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Buying Decision Chart

The Buying Decision Chart, indexed by supplier and commodity purchase type, is designed to assist faculty and staff in determining the appropriate authorized buying method for products and services required by the institution. The BEN Financials Commodity Matrix provides a more detailed view of authorized buying methods by specific commodity.

Buying Method Indexed by Commodity Purchase Type

Commodity Purchase Type Description Buying Method Approval Requirements
Advertising Print, broadcast, web, transit, and outdoor advertising Journal - 26 Digit Budget Account Number Prior Approval by an Appropriate School or Center Business Administrator
Automotive Fuel & Repairs Fuel and repairs for University owned vehicles Wright Express Fleet Fuel Card Point-of-Demand Approval by Authorized Cardholder
Catering Services An Approved Caterer must be used for all on-campus events BEN Buys Purchase Order School/Center PO Manager approval under $5,000, Purchasing approval over $5,000
Equipment Maintenance Agreements All annual equipment maintenance agreements (excluding copier and computers) require competitive quote from Specialty Underwriters BEN Buys Purchase Order School/Center PO Manager approval under $5,000, Purchasing approval over $5,000
Express Shipping Services All outbound ground, air, and international express shipping service UPS Express Shipping System Requires School/Center senior business administrator approval to become an authorized shipper
Hazardous & Radioactive Materials All purchases of hazardous and radioactive materials requirements must be approved in advance by EHRS BEN Buys Purchase Order School/Center PO Manager approval under $5,000, Purchasing approval over $5,000
Laboratory Animals All laboratory animals must be ordered by ULAR BEN Buys Purchase Order School/Center PO Manager approval under $5,000, Purchasing approval over $5,000
Stationery - Penn Branded Products Penn branded stationery (letterhead, business cards, envelopes, labels, and note pads) BEN Buy Purchase Order School/Center PO Manager approval under $5,000, Purchasing approval over $5,000
Travel and Entertainment Expense School and Center authorized faculty and staff business travel and entertainment costs. Bank of America Travel Card Point-of-Demand Approval by Authorized Cardholder

Buying Method Indexed by Supplier Purchase Type

Supplier Purchase Type Description Buying Method Approval Requirements
Preferred Contract and Penn Marketplace Suppliers Most commonly ordered products and services - competitive bidding requirement waived for purchases of $5,000 or more BEN Buys Purchase Order School/Center PO Manager approval under $5,000, Purchasing approval over $5,000
Non-Contract BEN Buys Approved Suppliers General products and services - competitive bids required for purchases with an aggregate cost of $5,000 or more BEN Buys Purchase Order or MasterCard Purchasing Card Same as above or Point-of-Demand Approval by Authorized Cardholder
Suppliers not Available in the BEN Buys Approved Suppliers Generally low dollar one time purchases of products and services MasterCard Purchasing Card Point-of-Demand Approval by Authorized Cardholder
Gasoline & Vehicle Repair Stations Fuel and repairs for University owned vehicles Wright Express Fleet Fuel Card Point-of-Demand Approval by Authorized Cardholder
Purchasing Card Enabled Supplier Non-marketplace contract suppliers with configurable products, key suppliers that do not accept a purchase order, or for cardholders that do not have access to BEN Buys MasterCard Purchasing Card Point-of-Demand Approval by Authorized Cardholder
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