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Frequently Asked Questions

For Suppliers
  • Q: How do I get on Ohio State’s bid list?
    A: The Ohio State University Purchasing Department and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Purchasing Department utilize Ariba Discovery for all bid posting and management processes.
    Suppliers must create an account on Ariba Discovery to view and submit bids. There is no charge to the supplier.

  • Q: I’d like to meet with a Senior Buyer in person to discuss what my business has to offer. How do I set up a meeting?
    A: Just contact the Senior Buyer who handles your commodity to set up a meeting time. A list of Purchasing Agents and their commodity responsibilities can be found in our Category Buyer List.
  • Q: How can I find out which Senior Buyer handles my commodity?
    A: A list of Senior Buyers and their commodity responsibilities can be found in our Category Buyer List.
  • Q: Is Ohio State tax exempt?
    A: Yes, tax exempt certificates are available from the Office of the Controller.
  • Q: Whom should I contact for a price or product change on a Purchase Order?
    A: If a change on a purchase order submitted to your company is necessary, you should contact the appropriate Senior Buyer to authorize the change before it is made. The Senior Buyer’s name and contact information is shown on the top right of the purchase order.

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Faculty and Staff
  • Q: How long will it take to process my requisition?
    A: The time it takes to process your requisition to a Purchase Order will depend on how long it takes to go through the departmental workflow approval in the Financials system as well as on the nature of the item(s) you are purchasing. Once the requisition has been approved at the departmental level, you may use the Procurement Inquiry pages to view status.
  • Q: How can I find out if my requisition has been approved?
    A: You can check the status of your order in the Financials system by using the Procurement Inquiry Home page.
    When the order has been dispatched it will be available at the inquiry page.
    If the order has reached Purchasing but has not yet been approved check the activity comments in the more drop down box.

  • Q: The supplier has not received my Purchase Order. What should I do?
    A: First, follow the steps outlined in the answer above to check Financials system to make sure the purchase order has been dispatched. If it has been dispatched and the vendor has not received it, contact the appropriate Senior Buyer.
  • Q: What types of requisitions require special approval?
    A: Some categories require additional approval due to the nature of the purchase. Refer to the Purchasing Policy (PDF) to see a list of special approval categories.
  • Q: Whom should I contact if I am having trouble entering a requisition into the Financials system?
    A: The step by step instructions for entering a requisition in the Financials system are available at the Financials Assist. If you are having technical questions contact OIT Support at 8-HELP.
  • Q: How do I know which Senior Buyer handles my commodity?
    A: A list of Senior Buyers and their commodity responsibilities can be found in our Category Buyer List.
  • Q: Is there an approved supplier list for the University?
    A: While there is no approved supplier list, each Senior Buyer does have knowledge of contract suppliers. You should contact the appropriate Senior Buyer for this information. Also, please be sure to utilize the University Contracts Book whenever possible.
  • Q: Where can I find a list of Ohio State’s contracts?
    A: Ohio State’s contracts can be found in the Purchase to Payment Process, How To Buy section of this web site.
  • Q: What is E and I ?
    A: The Educational and Institutional Cooperative (E&I) is a buying cooperative that colleges, universities, hospitals, and health care institutions may join to combine their buying power and aggregate spend. Ohio State is a member of E & I.
  • Q: What are state contracts?
    A: The State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services competitively bids and awards contracts for a variety of goods and services throughout the year. As an instrumentality of the state, the University has the option to utilize these contracts when advantageous.
  • Q: Why must I have a person's name and telephone number from our department listed on a Requisition that I create?
    A: When a requisitioner provides complete department contact information it is helpful to the vendor, as well as Purchasing, Receiving and Accounts Payable in the event there is an issue with your order.
  • Q: How does the bidding process work?
    A: Bids are obtained from two or more suppliers when the estimated value of the purchase is $25,000 or more for goods and $50,000 or more for services, unless the items can be obtained under existing contracts. Bid thresholds are established by the University’s Board of Trustees. When this occurs, Purchasing will post a request to invite suppliers to bid. Once the bids are received, it is the responsibility of Purchasing to award the Purchase Order to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. When choosing a supplier, Purchasing may consider factors other than price. Complete the Bid Preparation Form and contact the appropriate Senior Buyer if you have questions about a particular purchase or bid.
  • Q: I have a supplier’s agreement that needs to be signed. What should I do?
    A: You should forward any agreement requiring signature to Purchasing for signature and include the requisition number that corresponds to it. Ohio State employees are not authorized to sign supplier agreements on behalf of the University. All contractual documents must be signed by a University official as authorized by the Board of Trustees to contractually bind the University.
  • Q: What happens if there are no competitive sources available for my purchase or if there is a reason why my purchase cannot be bid?
    A: In sole source situations, where there are no competitive sources available, the requester must provide documentation to Purchasing by completing a Request for Waiver of Competitive Bid form. The Waiver of Competitive Bid form is also required when an emergency or economic reason exists.
    The Request for Waiver of Competitive Bid form is available electronically as a PDF document.

  • Q: I need to return an item that was purchased on a purchase order. How should I do it?
    A: The Receiving Department should be contacted for all shipments received through their operation. Receiving will handle all aspects of the return including contacting the supplier to obtain a RA (return authorization form) number. If you need assistance with this process, please contact the Service Center at 2-2694.
  • Q: What should I do if I do not receive an item that was purchased on a purchase order?
    A: First, contact the supplier to see if the item was shipped. If it was, get the tracking number from the supplier. Check the tracking number on the shipping carrier’s web site to see where the item is.
  • Q: My order was received damaged - what do I do?
    A: Call the vendor immediately. Save the carton, all packing material, freight bill and packing slip, ask for an inspection by the shipper of the goods. If the item was received through the Receiving department they will handle the task for you.

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