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Purchasing Tips

Frequently Asked Questions – Buying Stuff

How Do I Buy Stuff?

The short answer is: use this Requisition Form and give it to your admin assistant.

(1) Complete a current version of the Requisition Form. Please do not use older versions. To dramatically increase your popularity, do whatever you can to complete the form electronically (this also allows you to save it and reuse it).

(2) Give it to your departmental admin assistant. If they are not there, leave it on their desk. If they are out or it is an urgent order, leave a COPY for your departmental admin and give the requisition directly to the stockroom. In order for the departmental admins to fulfill their responsibilities, they HAVE to have a copy of all orders.

  • If you are charging to a departmental budget or someone elses funding source, make sure that you are within acceptable spending limits. For example, larger departmental purchases require sign-off by the chair.
  • Please plan ahead! Last minute requests place an extra burden on the administrative/stockroom function. The level of service could go up, if we had less last-minute requests to deal with.
  • Please be clear on your form, write legibly, type, give detailed product info, include approximate price, vendor phone or web address, etc. Anything we can do to avoid errors up-front saves a lot of time downstream.

While we make ongoing efforts to improve our budget tracking, our reports can never be better than the quality of the data that we put into the system. Your efforts on following this process for placing orders will save everybody time and improve the quality of budget reports.

For Smith SURF students – How Do I Spend My Supply Budget?

If you have been informed that you have a supply budget for the summer, you spend it by filling out the Requisition Form and bringing it to one of the stockrooms (or their mailbox). Here is some help on the mandatory fields:

  • Requisition Date – the date you submit this form
  • Funding source (the founding source for your fellowship, e.g. simply HHMI SURF
  • Deliver to – the room number item should be delivered to (you may want to also give alternative name, e.g. staff person or faculty member, if you might not be there)
  • Delivery date – the date you hope to receive the item ordered
  • Vendor info – you need to specify exactly which vendor to use (ask faculty or lab instructors)
  • Quantity, Description, Unit Price, and Extension fields.
  • (1) Add up total order at the end of form, and (2) write “SURF” and your name on the form – legibly(!)

If you want to buy something at the the Smith Computer Store, put it on a Requisition Form, have it signed off by Betty or Erin in the stockroom, and then take it to the Computer Store.

If you have expenses that do not go through the Stockroom or Computer Store, submit an Expense Reimbursement Form (including original receipts taped to a blank piece of 8.5*11 paper) in Burton 117.

For SSEP Faculty- How do I spend my instructional supply budget?

SSEP faculty and staff can order supplies through the Science Center stockroom just as they do throughout the academic year: Fill out a Requisition Form and give it to your departmental assistant.

All orders for the SSEP should be charged to the SSEP org and account numbers: 4820-71601. Once an order has been processed, copies of each paid invoice or expenditure are sent by the stockroom to Carla Cooke in Wright Hall 011, so that she can keep track of the faculty’s spending and reconcile the records in Banner.

In the event that a faculty/staff member needs to be reimbursed for an out-of-pocket expense for the SSEP, please complete and sign an expense reimbursement form,
attach receipts, and forward to Carla Cooke in Wright Hall 011 for further processing.

How do I buy furniture?

Furniture is generally bought by departmental assistants based on a funding request submitted directly to the Dean for Academic Development (the Science Center does not have a budget for furniture). Also, you can ask the Associate Director for help. Generally, the college buys furniture from Conklin Furniture in Holyoke, MA, 1 800-817-1187. Our contact is Jim McDonald. Many individual items can also be found at W.B.Mason (generally cheaper).

Where can I buy office supplies or see a catalog of what’s available?

You can find a selection of basic office supplies in Burton 103 or Ford 255. The current office supplies vendor for the Science Center is W.B.Mason. If you need help, please ask your departmental assistant.

How do I get things mailed/shipped to me?

Make sure the sender has your accurate name. If you are a student, please use a faculty or staff members name on shipments to the Science Center. If you wish, putting a copy of the order or sales invoice in the Stockroom mailbox with the notation “CONFIRMING ONLY” or “ALREADY ORDERED” will help the Stockroom anticipate your shipment. Use the following address:

To be delivered via Sabin Reed stockroom or Burton mail delivery and distributed to Burton, Sabin Reed McConnell or Bass:

Faculty/Staff Name
Smith College
Clark Science Center
44 College Lane
Northampton, MA 01063

To be delivered via Ford Hall Stockroom or Ford Mail delivery:

Faculty/Staff Name
Smith College
Clark Science Center
100 Green Street
Northampton, MA 01063

If there is not room for 5 lines then “Clark Science Center” can be removed.