What is a Blanket Purchase Order?

A Blanket Purchase Order (BPO) is  the preferred method for placing orders which will require multiple payments over a period of time. Examples of BPO's are: standing orders, maintenance/service contracts, and open orders.

When to use:

  • The goods or services are reoccurring purchases.
  • The order involves variable dollar amounts and/or quantities.
  • The goods or services on an order may change over time.
  • The maximum order amount may need to be adjusted over time.
  • The order has specific contract start and end dates.


  • Real-time monitoring of spend.
  • Email notification prior to order expiration date or when a pre-set low balance threshold is met.
  • Ability to review invoices and receive before releasing payment on all invoices.
  • Ability to review budget commitments in MyFD using the Encumbrances and Open Balances Report.
  • Automatic return of credits to a BPO's balance.
  • Ability to change budgets, or budget allocations by spend or percentage.
  • Ability to change anything about the order, such as contract effective/expiration dates, BPO amount, budgets, etc.

Supplier Requirements

To use a BPO, suppliers must be registered with the UW and enabled for BPOs in ARIBA.

Best Practices

  • Ensure that you have chosen the correct supplier, before submitting a BPO for approval.
  • For a catalog supplier, you should first attempt to use the supplier's catalog before resorting to creating a BPO.
  • Do not use Internet Explorer to create a BPO.  We strongly recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.  
  • Ensure accuracy of contract periods, budgets, account codes, dollar amounts, part numbers, etc.
    • Note: If a BPO is over the Direct Buy Limit and is routed to a buyer, changes that a buyer must make to information entered by the Preparer (from the department) will restart the approval process.
  • Enter a meaningful and easily understood title and description for your BPO.
  • When scanning a document to attach to a BPO, be mindful of the image resolution and document size you use.
  • Redact sensitive information from attachments, such as Social Security Numbers, bank account information, etc.
  • For communication between departments and buyers on a CR, use the Internal Comments.  Comments in this section will not be transmitted to the supplier. For comments that you want the supplier to see, use the Comments field in the Summary section of the BP.
  • If you make any changes to the BPO, add a Comment to the order stating what changes you made and why.
  • Do not split purchase orders to circumvent the competitive process.

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