Celebrate 50 Years
Purchasing and Support Services

Purchasing Steps & Unallowable Purchases

Steps in IPFW's Purchasing Process

Departments may make incidental purchases by using a Purdue University MasterCard or through direct invoicing. For other purchases, the following steps outline the process to be followed. If there are any special requirements that should be addressed with Physical Plant, ITS, Shipping/Receiving please make those contacts before purchasing the goods or service.

Purchasing Steps using the Purdue Purchasing System:

  1. Department follows their internal purchasing authorization and record keeping process.
  2. The requisitioner for that department initiates the shopping cart in the Purdue Purchasing system.
  3. Orders that are $10,000 or more must follow a formal bid process.  Departments can call the Purchasing department to discuss this purchase with the appropriate buyer, or department can complete a purchase requisition, and send to the Purchasing Department (See Request for Quote Steps section below for details).

Note: We do recommend departments contact the Purchasing department to get quotes on any purchases where the University does not have contract pricing, the cost of the items is such the department may realize significant savings (say $1,000 or more), or in cases where the department needs suggestions on vendors.

Purchasing Steps in the Request for Quote (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) Process

Purchase requests that total $10,000 or more must be competitively bid (see Waiver below for additional information). Purchasing Services is the only authorized entity on campus that can perform these services.  It is important to get Purchasing involved early to allow time for the process to be followed and items to be ordered and delivered.  If installation is required additional time will be needed as well.  Some items can take several weeks between the time of purchase and the goods arriving.  A good rule of thumb is to allow a couple of weeks for the buyer to pull all the information together, identify vendors and submit the bid.  Allow at least a week for the vendors to respond.  The more complicated bids such as those involving design or the vendors to come on-site will require additional time.  If the bid is done in a rush fashion some vendors will not be able to participate because they can't meet the time line.  The end result may be higher cost to the department. 

Note: We do recommend departments contact the Purchasing department to get quotes on any purchases where the University does not have contract pricing, the cost of the items is such the department may realize significant savings (say $1,000 or more), or in cases where the department needs suggestions on vendors. The Purchasing Buyer involved may also elect to bid a purchase where it is determined best practice.

  1. Buyer for the commodity verifies the specifications.
  2. Buyer determines if the purchase requires a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP). Most IPFW purchases do not require the solicitation of bids. In these cases vendor selection is based on the department's preference, existing vendor contracts, and the Purchasing staff's knowledge and experience.
  3. Purchasing will issue a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) if any of these apply:
    • Order totals $10,000 or more
    • Falls under the State public works statutes (any project for which contractual labor is used on site to construct, alter, repair or improve facilities owned or leased by the university). Public works projects should involve Physical Plant.
    • Department and buyer believe it to be the best business practice
  4. The RFQ/RFP is issued to a pool of qualified vendors chosen by the buyer and the requestor.
  5. Responses are reviewed and vendor(s) chosen based on price, delivery terms, availability, and other specifications stated in the RFQ/RFP.
  6. Awarded vendor will be contacted and a purchase order issued.
  7. Buyer will also notify the other participating vendors the bid has been awarded.

Please allow time for the purchasing staff to complete all steps necessary for a purchase. The amount of time needed varies greatly but is affected by the nature of the items being purchased, the dollar amount of the purchase, whether an RFQ is necessary, and the Purchasing department's workload. Do not expect Purchasing to place an order on the same day that the requisition form is received.

Request to Waiver Bid

If there is a legitmate reason, typically proprietary, that restricts the purchase to a specific brand or service, of which only one vendor can such goods or services, a request to Waiver of Competitive Bid form must be completed.  Attach ny supporting documentation, have it properly signed and send to the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing buyer and director will review the form and discuss any questions with the requestor. If approved, the order request will continue through the purchasing process. If this request is not approved the requester will be notified that the order will go through the bidding process.