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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.

Ordering Overview

Ordering Overview

The basic ordering process is:

  1. Find, import, or create a bib record
  2. Create the PO Line (the order)
  3. Fill out the PO Line Details tabs
  4. Place the order or save it to be packed with similar orders to that vendor (in a Purchase Order)


Roles for Viewing and Working with Orders

To create PO lines, you must have one of the following roles:

  • Purchasing Manager
  • Purchasing Operator

Finding and Viewing Orders

There are two ways to view existing orders:

  • Use the search bar, with search type Order and either a basic or advanced search.
    • There are many more criteria available to search for orders using advanced search; take some time to review the list
    • The search results list gives you a snapshot of information about the order, including whether the material was received/activated
    • Click on the PO Line number link to view the order record
    • Click on Edit to edit it
  • From a Title record, if there is a number next to the Orders: line, click on it to view all orders for that title.
    • Choose View from the row action item list to view an order record
    • If the order is not Closed, you can also choose Edit
    • You cannot edit a closed order; there are other ways to relink it to a new bib record or perform other order maintenance tasks

Whether you view or edit an order, the main page of an order record is the PO Line Details page. It contains the owning or holding location for the material, vendor and price, funds encumbered by the order, acquisition method, material types, reporting codes, and other information.

Other tabs in the purchase order line include:

  • Description, which contains the Bibliographic Reference for the order – a quick description of the bibliographic information to help identify what’s been ordered. This information is pulled from the bib record, but it’s not linked directly.
  • Alerts list any automated alerts that Alma has flagged the order with. Red alerts will force the order into review, while blue alerts are just informational.
  • Invoice lines are where the connected invoice information will live after the items are received or activated and the invoice paid.
  • Associated PO Lines are any previous orders for this same title, so we could see what other libraries ordered it and when.
  • Communications are direct communications with the vendor for claims and similar needs.
  • The Interested Users tab is a place to add users who want to be notified when an item is received or place a hold on the item for them at the ordering stage. For instance, this might be a place to create a routing list for issues of a journal, by creating that list of interested users.
  • History, Notes, and Attachments are exactly what they sound like: a history of changes made to the order, internal notes added to the order, or attachments to the order (such as URLs to title descriptions or a cover art image).

Order Templates

Order templates are a way to save yourself time and data entry during the ordering process for combinations of owning library, vendor, and order type that you place frequent orders for.

To create an order template, open any past order and then click on Save as template. Many of the mandatory fields will become part of the template and save you typing time. You can save it as either a public (visible to other staff) or personal template.

You might want to work with your colleagues and agree on a naming convention for templates, such as “POL Owner / Inventory Location (or owning library) / Vendor / Order Type.”