Procurement Guidelines

How to Buy
Purchase Limit Requirements


UM Supply Chain facilitates the process required for departments to acquire goods and services:

  • That meet user defined needs
  • Are obtained in a manner that assures best value
  • That take into consideration total cost of acquisition and total cost of ownership
  • With minimal use of University resources
  • Through a process that is fair, open and competitive
  • Assuring that all University's ethical, legal and fiduciary responsibilities are satisfied

UM Supply Chain provides services that are both strategic and tactical

  • Strategic Consulting for the purpose of helping plan for large purchasing events that minimize duplicative efforts and assure the university best value
  • Negotiation planning support and leadership in conducting them
  • Facilitation of RFP and Bid events
  • Timely processing of routine requisitions and purchase orders
  • Customer support for issues related to suppliers or process challenges



How to Buy

The University uses various methods to acquire goods and services. Requestors should use the following decision process in determining which purchasing method is best suited for a specific procurement need.  Good faith effort must be given to using the most efficient purchasing method available for a given purchasing event. Please reference the Payment Method for Expenditures - Quick Reference Guide for a summary list of various items/services and the appropriate procurement method to utilize for each.

  • Show-Me Shop (SMS) is the preferred method for purchases made by campus departments. SMS is an online catalog of items from contracted suppliers. SMS suppliers currently include commodities such as scientific products, office products, computers, peripherals, lab supplies, MRO/facilities maintenance supplies, custodial supplies, and books. SMS purchases may be made for any amount. Information on suppliers available in the SMS and their contact information is available online at

Campus users are to use SMS as the first choice to meet their needs. Purchases for items available in SMS should be made through SMS unless there is a compelling reason for using another method.


  • Purchasing Card - For items not available in Show-Me Shop that are $5,000 or less, the preferred method of making the purchase is with a university issued purchasing card. Purchases must comply with the University of Missouri Purchasing Card Policy Manual and ALL other University policies.


  • Purchase Orders - Purchases that cannot be made in Show-Me Shop, that cannot be processed by using a University purchasing card and that exceed $5,000 must be submitted using the PeopleSoft requisitioning system.




Purchase Limits/Requirements

  • Less than $5,000 - Bids are not required. Show-Me Shop is the first option for these purchases and if not available in SMS then purchasing card is the preferred method of payment for items except as limited by the purchasing card program.


  • Between $5,000 and $10,000 - These orders can be placed using Show-Me Shop if the goods needed are available there, if not a purchase order will be processed upon receipt of PeopleSoft requisition.


  • Exceeds $10,000 - Competitive Bids or Proposals are required unless items/services is already on contract with the University. If the product needed is not available through Show-Me Shop then the campus department must enter a requisition to initiate the purchase process.  Purchases exceeding $25,000 require formal bidding processes.


Reviewed 2015-11-20.