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Alma Acquisitions Resource Guide

This guide covers all aspects of the Acquisitions process, which includes setting up funds, ordering, receiving physical items, activating e-resources, and invoicing. This guide also covers Serials patterns and arrival/check-in.

Managing Vendors

Vendor Structure

As with funds, Alma contains detailed information pages for Vendors, including contact information, performance analytics, and lists of accounts, orders, and invoices connected to that vendor. For E-Resources vendors, these records also contain snapshots of usage data.


There are two levels of Vendor records:

  • Vendor - the primary record for any vendor, with information common to all individual accounts at that vendor
  • Vendor Account - secondary records for specific accounts, such as EBSCO Databases & EBSCO E-Books, or Amazon Books & Amazon DVDs. The Vendor Account record may have specific information, such as:
    • Bill to / Ship to address, if the vendor accounts are for different departments/libraries at a campus
    • Default claim period for different types of materials or purchasing departments

Viewing Vendor Records

You can find and view Vendor records in the same ways that you used for Funds:

  • From the main menu, choose Acquisitions > Acquisition Infrastructure > Vendors to see a list of all vendors and use facets to limit the list.
  • Use the persistent search bar, choose the search type Vendors, and leave the search term box empty to see a list of all vendors.
  • Use the search bar to find specific vendors

Use the blank search box to find all vendors. As with funds, your results will default to Active vendors. To see inactive vendors, choose All or Inactive from the Vendor Status drop-down filter.

You can also use the Vendor Type filter to view just one type of vendor:

  • Material Supplier
  • Access Provider (e-Resources)
  • Licensor (e-Resources)
  • Governmental
  • SUSHI Vendor (e-Resources)

Parts of the Vendor Record

  • Summary: general information about that vendor, including a list of all of the vendor account codes attached to the vendor record
  • Contact Information and Contact People: general contact information and any specific contacts or representatives at the vendor
  • EDI Information for EDI vendors
  • Usage Data: For eResources vendors, this shows SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative protocol) data for all the vendor's resources.
  • Invoices and PO Lines: all invoices and PO Lines associated with that vendor, across the library. Use the filters or facets to limit these lists, or the "search within this list" box (using a wide variety of criteria) to find specific orders.
  • Communication: general messages sent to the vendor originating in Alma, including who sent it; some permissions levels can view the message, start a new communication, etc.
    • If you need to contact vendor about a specific order, do that on the Communication tab associated with that order (POL), not here on the vendor record. That links the communication directly with the order, and it’s less likely to get lost in a big list.
  • Notes: Any notes about the vendor or who can use it
  • Attachments: this can be used for storage of documents, PDFs, Excel lists, etc. associated with the vendor.
  • Analytics: analyses of vendor performance metrics

Adding a Vendor Record or Vendor Account

To add a vendor to Alma:

  1. Go to Acquisitions >> Acquisitions Infrastructure >> Vendors
  2. Click on + Add Vendor
  3. Fill out the Vendor Details page
    1. Vendor Name and Vendor Code are required
    2. Choose a Vendor Type
      1. If you choose either Material Supplier/Subscription Agent or Access Provider (or both), the Vendor Account section will appear. You must add at least one Vendor Account.
      2. Click +Add
      3. Add the Vendor Account details
      4. Click Save
  4. Add additional Vendor Accounts, if needed
  5. Click Save

Vendor Code. A vendor code must:

  • Be unique across all vendors.
  • Be up to 255 characters.
  • Contain only alphanumeric characters.

Vendor Type

There are four primary Vendor Types in Alma:

  • Material supplier/Subscription agent – Supplies the reading material or the subscription to the material. A material supplier receives orders and payment for resources in all formats.
  • Access provider – Holds the access privileges to vendor interfaces, which are collections of electronic collections (which are, in turn, collections of e-resources).
  • Licensor – Holds the license of electronic resources. A licensor must be defined when defining a license on the Licenses and Amendments page.
  • Governmental – The vendor receives use tax (VAT) for an invoice payment from non-governmental vendors. Use tax represents a tax on the usage of library items, and is expended from the same funds as the actual invoice charges. (See the page linked below for more details on Governmental vendors.)

For additional information on adding a Vendor or Vendor account, review the reference lists here.