Purchasing FAQs

What Does Procurement Services Do?
How Does the Procurement Process Work?
As an End User, What Role Do I Play in the Purchasing Process?
What am I Allowed to Purchase?
What am I Not Allowed to Purchase?
Who is Authorized to Sign a Purchase Requisition?
How Many Quotes Are Required Before I can Make a Purchase?
What If I Can Only Find One Vendor for The Product or Service I Need?
What if I Need to Place a Large Volume or Large Dollar Order?
What Do I Do if a Vendor Requires Payment with my Order?
Who will Follow Up on my Purchase Orders?
How do I Change an Order Once It Has Been Sent?
How Will I Receive the Orders That I Place?
What Can I Do to Help Procurement Expedite my Order?
What Are Your Best Practice Suggestions When It Comes to Dealing with Vendors?
How Should I Deal with Sales Representatives?
How Can I Improve My Skills as a Buyer?


What Does Procurement Services Do? 

Procurement Services strives to support the mission of Moody Bible Institute through the procurement of goods and services at competitive prices in the most efficient manner possible. Our workgroup serves all departments on the main campus, as well as Moody’s satellite locations, in all phases of the acquisition process.

  • We establish and communicate best practices for the purchase of goods and services consistent with Moody's Corporate Purchasing Policy,
  • We partner with end users to research and establish preferred vendors and products.
  • We establish and maintain vendor relationships.
  • We conduct formal bid processes for capital projects.
  • We work with the Moody Legal Department to establish contracts and ensure their compliance with Moody's requirements.
  • We coordinate delivery of orders placed by us.
  • We process invoices originating from orders placed by us.
  • We administrate the Moody Credit Card Program that allows approved buyers to acquire goods and services directly, within the limits of their authority.

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How Does the Procurement Process Work?

Purchases made by Procurement Services are typically initiated through the submittal of a Purchase Requisition. In lieu of the Purchase Requisition form, the budget owner may submit a request for purchase via email to Procurement Services. The email must contain the same information that would be included on a Purchase Requisition form.

Once a fully completed Purchase Requisition is received, Procurement Services researches the marketplace to identify a vendor best qualified to fill the requisition. The selection will take into consideration vendor qualifications, price comparisons with other vendors, terms & conditions of the purchase, and delivery schedules.

Procurement Services will not ask departments to order anything they do not want, but may recommend alternatives for consideration. The ultimate decision and responsibility for the purchase rests with the using department.

Upon receiving final approval from the requestor to proceed with a purchase, Procurement Services will place the order, coordinate the delivery, and process payment.

The procurement of on-site services requires Moody to establish a Contractual Agreement with a qualified vendor. Procurement Services assists in the development of RFP’s or RFB’s to solicit vendor bids, and works with vendors to negotiate Contracts transmitted from the Legal Department. Once contracts are fully executed, Procurement Services generates Purchase Orders authorizing the commencement of the contracted services.

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As an End User, What Role Do I Play in the Purchasing Process?

You're our customer. We are here to help and serve you. However, Procurement exists in an environment with policies and procedures that must be adhered to in order to manage resources and maintain synergy throughout the organization. High integrity and ethics in our business practices, as well as stewardship of the resources God has entrusted us with, are key. Our Board of Trustees and our donors obligate all of us to abide by them.

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What am I Allowed to Purchase?

What you are allowed to purchase depends on your role within your department. Most buyers are only allowed to place routine, small-dollar orders for products needed for their day-to-day operations. Buyers must do so within the scope of the Moody Credit Card policy. It's the end user's responsibility to know what they may or may not purchase on their own. This includes knowing Moody's preferred suppliers as well as carefully following purchasing rules outlined in the Corporate Purchasing Policy.

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What am I Not Allowed to Purchase?

Unless authority has been specifically delegated to you, you should not purchase large dollar items, capital goods or equipment, appliances, furniture, task chairs, operational or construction services, printers, computers, monitors, telephones, building supplies, janitorial supplies, vehicles, or commercial transportation. Buyers should never purchase personal use items with Moody funds.

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Who is Authorized to Sign a Purchase Requisition?

Each requisition must be signed by the individual who is responsible for the cost center and account number being charged. We refer to this person as the “budget owner.” Signature authority is assigned by the Controller's Office. If you have questions about your authority to approve a purchase or authorize payment, please contact the Controller, Linda Wahr.

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How Many Quotes Are Required Before I can Make a Purchase?

Repetitive purchases made from approved or Contract vendors that have already been through a formal competitive bid process do not require multiple quotes. All other purchases require three quotes from vendors selling the same product.

All quotes should be clearly documented by the purchaser and included with other transaction documentation. For low dollar purchases, this can be in the form of catalog pages, printouts of a Vendor’s web page with costs, e-mail quotes, etc. For higher-dollar bids, formal quotes should be obtained from the Vendor. 

If an Oracle PO is created, all quotes should be scanned with other documentation and correspondence and attached to the Oracle PO by Procurement Services. If a P-Card purchase is executed, all quotes should be scanned with other documentation and correspondence and attached to the Oracle P-Card Reconciliation by the one placing the order. If scanning capabilities are not available, paper records must be retained for potential future audit.

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What If I Can Only Find One Vendor for The Product or Service I Need?

Contact Procurement Services and request help to locate additional vendors. In the case of specialized and/or custom-designed products or services for which there is only one known or recognized product leader, the requirement for a competitive bid process may be waived. However, the reasons must be documented and approved by the budget owner on a Sole Source Justification Form. Procurement's Management will consider the justification, review it with executive management if necessary, and approve it as appropriate.

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What if I Need to Place a Large Volume or Large Dollar Order?

Capital expenditures and large dollar orders falling outside P-Card allowances should be submitted to Procurement Services on a requisition form. To avoid delays when large volume or large dollar purchases are anticipated, please involve Procurement Services early in your discussions to familiarize them with your requirements. Also allow sufficient time for formal bidding, vendor negotiations, Legal approval, and routing of required documentation. 

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What Do I Do if a Vendor Requires Payment with my Order?

If a vendor requires a deposit, down payment, or check with your order, obtain an invoice or some other kind of written documentation from the vendor and submit the invoice, along with a completed “Check Request” form, to the Accounting Department. If Procurement Services was requisitioned to place the order, they will process the check request for you so that payments can be tracked.

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Who will Follow Up on my Purchase Orders?

Order originators are responsible for following up on their own orders. Procurement Services will monitor and follow up on any orders they place. 

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How do I Change an Order Once It Has Been Sent?

All changes for orders placed by Procurement Services should be submitted and confirmed in writing (e.g., e-mail or a revised Purchase Requisition that is clearly marked as such). The written confirmation of a change should include the purchase order number, vendor's name, and the requester's name and phone number. Also included should be the reason for the change and signature of the person authorized to expend funds, if the change will increase the dollar amount previously approved for the order.

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How Will I Receive the Orders That I Place?

Central Receiving (CPO) accepts all official packages, LTL, and truck load deliveries on the Chicago campus. C.O.D. deliveries will not be accepted. Mail and small size deliveries addressed to 820 N. LaSalle Blvd are delivered via a postal service mail carrier.

In most cases, CPO personnel will transport your order from the receiving dock to a designated receiving area in your department. However, if the delivery is too large for CPO personnel, or the delivery will need to be assembled and/or installed, you will need to complete an on-line work order for assistance from the Facilities Department. Instructions for completing a work order are on the Facilities website.

If an order placed by Procurement Services on your behalf is delivered directly to you, please notify Procurement Services by phone or email that the items ordered have arrived. Procurement will then be able to process a receipt in the Oracle System. This critical step provides needed documentation for Accounts Payable to pay for goods or services received.

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What Can I Do to Help Procurement Expedite my Order?

  • Communicate your delivery expectations up front and let us know the reasons you need your order expedited.
  • Involve Procurement Services early in the discussion stages of a purchase. This will prevent loss of time in circling back to communicate your specifications and avoid delays caused by missed steps.
  • Plan ahead. Most goods and services can be obtained well in advance of your needs. Through advance planning, you will be able to avoid short-falls that might occur without projection. Please work with us to determine both current and future needs, thus ensuring timely purchase.
  • Call us if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help and may be able to offer valuable assistance, including individualized training, to ensure satisfactory acquisition of the products and services you need. Though most of the time you are the product expert, we can add value by providing negotiating skills, consolidating orders for goods and services needed by more than one department, or pointing you to additional suppliers.

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What Are Your Best Practice Suggestions When It Comes to Dealing with Vendors?

When it comes to dealing with vendors, we offer these tips: 

  • If you receive an unsolicited cold call from a vendor wanting to introduce themselves to Moody, please refer them to the Procurement Services department.
  • Only contact vendors related to the products and services which you are authorized to purchase directly.
  • Expand your supplier base. Don't stick with long-established sources assuming that they are still giving you the best deal. Broader choices and multiple views will help you make the best selection, even if it does bring you back to that established vendor.
  • Provide the same information to all vendors. Write out the questions and/or information you will provide to each vendor. This ensures all vendors are providing you information based on equal facts. In Procurement we call this comparing "apples to apples." It is only fair that you give vendors an equal opportunity to compete for our business.
  • When considering value, look at the total cost of ownership: original cost, maintenance, trade-in, operating costs, useful life, etc.
  • Ask for product demonstrations. Most vendors will be happy to comply.
  • Thoughtfully prepare your specifications in writing for the vendor. Ask yourself what you need the product or service to DO for you. Do your research. Contact Procurement Services for help in specification or bid preparation. Often, we've already dealt with a need similar to yours and can help avoid "remaking the wheel."
  • If any vendor wants you to sign an order, a letter of intent, contract, lease, or any type of document, DON'T. Direct them to Procurement Services. Only authorized individuals may obligate the Institute in this way. This protects you and the Institute.
  • If the vendor is to provide a "service" on campus, they will need to provide an Insurance Certificate showing that their insurance coverage adequately protects MBI while performing the service. The vendor needs to factor this cost into their pricing. Contact Procurement to obtain information on the required levels of insurance coverage.
  • If you think you've found a better ... or more economical source of supply, tell us so that the entire organization can benefit. We rely on you for this kind of help. 

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How Should I Deal with Sales Representatives?

Sales representatives provide valuable information about their products and services. We want to remain open to doing business with any vendor that can potentially meet our need. Treating each equally, with fairness and respect, is the best way to build a successful rapport. At the same time, it's important to realize that there are some unscrupulous individuals who may also try to take advantage of MBI. Please keep Procurement informed about your dealings with vendors. If they have not contacted us yet, make sure they do.

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How Can I Improve My Skills as a Buyer?

Familiarize yourself with the Procurement Services website and take advantage of its features. There are many resources here to help you understand best practices and locate the best sources for the things you need.

Request an individual or group training session. Procurement Services would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you, or conduct a workshop for your entire department. If you let us know what you would like to cover, we will design the session for your specific needs.

Come visit us. Procurement Services is happy to receive walk-in visitors. Feel free to stop by, or call ahead, and let us know how we can help.

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