What is a Blanket Purchase Order?

A Blanket Purchase Order (BPO) is  the preferred method for placing orders which will require multiple payments over a period of time. Examples of BPO's are: standing orders, maintenance/service contracts, and open orders.

When to use:

  • The goods or services are reoccurring purchases.
  • The order involves variable dollar amounts and/or quantities.
  • The goods or services on an order may change over time.
  • The maximum order amount may need to be adjusted over time.
  • The order has specific contract start and end dates.

Supplier Requirements

To use a BPO, suppliers must be:

You can determine whether or not a supplier meets the criteria by using the Supplier Search report (B.I. Portal). The report allows you to search by the supplier name, keyword, or six-digit supplier (vendor) number.

When you create a Contract Request, you will know if your supplier is Ready for BPO (manual) by clicking on the Approval Flow tab from the Summary tab. The last approver listed is called Manual BPO. If it is, please add an internal comment with the contact's name and email so the Procurement contracting team will know where to send the BPO.

Manual BPOs, including attachments, will be sent to the supplier by the Procurement contracting team and the department will be copied on the transmittal. Tip: It's always advisable to include the supplier's contact information, including email address, in the comments section, regardless of whether the supplier is enabled in Ariba. This will make it easier for contracting staff to send a manual BPO or address questions with the supplier.

Best Practices

Before entry in Ariba:

  • Check the How to Buy page for guidance on planning your purchase.
  • Ensure that you have chosen the correct supplier, before submitting a BPO for approval.
  • For a catalog supplier, you should first attempt to use the supplier's catalog before resorting to creating a BPO.
  • Do not use Internet Explorer to create a BPO.  We strongly recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.  

Entry in Ariba:

  • Ensure accuracy of contract periods, budgets, account codes, dollar amounts, part numbers, etc.
    • Note: If a BPO is over the Direct Buy Limit and is routed to a buyer, changes that a buyer must make to information entered by the Preparer (from the department) will restart the approval process.
  • Enter a meaningful and easily understood title and description for your BPO.
  • When scanning a document to attach to a BPO, be mindful of the image resolution and document size you use.
  • If a contract needs to be reviewed by Purchasing:
    • If the order is under the Direct Buy Limit, select the Contract Review option on the Summary screen of the Contract Request (remember to include the company contact's name, email and phone number) 
    • If the order is over the Direct Buy Limit, attach the Contract to the Contract Request and add a Comment to notify the Buyer to review.
  • Redact sensitive information from attachments, such as Social Security Numbers, bank account information, etc.
  • For communication between departments and buyers on a CR, add a comment to the CR.  
  • For comments that you want the supplier to see, check the "visible to supplier" checkbox.
  • If you make any changes to the BPO, add a Comment to the order stating what changes you made and why.
  • Do not split purchase orders to circumvent the competitive process.

BPO Process Flow












Other Considerations:

  • All users with access to eProcurement are able to initiate a BPO on behalf of themselves or other individuals.

  • Receiving is mandatory for BPOs. Users must confirm goods or services are received in good condition, and process the receipt to allow invoices to be paid.

  • BPOs over the Direct Buy Limit will be routed to Purchasing, for a buyer's review and approval.

  • As part of the Purchasing review process, they will review the basis for supplier selection. The options campus will select from are:

    • Competitive Solicitation 

    • Existing Contract

    • Sole Source

    • Supplier named in a Grant (non-Federal) or Federal Grant or Contract.

  • When you add attachments to a CR or BPO, note that there is a 4 MB per document limitation and an overall 10MB per CR or BPO.  You can have multiple attachments as long as you don’t go over 10MB.  Once you hit this limit the system will not send the attachment over the Ariba Network.

  • The valid file types are: txt, csv, xls, xlsx, doc, docx, dotx, potx, ppt, pptx, ppsx, sldx, xltx, pdf, ps, rtf, htm, html, xml, jpeg, jpg, bmp, gif, png, zip.

  • Subawards: Create a Contract Request (CR) in Ariba, Exit and Save. Use this CR number to Submit subaward request in SAGE. See the Office of Sponsored Projects webpages for more information, including the roles and responsibilities and workflow for the subaward process. 


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