Purchase orders should be used when:
- Terms of the purchase are negotiable
- On-site services will be provided (e.g., installation; or the purchase is for on-site services only)
- Value of products exceeds $10,000
- Product defects may not be known immediately (e.g., poor construction on furniture)
- The purchase or use of chemicals is involved (the PO requires that the vendor provide MSDSs with the product)
Note: There may be vendors with whom it would be better to use an "independent contractor" agreement with, and pay the "work orders" with purchase cards.
Purchase Orders require the vendor to provide a Certificate of Insurance. The department initiating the agreement is responsible for collecting the certificate of insurance and making sure that it is current, meets the PO requirements, and is updated if it expires during the period in which the work is being done. For more information see Managing Contracts.
Both sides of the Purchase Order must be printed - preferable to print the PO as a double-sided document. Mark the Original as "Original" and any photocopies as "Copy", but always copy both sides for every copy.
See Guidelines: When to use what agreement if you have questions about what is the best method to secure the agreement.
- Purchase orders are documents with third parties.
- Purchase Requisitions are internal documents.
For more information, see Purchasing.