The University Record, June 24, 1998

New procurement process signals move to electronic purchase orders

From Purchasing Services

While the introduction of M-Pathways general ledger and procurement processes next month will change the way we do some things, three preferred purchasing methods will not change. School, colleges and non-academic units will continue to use internal service unit billings, prime vendor catalogs and P-Cards for many of their routine purchases.

There is, however, one major change in the procurement area: electronic purchase orders, requisitions and non-PO vouchers will replace most other methods of procurement.

M-Pathways training in online procurement began in May, with nearly 2,000 staff scheduled to be trained by July 1. Not everyone who does procurement, however, will be trained by the time the new procurement system goes into operation. While the remaining staff are trained in July and August, many units will have to rely on their "lead" users, those who were trained first, to do all online purchasing.

In the event that no one on your staff has access to the new procurement system on July 1, Purchasing Services is establishing a temporary, paper-based procurement process to be used during the transition period, requiring the use of revised requisition form #4330. The form and instructions for its use by those who have not had M-Pathways training can be found at http://www.umich.edu/~finops/Forms. Questions concerning the form should be directed to the M-Pathways Help Desk, 936-7000.

Once the M-Pathways procurement system is in operation, units will no longer need to contact Purchasing Services for a "confirming PO" for goods and services costing $2,000 or less. They can create their own PO online, secure a PO number, and call the vendor directly.

Units without access to M-Pathways after July 1 that need a confirming PO number can use the following procedure:

• Prepare a paper requisition, using requisition form #4330, which can be downloaded from http://www.umich.edu/~finops/Forms.

• Fax the paper requisition to Purchasing Services at 647-0733.

• Customer Service will call with a purchase order number within four hours. (Processing time is dependent on getting the necessary approvals. If there are problems with the requisition, Purchasing Services will communicate with the contact person identified on the requisition.)

Questions should be directed to Lenna Aris at laris@umich.edu or 764-9204.