Penn Purchasing Logo Image with Penn Shield
Doing Business with Penn P2P Supplier Overview
Procure-to-Pay Supplier Overview

Purchasing Process
BEN Buys and the Penn Marketplace
Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Document Transmission Processes
MasterCard Purchasing Card
Payment Process
Purchasing Order Shipping and Freight Terms

Purchasing Process

University faculty and staff are required to conduct all purchase transactions using one of the University's two authorized buying methods listed below and in accordance with all University Procurement and Disbursement Financial Policies. At no time should a supplier accept a University purchase requirement without receipt of an official University of Pennsylvania purchase order number (a seven digit numeric order number) or a MasterCard purchasing credit card number.

Shipment of products to the University, or services performed by a supplier without prior receipt of a University of Pennsylvania purchase order number or purchasing credit card number will be considered a gift to the University without any additional obligation on part of the University. At no time is the supplier authorized to ship product to or perform service at a location other than what is stated on the official University purchase order or requested at the point-of-sale by the authorized purchasing card cardholder.

The University of Pennsylvania will authorize a supplier to change an original purchase order via a formal University purchase order change or cancellation notification. No change to an original University purchase order shall be initiated by the supplier without receipt of written approval of the University of Pennsylvania Purchasing Services department. On rare occasions and for good cause, the University, by written notice stating the extent and effective date, may terminate a purchase order in whole or in part for the seller's default if the seller refuses to comply with the provisions of a purchase order or fails to make progress so as to endanger performance and does not cure such failure within a reasonable period of time; or when deemed to be in the best interest of the University of Pennsylvania.

Suppliers may provide demonstrator or loaner equipment for the purpose of evaluation and/or examination by a University department. This is done entirely at the option of the supplier, with no commitment to the University of Pennsylvania. An official no-charge University of Pennsylvania purchase order is to be issued by the evaluating department to document the evaluation process and loaner equipment to be delivered to or installed on campus.

Substitutions of items specified in a University purchase order by the supplier are not permitted without prior written approval from Purchasing Services.

Purchasing Services is authorized to sign all supplier contracts/agreements for products and services to be provided by a supplier. University of Pennsylvania faculty and staff are not permitted to sign a supplier document (contract and/or agreement). All formal documents must be presented to Purchasing Services, prior to the acceptance of a formal University of Pennsylvania purchase order, for review and approval by an authorized purchasing representative in Purchasing Services.

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BEN Buys and the Penn Marketplace

The University utilizes a campus-wide electronic purchasing system (Ben Buys) and internet-based private marketplace (Penn Marketplace) where suppliers and customers at Penn share product information and conduct business. The Penn Marketplace is an online private supplier marketplace where Penn faculty and staff come to buy products and services. By having your products in the Penn Marketplace, your customers at Penn use the correct information to order, and your invoice matches up with the purchase order. The results are a streamlined automated purchase-to-pay process that eliminates cumbersome paperwork and administrative effort, saves time and resources, and accelerates payment.

Penn Marketplace participating suppliers and manufacturers can showcase their corporate news, products and services, and Penn specific promotions to all BEN Buys purchasing system users via the Supplier Showcase, which is just one click away from the BEN Buys Requisition Homepage. The Supplier Showcase is a significant competitive advantage to those suppliers and manufacturers that choose to participate in this innovative marketing initiative.

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Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Document Transmission Processes

The University of Pennsylvania  utilizes several formats to transmit Purchase Orders and receive supplier invoices.

OpenText Information Exchange is Penn's integration partner for electronic transmission of purchase orders and supplier invoices. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the process in which University selected suppliers electronically receive University purchase orders to reduce order cycle time and transmit supplier invoice information to Penn thereby reducing the costs associated with the handling and processing of paper. EDI is ideally suited for supplier relationships that produce a high volume of low dollar invoices. The Purchasing Services eBusiness team will work with high transaction volume suppliers to review our EDI requirements and facilitate an EDI ramping project.

Penn also utilizes the Opentext solution for automated purchase order delivery for non-electronic transmission of Purchase Orders using the Rightfax product.  Purchase orders are created and approved in BEN Buys and automatically faxed or emailed to the suppliers upon approval.

If not submitting invoices via EDI or email,  supplier invoices must be submitted directly to the Accounts Payable department.  Click here for full instructions.

At no time is a supplier authorized to submit a purchase order invoice directly to an individual or the ordering department.

Please note that purchase order invoices submitted directly to an individual or department instead of Penn's Accounts Payable department create payment delays, administrative rework for the buyer and seller, and duplicate payments. Submitting purchase order invoices to a location other than the Accounts Payable department will jeopardize the supplier's future business relationship with Penn.

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MasterCard Purchasing Card

The Purchasing Card complements the BEN Buys Purchasing System, the University's primary authorized buying method, and enables authorized cardholders to make incidental, low dollar purchases (< $1,000) of non-restricted products and services from non-restricted external suppliers in accordance with University financial policies and any school or center-specific internal procedures.

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Payment Process

The University's Accounts Payable department is responsible for processing all supplier purchase order invoices for payment within agreed upon payment terms. The University's standard payment term is "Net 30 Days" from the date of the invoice. Purchasing Services is the only University organization authorized to negotiate exceptions to the University's standard business terms and conditions. In addition to the University's standard payment method by University check, suppliers can participate in the Bank of America ePayables electronic payment solution that will streamline and automate the invoice payment process.

Our approved suppliers can benefit with the use of the ePayables credit card payment method to enhance their cash flow, with a more secure payment process, elimination of paper checks and associated costs and support’s Penn Green Purchasing initiative.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of ePayables at Penn, how it works, and answers to frequently asked questions. Please direct supplier enablement questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (Director of eBusiness) in Purchasing Services and invoice processing questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in Accounts Payable.

The University will attempt to take all prompt pay discounts offered by the supplier. Supplier payment is made by means of an official University check in the amount due. University suppliers are to submit purchase order invoices in a timely manner upon shipment of products or authorized services.

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Purchase Order Shipping & Freight Terms

University purchase order shipping and freight terms are established by Purchasing Services when adding a new supplier to the BEN Buys Approved Supplier Database. The Purchase Order Shipping & Freight Terms listed below establishes responsibility for ownership of products during transit and responsibility for related shipping charges and claims. Purchasing Services will attempt to negotiate the more favorable terms to eliminate supplier shipping charges during negotiations with Approved Contract Suppliers.

 

University Standard Shipping & Freight Term Risk & Responsibility
FOB Destination, Freight Prepaid Seller - Pays freight charges
Seller - Bears freight charges
Seller - Owns goods in transit
Seller - Files claims (if any)

Shipping

The University standard shipping term is "FOB Destination", which means that title to the material passes from the Seller to the University when the freight carrier delivers the material to the University ship-to location indicated on each purchase order.

Freight

University purchase order related freight terms are "Freight Prepaid" which means that freight charges are prepaid by the Seller. Unless negotiated into the cost of products with contract suppliers, the freight charges are then added to the invoice as a separate charge.

Alternate Terms

Purchasing Services will only consider alternate terms if deemed in the best interest of the University. Purchase Services is the only organization authorized to establish new or modify existing purchase order shipping and freight terms.

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