Ordering Goods and Services
There are two main methods of ordering goods and services at Northwestern: iBuyNU catalog requisitions and non-catalog requisitions.
iBuyNU Catalog Requisitions
A catalog requisition is placed via NU’s web-based marketplace to preferred vendors. These requisitions are for goods such as office supplies, lab supplies, furniture, computer equipment, etc.
There are several key roles involved in ordering catalog goods and services:
- The Shopper shops for items in iBuyNU, creates a cart in iBuyNU, and assigns the cart in iBuyNU to school/department Requester
- The Requester links to the cart in iBuyNU, creates purchase requests (requisitions) in NUFinancials, enters a chart string and checks the budget, submits purchase requests (requisitions) for approval, makes changes to requisitions as needed before they are sourced, and tracks the status of purchase requests
- The Approver checks for requisitions awaiting action, assesses if a requisition is a valid request with the appropriate chart string, confirms requests are in compliance with NU policy, approves, sends back, or holds requisitions in NUFinancials.
Non-catalog requisitions are placed through the NUFinancials system to preferred or non-preferred vendors. These requisitions are for goods and services not found in iBuyNU including one-time services, blankets and grant subcontracts.
To order non-catalog goods and services, a request is forwarded to the Requester offline, rather than by assigning the iBuyNU cart to the Requester. The Requester creates the purchase request (requisition) in NUFinancials as outlined in the process for ordering catalog items. Approvals proceed through NUFinancials as they do for catalog orders.
As needed, non-catalog requisitions requiring pre-payment can be created in NUFinancials utilizing the "hold for further processing" function or by completing a DPR. The check and PO can be sent together to the vendor. See the Purchasing Policy Clarification for further details on non-catalog requisitions.
See the Submit Change Order Request for Non-Catalog PO training guide to step you through requesting changes via the NU portal to a non-catalog purchase order after it has been dispatched to the vendor but before a voucher (authorization to pay) has been created.
After requisitions are approved, purchase orders are created and dispatched to the appropriate vendors. As needed, the Requester may submit PO change order requests to PRS.
Ordering Goods and Services outside of NUFinancials
- Purchasing and Payment Methods Quick Reference Guide
- Purchasing and Payments Online Training
- Process Maps:
- Purchasing through a University Department or Surplus Property
- Purchasing using a REQ/Purchase Order through a Preferred Vendor (Catalog/iBuyNU and Non-Catalog)
- Purchasing using a REQ/Purchase Order through a Non-Preferred Vendor
- Purchasing using an Online Voucher: Direct Payment Request
- Purchasing using a Procurement Card
- NUFinancials training materials for Purchasing (Requester, Shopper) and for Approver
- Purchasing Policy – Quick Reference Guide
- Purchasing Resource Services website
- Purchasing Policy and Procedures
- Purchasing Policy Clarification
- Purchase Order Tracking Job Aid
- Training Guide: Submit Change Order Request for Non-Catalog PO
Questions about catalog and non-catalog requisitions/purchase orders? iBuyNU? Other types of purchases? Contact Purchasing at 847-491-8120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.