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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

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. 

Purchase Orders

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 Procurement and Payment Services.

Ordering Goods and Services outside of NUFinancials

See Purchasing Policy and Procedures and Procurement and Payment Services website for guidelines concerning other types of purchases.


Contact Information

Questions about catalog and non-catalog requisitions/purchase orders? iBuyNU? Other types of purchases? Contact Procurement and Payment Services at 847-491-8120 or