How to Buy

Topics Covered Below:

Ordering Through eProcurement

eProcurement Catalog Ordering

University-wide contracts are available through eProcurement. If you cannot find the product you need from an eProcurement supplier, please check the UW Contracts page for additional contracts


Non-Catalog Ordering

Non-Catalog Ordering is the process of creating an eProcurement requisition when the items to be ordered are not available in either a hosted or punchout catalog


Blanket Purchase Orders (BPO)

Blanket Purchase Orders in Ariba are agreements to spend a specific amount of money with a supplier over a period of time, and may or may not specify the items or services intended to purchase. These orders replace most standing orders in PAS.


Ariba Roles and Authorization

Provides guidance on the available roles for different Ariba functionality and how to get authorization.


Ariba Module Comparison

A chart that compares the different Ariba modules and when to use them.

(click the picture to view)


Other Methods of Buying

Procurement Card

The ProCard is a Visa purchasing card available for faculty and staff, provided they are permitted to receive one by their department administrator who has the necessary delegated authority.


Corporate Travel Services

Corporate Travel Services is a Procurement Services purchasing method for travel expenses, offering two types of payment options, the Central Travel Account and an individual UW Travel Card for University of Washington faculty and staff for official business travel expenses.


PAS Purchase Order

PAS requisitions are submitted by campus departments to initiate the purchase of goods or services when item or supplier is not available in eProcurement for Catalog, Non-Catalog or Blanket Purchase Orders.



What UW Departments Need to Know about Buying

Buying from a UW Contract

The first step is to determine whether the goods or services you wish to purchase are available on a University, state or other contract. Contracts offer best value with responsible suppliers. Also, buying on an already existing contract results in lower overall cost of the purchasing process.


Current Direct Buy Limits

The "direct buy limit" is the dollar limitation set by state law, under which purchases may be made without securing competitive pricing. Departments may place orders with suppliers of choice within the direct buy limit without prior approval of Purchasing Services. Some exceptions may apply to the purchase of certain items, and by order method.


Competitive Solicitation

A competitive solicitation process is required in the absence of a contract or a sole source justification. Purchases over the current direct buy limits require competition to be obtained and documented.



Exception Items

Details and forms for the items that are on the "Exception Item List" in eProcurement (Ariba).


UW Purchasing Ethics

As employees of the state of Washington, faculty and staff of the University of Washington must follow all of the state statutes and regulations regarding ethics and conflicts of interest.


Ordering Ethyl Alcohol

Ethyl Alcohol orders may be placed through eProcurement. However, due to state regulations, the ordering of ethyl alcohol is limited to department staff granted alcohol authorization within the ASTRA system. Click "Read More" for additional details on how to place ethyl alcohol orders.


Catering, Hotels and Events

UW Procurement Services has negotiated contracts with caterers and hotels as well as many suppliers providing event planning services, equipment rentals, and charters to assist campus with their special event needs. Contracts are available to view at UW Contracts. Procurement Services recommends that documents requiring signature be reviewed by a buyer regardless of the method of payment or dollar amount.


Charters / Transportation

Directions on the best way to procure charter buses, shuttle, or marine services with links to current contracts and information on required documentation.


Purchasing Used Equipment

When purchasing used, refurbished or demonstration model equipment there are considerations in addition to the cost of the equipment.


Specialty Underwriters Maintenance

A contract with Specialty Underwriters (SU) is available to campus for scientific equipment maintenance.Customers may place orders directly with Specialty Underwriters through the Blanket Purchase Order module in eProcurement at any dollar limit, without the need for sole source justification, as this is a pre-approved University contract.


Amazon Business

UW is having ongoing discussions with Amazon Business to incorporate them into our Ariba eProcurement eco-system and we are hopeful that it can be accomplished sometime in 2016.  But first, we need your help to complete an account consolidation effort to:

  • convert any current Amazon Prime user into an Amazon Business Account
  • bring any existing Amazon Business account under UW’s master account

If you are currently using an Amazon Prime Account to make purchases for your department, if you have already established an Amazon Business Account for your organization, or if you are interested to sign up for a new Amazon Business Account, please review the Amazon Business webpage and then contact UW’s Amazon Business Master Account Administrator, Ray Hsu, at 206-543-0793 for further details.


Supplier Diversity

The University is committed to Supplier Diversity by maintaining purchasing practices that promote and expand contracting opportunities for diverse suppliers.The Supplier Diversity page will guide you through the guidelines and resources for how to locate and select diverse suppliers.


Green Procurement

The University is committed to environmental stewardship by maintaining purchasing practices that promote and encourage the use and purchase of environmentally and socially responsible products.


Procuring Accessible IT

A link to the UW webpage about the procurement of Information Technology (IT) that is accessible to those with physical or visual disabilities.


Commodity Codes

Commodity codes are standard classification codes for products and services used to detail where money is spent within a company



Notary Bonds

View the Notary Bond application process and payment information


Looking for Someone Specific?

Contact information for Buyers and Staff within Procurement Services is available below.


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