Purchase Requests will be processed within 1 business day after final submission to CNI. Additional processing time may be needed depending on the responsiveness of the vendor. Due to the complexity of contracts and maintenance agreements, more time may be required to process these requests. However, the initial process will begin in 1 business day.


P-Card purchase orders can be placed immediately and apply to most orders under $2,500 not including maintenance contracts or on-site labor (other restrictions apply per the CU P-Card Policy).

CU Purchase orders are required for all maintenance contracts, onsite work, and orders over $2,500. These orders require additional time for processing.

Central Purchasing will process purchase orders from University Preferred Vendors (Fisher Scientific, Dell, Tech Air, and VWR) within 2 days, excluding contracts and agreements.

For all other vendors the process can take up to 6 weeks.


The following should be included prior to submission:

  • Purchases up to $2,500 require 1 quote

  • Purchases from $2,501 to $9,999 require 2 competitive quotes

  • Purchases $10,000 and greater require 3 competitive quotes

  • Quotes must be valid for at least 15 days

  • Insurance Certificates- certificates of insurance (COI) ensure that vendors are properly covered in the event of any incident

  • If work is being conducted on site, a copy of the companies COI must be provided prior to work commencing. This is a university requirement.

  • COI must not expire within 3 months of request


Item Descriptions- It is important to be as detailed as possible regarding the goods/services being purchased to avoid any discrepancies with the items being ordered

Quotes should be provided with all orders

All orders must be submitted through Quartzy. 


The order form must be filled out completely with the following information:

  • Vendor address, phone, and fax number, contact person

  • Item description and part number (review carefully)

  • Shipping method and cost must be included (estimated cost)

  • Complete accounting information must be listed

  • Requestor must include their name and email on request

  • Authorized signature/email from PI needed to process the order

Proprietary Purchases- goods and services only provided by one vendor are considered proprietary and do not require competitive bids. For these purchases, a Sole Source Justification Form must be provided.

Competitive Quotes- required for non-proprietary orders greater than $2,501 (with the exception of onsite maintenance and UWPA vendors). If the lowest bid is not accepted, a Sole Source Justification Form must be provided.

PROPER BUSINESS JUSTIFICATIONS- The short description is not a business justification. It should include specific information relating to the purchase including but not limited to the following:

  • Why are we making this purchase?

  • Why is the expense necessary?

  • What is the benefit of this purchase?

  • The short description is not a business justification


Please make sure the PI is cc’d on the email to and/or a PDF copy of an email approval is attached to all order requests.


For safety, please complete the Chemical Order Form for all chemical orders. Chemicals are delivered to Chemical Receiving located in 200 Pupin Hall.


Timeline for New Vendor Creation: 1-2 Weeks (depending on the responsiveness of the vendor)

Documentation Required: W-9 Form, Billing Contact Information

New Vendor Questionnaire: Five Day Response Time Required


Please remember that orders submitted through the Purchasing office are not forwarded to the company the same day you hand it in. Purchasing assigns a purchase order number within 5-7 business days. However, depending on the complexity of the order, it could take longer.

For more information, please direct your questions to Attention: LaDonna Chambers at