $5,000 in an expedited manner.

Link to pdf file:  Signature Authorization/WB Mason/LVPO

January 2006 – GSO Purchasing

In January of 2006 the Purchasing Office located at GSO was eliminated and the position was moved to the Kingston Purchasing Office.

This change resulted in better utilization of resources while maintaining the same level of service to the GSO community.

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July 2010
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Meeting Schedule

July 13 – 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
- Library, Conf. Rm. B, 2nd flr

July 28 – 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Aug 11 - 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
– Dean Jordan, Facilitator

Aug 25 - 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Sept 08 - 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Sept 22 - 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.