Purchasing Services

PEFS helps faculty, staff and students procure the necessary materials and equipment to complete educational and research related activities. Whether supplying a new lab or completing a final student project, purchasing provides the guidance, compliance and authorization to acquire the necessary goods and services.


The Purchase Order (PO) is the University’s primary authorized buying method.  A PO – created and processed through Penn’s financial system – establishes a contract and sets the legal rights and obligations of both Penn and the supplier.

Guidance: Become a Requisitioner

1)   Use your Penn key to log into Knowledgelink – http://knowledgelink.upenn.edu/

Couse name: BEN Buys – Requisitioner – FTD

Who Should Register:

  • This course is intended for administrative and support staff of the University who will need the ability to submit office or lab orders through the Penn Marketplace, as well as the ability to place custom, service, and special request orders.


  • Students have the option of bringing the following course material(s) with them to class the Requisitioner User Guide(optional)

Course Length:

  • Four Hours

Delivery Method:

  • Instructor Led

Completion Requirements:

  • Class attendance
  • Trainer review of class activities and workshops
  • Completion of appropriate logon access form

2) After you have completed training, complete the BEN Financials Access Request Form – http://www.upenn.edu/computing/da/eforms/

On the e-form please list Kimberly Howatt as your supervisor as your default reviewer under requisitioner.

3) Once access is received – here are a few things you need to know about how BenBuys works at Penn Engineering.

  • When submitting a requisition, after you have completed your order and finished the express checkout:
  • Copy purchasing@seas.upenn.edu in an email to your advisor that summarizes the order
  • Provide the name of the account to be charged (if known)
  • Include the Req. number in the subject line of the email alerting PEFS that an order is in the queue to be processed
  • The default Ben-Buys approver for your requisitions is Valerie Beulah.
  • If you have a question about an order in process, please direct it to purchasing@seas.upenn.edu (Not an individual staff member.)

If you have any questions about the system, contact the Ben Help Line (https://footprints.finance.upenn.edu:44304/) (215-746-4357)

Guidance: Purchase Order (PO) Process

Notice: Faculty, staff or students frequently procuring goods and services should strongly consider becoming a Requistioner within Penn Marketplace.  Requisitions allow the requestor to insure they will receive the correct items and quantities they want and significantly expedite the purchasing process.

1) Non Requisitioner (buyer) reviews Marketplace for available suppliers. If suppliers are not available in Marketplace, buyers must complete the Supplier Registration Process.

2) Once a supplier and materials are identified, buyers must contact the respective PI and receive written approval to purchase materials.

3) Once approval is received, forward the PI approval email and the information listed below to  Purchasing@seas.upenn.edu 

  1. Supplier Name
  2. Item Description
  3. Item # or SKU
  4. Unit Price
  5. Quantity
  6. Total Price
  7. Shipping Location
  8. Special Instructions

4) Using the information provided, PEFS completes the PO and orders the materials on behalf of the requestor.

5) PEFS notifies the requestor when a purchase has been completed, providing the Order # and details.

Non PO Payment (NPO)

The University’s alternative buying method for non registered vendors including but not limited to, legal firms and utilities, limited engagement providers, and honoraria.

Purchasing Card (P-Card)

A University-issued credit card, used primarily for smaller purchases (generally less than $1,000), which may not be feasible for PO issuance.

Guidance: P-Card Purchasing Process

1. Requestor identifies a product and supplier and emails Purchasing@seas.upenn.edu and provide the following information:

  1. Supplier Name
  2. Item Location/Website Link (Amazon, Home Depot, etc. )
  3. Item Description
  4. Item # or SKU
  5. Unit Price
  6. Quantity
  7. Total Price
  8. Shipping Location
  9. Special Instructions

2. Using the information provided, PEFS completes the P-Card purchase and orders the materials on behalf of the requestor.

3. PEFS notifies the requestor when a purchase has been completed, providing the Order # and details.