Financial Services and Operations

Blanket Order

A Blanket Order (BL) is a type of purchase order designed to consolidate repetitive small purchases of services/consumable supplies from a single vendor when multiple indexes and/or account codes are used.  It is essentially a form of open account which limits the items which can be ordered, who can place the orders, the time period covered, and the total amount which can be ordered. Equipment of $5,000 or more is not allowed.  Funds are not encumbered in Banner.

When To Use

This method of procurement is to be used for repetitive non-capital purchases where multiple indexes and/or account codes will be used for a specified period of time. (e.g. maintenance parts, gases, etc.). Contact Purchasing to determine if a blanket order is appropriate.

Guidelines For All Blanket Orders

Blanket Orders must still follow university regulations guiding dollar thresholds for competitive bidding and external sponsored project procurement guidelines.  Competitive bids, contracts/agreements, or sole source justification must accompany the Blanket Order prior to approval by Purchasing.

Requisitions for blanket purchase orders require a brief, general description of the commodity and/or service being purchased, future effective dates, the previous years’ Blanket Order number (if applicable) and list of authorized departmental personnel.  Any additional justification or contractual relationship should be noted in the requisition comments. For external sponsored projects, the period covered by the blanket order must not extend beyond the end date of the project or fiscal year-end, whichever is first.  For all other Funds, the period covered by blanket must not extend beyond the fiscal year-end. The Requisition must be approved (signed) by the department Director or higher.

The dollar value of a blanket order should be based on available knowledge of the anticipated spend.  This may be derived from sources such as prior year's spend, requirement changes, contract commitments and project/grant budgets. It is the department's responsibility to manage blanket orders' spend and to submit any required change orders in a timely fashion (i.e. prior to exceeding spend limits originally established). Changes that exceed competitive bid and solicitation requirements may require acceptable justification.

Departments are encouraged to use the University Purchasing Card, when applicable

Unallowable on the Blanket Order

  • Blanket orders may not be used for the purchase of equipment as defined by Property and Plant Accounting.
  • Laboratory and/or research chemicals are not allowed and must be purchased through Chem Stores or on a Purchase Requisition. (excludes Chem Stores department)
  • Computers, computer components and/or software are not allowed and must follow the 2.14 Information Technology Procurement policy. (excludes Information Technology department)

 

Renewals

Blanket Orders may be automatically renewed for the next fiscal year.  Notification will be sent to departments at least six weeks prior to the expiration date. The renewal notification will include the department’s list of current blanket orders including the vendor name, total dollar amount, remaining balance, number of invoices processed against the BL, and list of authorized personnel. Instructions to renew are included on the notification.

Guidelines for Blanket Order Renewals

  • The description of the services/consumable supplies will remain the same as the most current version of the BL (most recent change orders are reflected).
  • The time period will be updated to reflect the next fiscal year (July 1, 20XX - June 30, 20XX).
  • BL’s must still follow university regulations guiding dollar thresholds for competitive bidding and external sponsored project procurement guidelines.  Competitive bids, contracts/agreements, or sole source justification must accompany the renewal list prior to approval by Purchasing.
  • BL’s with no payment activity will not be listed on the renewal list.
  • BL’s issued to Individuals will not be automatically renewed as a new Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) is required.
  • Departments are encouraged to use the University Purchasing Card, when applicable.  
  • Purchasing will review BL index(s) and account code(s) data to determine the preferred method of procurement.

The Purchasing Department reserves the right to deny any requisition for a Blanket Order, or a change to a blanket order, when it feels that it is an inappropriate purchasing method. The Purchasing Department will contact the issuer when this happens.

Any questions regarding blanket orders may be addressed to Purchasing at 7-2510, or by email at purchasing@mtu.edu

Blanket order invoices can be processed and routed to Financial Services and Operations using ImageNow. See Blanket Invoice Approval Instructions.