Thank you!

We have been faced with challenging times since Spring Break.  The Purchasing staff is here to help you through these ongoing challenges.  We want to thank our campus partners for your willingness to analyze your needs and prioritize your purchases during this time of uncertainty.  Purchasing is continuing to assist with orders, provide guidance, and bid essential purchases as needed.  Please take this time to look at and plan for future needs and projects.  This will allow you to be ahead of the game when normal returns.  Most of all, thank you for being good partners and stay safe.

I’m Not Sure Who to Contact?

If you’re unsure of which Senior Buyer you need to contact regarding a particular purchase, you can visit Purchasing’s Senior Buyer Commodities list within our staff directory.  Each Senior Buyer is listed along with their assigned commodities.  If this information does not quickly identify who to contact due to the commodity being unique or unusual, please contact any Senior Buyer or for assistance.

Purchase or Payment Request Approval Forms Submittal Guidance

As directed by Matthew Fajack and Dr. Kevin Whitaker, the University is continuing to eliminate all non-essential or discretionary spending until further notice.  All purchase and payment requests over $5,000 except those funded by research contracts or grants are required to go through additional levels of approval using DocuSign Purchasing and Payment Request forms.  There are multiple approval forms in order to accommodate approval authority thresholds and final approving authority.  Campus was previously advised to contact a Purchasing Senior Buyer for the appropriate approval form link since the forms were being routinely updated to address the needs of both campus leadership and campus users.   We are now in a position to communicate the different scenarios and approval form links which should help alleviate submittals on the incorrect form.  Please see scenarios and approval form links below.  Please continue to contact Procurement Services with any questions regarding the approval forms.

Purchase or Payment Request Approval Forms:

Tips to ensure a fast review of your approval form submittal:

  • Please provide a description that someone not familiar with your product or service will be able to easily understand.
  • Please provide a detailed explanation for the “why is this expenditure essential” question during this time of restricted spending.
  • Please attach any documentation in the attachment section that may be helpful to reviewers (e.g. associated contract, email correspondence, invoice, etc.)
  • The approval form is for expenditure review only and should not be misconstrued as Purchasing compliance approval. All University Purchasing policies and guidelines remain in effect during this time and should be followed before order placement.
  • Please include the approved form with your supporting documentation for payment or reconciliation.

COVID-19 Purchasing Information and Best Practices

  • Deliveries to Campus
    • The University will continue to accept deliveries during this time as follows:
    • UPS and FedEx – All deliveries to campus will be redirected automatically by the carriers to Central Receiving. Once received, Central Receiving will provide notification to the recipients.  Recipients can contact Central Receiving to either arrange for package pick-up or arrange for delivery by UA Logistics.
    • USPS – All deliveries to campus will be redirected to Mail Services automatically by USPS as normal, then distributed to recipients through departmental coordination.
  • Purchasing Guidelines
    • As directed by Matthew Fajack and Dr. Kevin Whitaker, the University is continuing to eliminate all non-essential or discretionary spending until further notice.  All purchase and payment requests over $5,000 except those funded by research contracts or grants are required to go through additional levels of approval using DocuSign Purchasing and Payment Request forms.  Please refer to Purchase or Payment Request Approval Forms Submittal Guidance for additional information.
    • When essential purchases are required, all typical UA Purchasing Guidelines should continue to be followed during this time.  See summary below:
      • Vendor Selection
        • Use approved contract vendors whenever possible. A list of all current contract vendors with both Purchasing buyer and vendor contact information can be found on the Approved Contracts webpage.
      • Purchases Over $15,000 Not Available from Contract Vendor
      • Order Placement
        • Use P-Card whenever accepted
        • Purchase Orders through buyBAMA can be used when appropriate. Approvals and issuance to vendors will occur electronically as normal.
      • Payment
        • Use P-Card whenever accepted for essential purchases only.
        • Invoices against purchase orders will continue to be processed during this time, although delays should be expected. Please advise vendors to submit invoices against purchase orders by email to to help expedite payment.
        • Invoices to be paid through Concur should be submitted as normal.
        • Businesss purposes for all payment methods should support the essential nature of the expenditure.
  • Questions

2020 Contract Vendor Fair – Cancelled

The 2020 Contract Vendor Fair will be held Tuesday, May 19, 2020 in the Ferguson Center Ballroom from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Lunch will be provided and many of our current Contract Vendors will be on hand to showcase the products and services they provide for the University. For additional information, including participating vendors, please view our Vendor Fair Website. Add the date to your calendar now. We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions please email Jana Weaver.

Add the Contract Vendor Fair to your Outlook Calendar

Receiving for your Purchase Order

The University of Alabama’s preferred method of payment, when appropriate, is the use of the University’s P-card.  However, in some cases there is a need to issue a Purchase Order for a non-catalog item through BuyBama.  Please remember when issuing a purchase order, you will be required to complete Receiving through BuyBama once the order arrives.  It is very important that all packages received be opened immediately and inspected to ensure the items are correct and in good condition.  Receiving should be completed immediately upon satisfactory receipt and inspection of the items ordered so the University can meet our obligation of prompt payment.  Payment for these items cannot be released until you have completed the Receiving process.  Please see this link for additional information and guidance when completing Receiving.

Amazon Business Catalog on buyBAMA

Welcome back after a well-deserved Holiday Break.  As you begin the new year at UA, we want to remind you that UA now has a contract in place with Amazon Business.  Amazon Business has been added as a Catalog Vendor on buyBAMA!  Purchasing has established a centralized Amazon Business account for University Faculty and Staff to use as a secondary contract vendor to other UA Approved Contract Vendors.  Please review our Amazon Information webpage for enrollment instructions and other important details prior to punching out the first time and attempting to place an order within Amazon Business.  We hope this agreement with Amazon Business provides great benefit to your area.

Preparing for the Holiday Break

The holidays will be here before we realize.  It is only 7 weeks before the holiday break.  Do you have a project that you need to complete before the holidays or items that need to be ordered and received before the holiday break?  Please get ahead of the crowd and begin planning your projects and purchases now.  This will allow you to get your project scheduled and long lead time items ordered to ensure your project goes smoothly and is completed on time.  Please avoid waiting until the week before the break whenever possible.  Please contact the appropriate Senior Buyer to assist with your bid requests and discuss any projects that you have planned in the near future.  Please call 348-5230 with any questions.

Coming Soon – Amazon Business as a Catalog Vendor on buyBAMA

We are excited to announce that Purchasing will be adding Amazon Business as a Catalog Vendor on buyBAMA later this month! Purchasing has established a centralized Amazon Business account for University Faculty and Staff to use as a secondary contract vendor to other UA Approved Contract Vendors.

There are many benefits that come with this new account, including:

  • FREE two-day shipping on all Amazon Prime eligible items at no extra cost to your department;
  • Automatic sales tax exemption on eligible items sold by LLC and accepting resellers;
  • Competitive Amazon Business pricing;
  • Access to a dedicated Amazon Business customer service team;
  • And much more!

We will be sending additional information out very soon. Please note that a buyBAMA account will be required to access the Amazon Business catalog.  If you are not currently registered in buyBAMA please submit a buyBAMA Request Access Form.

”Amazon Business

Space Heaters

It’s still summer in Tuscaloosa, but cooler weather will arrive eventually. When the weather turns cooler, we begin to see requests for space heaters from areas that have issues heating their office adequately.

The University’s Energy Management Department should be contacted by the Building Representative if the central heating system is incapable of meeting comfort requirements or if a space heater is to be used to offset excessively cool areas in a space. State regulations require that the University follow ASHRAE Standard 90.1, which says that heating and cooling are not allowed simultaneously in the same space for the sole purpose of achieving comfort. Excessive cooling of a space on campus below the summertime University Temperature Guidelines should be reported to University Facilities so that air-conditioning levels can be adjusted. Use of space heaters is a potential fire hazard and consumes excessive amounts of electricity. The issue of energy efficiency is also important — electric space heaters are a very costly means of heating. If a member of the campus community feels that a space heater is necessary for adequate warmth, this may indicate that the central heating system needs repair. If you have questions regarding heating or cooling your space, please contact Energy Management.

VWR Scientific Vendor Show

Tuesday, October 1, 2019, is the Scientific Vendor Show presented by VWR International and UA Purchasing. We have over 20 vendors participating this year. The event will be at the Ferguson Center Ballroom (3rd Floor) from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Faculty, Grad Students and Staff in the Education, Scientific and Engineering Departments are welcome to attend. Please join us for lunch and for the chance to win prizes!