Non-Catalog Ordering

Great news!  As of November 10, 2014, departments can now use Non-Catalog Ordering to:

Not sure if Non-Catalog Ordering is right for your purchase? Check out the Ariba Buying Portal page!

Understanding Non-Catalog Ordering


Non-Catalog Ordering is the process of placing an eProcurement (Ariba) order with a supplier when:

  • The goods and/or services are not available in either a hosted or punchout catalog.
  • The hosted or punchout catalog of an eProcurement supplier is unable to convert quotes online.
  • The goods and/or services are one-time purchases, with fixed quantities and/or dollar amounts.
  • The order is not a blanket or standing order (recurring order).

Some benefits to using Non-Catalog Ordering are:

  • Ability to leverage existing eProcurement functionalities, such as open system access, document retention, and electronic approval flow
  • Greater transparency, allowing users to see the status of the order at every step in the purchasing process
  • Overall University procurement cost savings
  • Quote capability for hosted and punchout catalog suppliers that lack this feature

General Information

  • In order for departments to be able to use Non-Catalog Ordering, their suppliers must be registered with the UW and available in eProcurement.
    • If you cannot select or find your preferred vendor, please visit the Ariba Buying Portal. There are links to common questions and requests in its Help section.

  • After department approval, a requisition over the Direct Buy Limit will be routed to Purchasing, for a buyer's review and final approval, before the order is successfully placed with the supplier.
  • Non-Catalog Orders flagged for Machinery & Equipment (M&E) Tax Exemption will be routed to Equipment Inventory Office for approval.
  • Do not use Non-Catalog Ordering if the punchout catalog supplier has the ability to convert a quote in eProcurement.  See the Supplier Attribute Guide for which suppliers accept quotes.
  • Do not use Non-Catalog Ordering for Subawards.  See the  Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) website, for which eProcurement method to use.
  • New: As of November 2014, Non-Catalog Ordering can be used to place orders over the Direct Buy Limit.
  • New: As of November 2014, Non-Catalog Ordering can be used to place orders with foreign suppliers.
  • New: As of November 2014, users are not required to take an assessment quiz, in order to be granted access to Non-Catalog Ordering.


To learn how to initiate a Non-Catalog Order, visit our Training & Events page, where you can:

  • Watch an eLearning, titled Creating a Non-Catalog Order, located in our Independent Study page, under Buying in eProcurement.

Note: As of November 10, 2014, users are not required to take an assessment quiz, in order to be granted access to Non-Catalog Ordering.

Best Practices

  • Consider purchasing commodities from a supplier with a UW contract, to leverage University-wide benefits.
  • Create a Non-Catalog order only after searching for the desired items in the hosted and punchout catalogs first.
  • Before placing an order, collect: current, correct item pricing, item part number(s), commodity code(s), full item description, quote number (if applicable), contact name and email address/fax number for supplier.
  • Create separate requisitions for non-catalog items (i.e., do not mix with hosted and punchout items) because non-catalog items could potentially result in a delay of processing an order.
  • Ensure proper documentation is attached (i.e., quotes, for food purchases form 1798 and for orders to suppliers registered as "individuals" or "sole proprietors" form 1632). Learn more at Attaching Documents in Ariba.
    • When scanning in a 1632 Employee vs. Independent Contractor form, DO NOT include the Taxpayer Identification Number (social security number).
  • For manual Non-Catalog orders (when the supplier is not enabled on the Ariba network), you must add the full name of the contact with the email address in the "Send PO To" field on your requisition. Failing to do so could cause a delay in order processing.
  • DO NOT use Internet Explorer to create a Non-Catalog order.  We strongly recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.  For more information, see our Supported Browsers page.
  • DO NOT place the order with the supplier prior to creating and submitting a Non-Catalog order. Doing so could create duplicate orders.
  • DO NOT sign any contracts with the supplier. For a list of UW Buyers by commodity, visit the Commodity Breakdown by Buyer page.
  • If you want the supplier to see your attachments or comments in the Comments field, check the box to specify Visible to Supplier.
    • Appropriate usage for Attachments section:
      • DO USE for quotes, contracts or attachments you want sent to the supplier by checking Visible to Supplier
      • DO NOT check Visible to Supplier for scanned approval emails that are for internal campus use only.
    • Appropriate usage for Comments section:
      • DO USE for detailed delivery information, such as "Contact Joe Smith at 1pm to get in to building".
      • DO USE for RUSH delivery with manual orders (Send PO To field must be present).
      • DO NOT use for RUSH delivery with hosted or punchout catalog orders.
        • TIP: For rush orders with hosted or punchout catalog suppliers, consider using ProCard or Non-PO Invoice.
      • DO NOT use this feature for "thank you" comments to the supplier.
      • DO NOT check the box if the comment is for internal department viewing only.
    • You may use the Comments field (non-visible to supplier) to document the name of the individual at the supplier who provided you with pricing and other details about the items on the order. Include the contact information such as phone number, email, etc. You can use the Comment button to add as many comments to the order as necessary.
  • One way for the users to assure accuracy in their orders is to request a price quotation from the vendor they are planning to place the order with. When preparing the Non-Catalog order, user should reference the quotation number and the date in the Comment field so the vendor is aware that the order is against an established quote. A sample language to use is “ This order is in accordance with the pricing and specifications as stated in Quotation #________, dated ______ “.
    • Quotation reference number
    • Date the quotation is issued
    • Items information: quantity, description of the item or services, unit prices, discounted prices (if applicable)
    • Estimated delivery date

Initiating a Non-Catalog Order

Are you looking for training opportunities?  Check out our Non-Catalog eLearning tutorial!


  1. Log into eProcurement: Click on the "eProcurement Login" image in the quick links box (right-hand side of the browser window)
  2. Click on the Procurement tab
  3. Click the Requisition link under the Create section of in Common Actions area of the page
  4. Click the Create Non-Catalog Item button on the right side of the Catalog Search area (just below “Browse By:”)

  5. Enter all of the information to describe the Non-Catalog Item:
  • Item Description.
  • Commodity Code (refer to Commodity Code Help if necessary).
  • Account Code (defaults based on Commodity Code, however, you can select an alternate value. Refer to link for Account Code Help if necessary.)
  • Supplier - must be registered as a UW supplier.
  • Supplier Part Number, which is a required field. If you do not have a part number, enter a short description of the item.
  • Manufacturer Part Number is an optional field. Best practice is to enter this value if it is available.
  • Supplier Auxiliary Part ID is optional. It can be used to further describe the item you are ordering such as clothing sizes, pen colors, etc.
  • Quantity, which is required and specifies how many items you are ordering based on the unit of measure.
  • Unit of Measure, which is required and specifies how the item is “packaged”. For example, each means one item per package. Other examples types of units of measure include Box, Dozen, and Gallon.
  1. Click OK.
  2. In the Title field at the top, enter a meaningful title for your requisition.
  3. Answer questions about exception items and HIPAA information.
  4. If your requisition is above the Direct Buy Limit, answer Sole Source Justification questions, and indicate the type of order you are placing.
    • Note:  If your requisition is below the Direct Buy Limit, the Sole Source Justification and order-type questions will not appear on your screen.
  5. Under the Shipping section, choose the address where the order will be delivered (Ship To), including the room and contact (Deliver To).
  6. If you need to make changes to the item such as splitting budgets, changing account codes, specifying M&E items, then click the checkbox next to the item and click the Edit button.
  7. OPTIONAL: Click Add Attachment to add an attachment.  Types of attachments include quotations, proposals, scope of work, and contracts.  Learn more at Attaching Documents in Ariba.
  8. OPTIONAL: To enter a comment, type in your comment in the Comments field. If you want the supplier to see the comment, then check the box to specify Visible to Supplier. IMPORTANT: Do not check the box if the comment is for internal viewing only.
  9. Click Submit, to submit the order for approval.
  10. To add another Non-Catalog item, click the Add Non-Catalog Item button and enter the data.

Approving a Non-Catalog Order

  1. Log into eProcurement.
  2. Click on the Procurement tab.
  3. In the "To Do" section, click on the Requisition Title's link or "S" number.
  4. Review the Requisition's details, and click Approve or Deny.
  5. Optionally provide a comment and click OK.  If you want the comments to be visible to the supplier, put a checkmark next to Visible to Supplier.

Note:  After department approval, a requisition over the Direct Buy Limit will be routed to Purchasing, for a buyer's review and final approval, before the order is successfully placed with the supplier.

Administrators/Approvers should:

  • Have at least one backup Approver for your budget or org code in the event that someone is on leave.
  • Delegate your Authority when you go on vacation through the Preferences tab

Reviewing an Order's Status

Composing Submitted Ordering Ordered
Not yet submitted for approval by ASTRA authorized approvers Submitted but not yet fully approved Fully approved but not yet sent to the supplier "EI" order has been sent to the supplier
Has an "S" requisition ID number for internal purposes Has an "S" requisition ID number for internal purposes Has an external "EI" number linked to the "S" requisition ID number


Changing or Closing Non-Catalog Orders

Do you have a purchase order you want to change or close? Procurement Services has created a form to walk you through the process.  Please visit our Changing or Closing eProcurement Orders page, to learn more about how to close or change information on your Non-Catalog Order.

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