Frequently Asked Questions



Temple Purchasing Card (TPC)



What type of purchasing-related activities can I engage in on my own instead of using Purchasing Services? For instance, can I contact a vendor to setup a demonstration? Can I obtain price quotes on my own?

Units can engage in various types of purchasing-related activities on their own; however it is highly recommended that you contact Purchasing Services upfront and let us know what you're doing - that way we can provide our guidance and prepare ourselves for when the requisition comes in to us to process a PO or conduct a bid.

Examples of activities that a unit can engage in without Purchasing Services include:

  • Vendor introductions.
  • Vendor demonstrations (or interviews for service providers) prior to a bid process - units should advise sales representatives that their meeting does not represent a commitment by the University until an authorized order is placed and that the University may elect to bid goods and services.
  • Obtaining budgetary quotes.
  • Allowable small-dollar repetitive purchases - departments are encouraged to utilize their University Pcard. Note that there are even some Pcard-enabled suppliers on TUmarketplace.
  • Requests below the PO-required threshold for Independent Contractors, pro-forma invoices for dues or memberships and the like and other goods/services that do not need to be ordered by Purchasing Services - submit payment requests directly to Accounts Payable. Please note that if any agreement must be executed by Temple, that request must be submitted to the Office of University Counsel via a TUmarketplace Contract Approval Request Form.

For requests that require a PO but not bidding, we recommend that the Units receive a quote from the supplier and attach it to their requisition. This will save time in the ordering process because Purchasing Services will know that you have confirmed the quote and then we can place the order more expeditiously.

In very few instances a unit may be granted permission by Purchasing Services to obtain proposals for specialized industry-specific goods or services. Failure to obtain prior approval will void any work the unit completed.

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What are Blanket Purchase Orders (BPOs) and Contract Manager Orders (CMs)?

These types of orders are meant to facilitate placing repetitive small-dollar purchases with one supplier over the course of a fiscal year when Departments expect to spend more than $10,000 with that supplier, but don't know exactly what needs will arise or when. They are set up in advance of placing any orders, and neither type creates a commitment until utilized. These are not appropriate for known and/or scheduled payments over the Purchase Order threshold of $5,000, as those should be encumbered by way of a committed Purchase Order. Also, Independent Contractors are not eligible for BPOs or CMs.

For BPOs, Departments will receive one BPO# that will be referenced each time they place orders with that supplier for the term of that BPO (usually a fiscal year). That supplier must reference that BPO number on their invoices.

For CMs, Departments can access their Contract in TUmarketplace each time they want to place an order with a Contract Manager supplier. They will receive a PO# for each order placed through a CM.

Purchasing Services' limits and policies are still applicable. Either of these can be requested by submitting a TUmarketplace Blanket Order Request Form. Departments must request that their BPO or CM be renewed each year that they wish to continue utilizing.

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Does the issuance of a Purchase Order show up in my cost center anywhere?

Yes. When a PO is issued, an encumbrance is automatically created in Banner. This allows you to track budget vs. obligations. You can click on the encumbrance in Banner to drill-down to the actual Purchase Order.

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How do I know how much I've spent against my Purchase Order or Blanket Purchase Order?

You can utilize the Payment Transaction Query in Cognos to view all charges against a PO. Moreover, if the charges were processed against the same FOAP where the PO was established, you can view year-to-date activity in Banner to see charges against the PO.

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How do I request a bid and what happens when I do?

To request a bid, submit all pertinent details via a TUmarketplace Non-Catalog Item requisition. Note that we cannot utilize a firm's quote, proposal, drawings or other proprietary information in our formal bid processes. Feel free to reach out to Purchasing Services in advance of your request, and know that your project will be assigned to a dedicated buyer who will work with you throughout the entire process.

Your request will be assigned to a Sr. Buyer or a Buyer. They will review what is being requested, build a bid event in our electronic bid system TUebid, check with you on any unclear details, and then issue the event to the bidders. Simple RFQs have a fast turnaround time. Responses are vetted and reviewed by your Buyer and then awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. More complex RFP responses will be reviewed by Purchasing, evaluated by you and your stakeholders, and then Purchasing will complete a contract with the selected awardee.

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What does Purchasing Services need for a bid?

Purchasing Services can issue several types of bids. The two most common are RFQs (Request for Quotations) and RFPs (Request for Proposals). A RFQ is typically a request for pricing for a list of goods or simple services. A RFP is issued for more complex requests; Purchasing will describe a project and desired outcomes and invite firms to propose how they will achieve those outcomes.

For RFQ requests, we will need a detailed items list, either as line items on your TUmarketplace non-catalog requisition request, or as Word or Excel format attachments. This must include the manufacturer, manufacturer part nubmers if possible, and quantities. We will also need any other critical information such as delivery requirements and deadlines.

For RFP requests, we will need a detailed narrative of your project, required deliverables, desired schedule for all milestones and completion, what you would like to see in Proposal submissions, recommended vendor participants, and what criteria (in addition to cost) you will use to evaluate the Proposals and select an awardee and all other applicable details and/or constraints. Layouts or drawings may be necessary as well.

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How do I obtain a Temple Purchasing Card?

In order to obtain a Temple Purchasing Card (TPC), complete the Purchasing Card Application in TUmarketplace located in the AP/Purchasing Forms section of the home page. The Purchasing Card Administrator will process your request and contact you to schedule training and card pick-up. The Unified Resource Center on TUportal also includes helpful training instructions for using the TPC.

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What is a catalog, showcased, and punch-out vendor?

Catalog vendors are vendors that Purchasing Services has pre-negotiated costs for a pre-determined list of goods or services.

Showcased vendors are a subset of catalog vendors whereby Purchasing Services hosts vendors' available commodities and costs directly on TUmarketplace.

Punch-out vendors are a subset of catalog vendors and are represented by their company logo on the home screen of TUmarketplace. When you click on these vendors, you are automatically directed to their webpage for processing of your order.

It is recommended that you first check to see if a good/service is offered by a catalog vendor before making a purchase.

A unit who wishes to engage with a non-catalog vendor must submit the request using the "Non-Catalog Vendor" form on TUmarketplace.

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Why was my TUmarketplace request returned?

Requisitions may be returned by the TUmarketplace system or by a User, depending on the issue. If a FOAPAL on your request does not have the appropriate workflow set up behind it, the system will automatically return the request instead of moving forward. Adjustments to workflow are made by the Controller's Office. An approver or Purchasing Services may also return a requisition. This can happen for several reasons, including if adjustments need to be made or if the incorrect form was utilized.

When a requisition is returned to the requisitioner, that User will receive an email from the address with a subject line "Your requisition has been returned" along with the applicable requisition number. To see the reason for the rejection, you must scroll all the way to the bottom of the email (past the signature line). An example of an auto-generated return may appear similar to this type of wording: *ERROR* User TU123456 has no authority to post to fund 100000 and organization 99999 in chart T. The History tab of a requisition will also detail its path and error notes, including return details. You may make adjustments to the requisition and resubmit it. This will send the request forward again, through all Approvers. You may also elect to close/cancel the request.

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