Purchase Goods and Services

A number of programs and services are available to facilitate the acquisition of goods and services for the University of Alberta community. These programs are designed to:

  • Reduce overall cost
  • Streamline processes and improve efficiency
  • Ensure policy compliance and enhance accountability

The primary purchasing method at the University of Alberta is SupplyNet. Corporate Purchasing Cards can be used for eligible low dollar purchases that are not available from Preferred Suppliers and that do not require a SupplyNet Purchase Order.

First Choice - Preferred Suppliers

The first choice for the purchase of goods and services must be the university’s Preferred Suppliers, who have negotiated contracts to reduce the university’s total cost and administrative effort. To place an order, see Preferred Suppliers, note that most Preferred Supplier orders are placed in SupplyNet.

Goods and services not available from a Preferred Supplier

For goods or services that are not available from a Preferred Supplier, the thresholds below determine the acquisition method and associated administrative process.

Under $5,000

SupplyNet and Corporate Purchasing Card are options to purchase goods and services in this category. See below for guidelines.

Purchasing Methods
SupplyNet PO Corporate Purchasing Card
  • Most Orders use this method
  • Contract for Services
  • Purchases where PCard is not an option and the Supplier accepts a PO (e.g. restricted or controlled goods - see eligible and ineligible expenses.)  
  • Memberships and subscriptions
    (not licensing)
  • Registrations
  • Catering and hosting
    (with unit approval)
  • Books
  • On-line and and other allowable purchases where the Supplier accepts credit cards and a SupplyNet PO is neither practical nor warranted
$5,000 - $19,999

A SupplyNet Purchase Order is required.
For purchases of goods and services between $5,000 and $19,999, it is recommended to obtain more than one quote.

Note: SupplyNet Requisitions below $20,000 (below $10,000 until March 31, 2022) are emailed directly to the Supplier after Budget Owner Approval and do not route to PCM (some exceptions exist, e.g. restricted commodity routing - software, New Supplier Set-up etc).

$20,000 - $74,999

A SupplyNet Purchase Order is required. Effective April 1, 2022, for purchases of goods and services between $20,000 and $74,999, a minimum of two supplier quotations are required, unless the purchase is made from Preferred Suppliers or when a purchase relates to an existing contract renewal or extension. See Multiple Quote Process.

Note: All SupplyNet requisitions $20,000 and above will route to PCM for final review and approval before a PO is issued.

$75,000 and above

To be compliant with Trade Agreements and Legislation, purchases in this threshold (above $75,000 for goods and services or above $200,000 for construction) must be publicly tendered in a competitive bid process, and referred to PCM. See Competitive Bid Process.

Note: All SupplyNet requisitions in this category will route to PCM after Budget Owner Approval for further review and processing.

SupplyNet Requester Access and Corporate Purchasing Card Access

It is recommended that departments authorize the following:

  • SupplyNet Requester Access for employees who anticipate to place 5+ SupplyNet Orders annually from Preferred and/or other Suppliers. 
  • A Corporate Purchasing Card for employees who regularly purchase low dollar goods or services that are not available from Preferred Suppliers and that do not require a SupplyNet PO.

Individuals who procure infrequently and do not require the above access are encouraged to work with their Supervisor, Academic Department Manager, Finance Partner or Faculty General Manager to determine the process to purchase goods and services.

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Purchasing Methods

Once access requirements have been determined, the next step is to determine the appropriate purchasing method.

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