Purchase Orders for Laboratory Supplies

In order to streamline Science Program purchase order procedures, a standard operating procedure for the ordering of laboratory supplies is essential.  This procedure is designed to eliminate unnecessary ordering, ensure that proper Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are obtained prior to ordering and ensure proper storage and handling of received materials.

This procedure applies to all faculty member or student laboratory assistants who need to order laboratory supplies.


  1. Purchase orders requisition forms must be completed for requested items. 
  2. The following information must be included on the requisition:
    • Vendor Name
    • Item # of requested item(s)
    • Item description, including size, volume, etc.
    • Quantity
    • Price, if quoted from vendor with price quote attached to PO requisition, where applicable
    • Date when material(s) are required
  3. All Purchase Order (PO) requisitions are submitted to the Laboratory Manager (LM).
  4. The LM will examine items requested, batch incoming POs if possible, determine necessity of the item (based on current inventory) and gain best pricing/quotes where necessary.
  5. The LM will obtain SDS on any new chemical and review it for storage and handling recommendations.
  6. The PO requisition will be provided to the Department Chair.  The Department Chair will signify approval of the requisition by his/her signature and the proper budget number designation will be assigned.
  7. The Department Chair will return the PO requisition to the LM who will submit it to Fiscal Affairs (Purchasing Agent) for processing and assignment of a PO number.
  8. Purchasing will return the completed PO to the LM, who will review the document for errors.
  9. The order will be placed by the LM via fax, phone or online. All orders will be tracked by the LM.
  10. All orders will be inspected upon delivery by the LM for accuracy and damage. The LM will resolve any problems with orders.
  11. The LM will notify the instructor upon the arrival of their items. The LM will log chemicals into the inventory and deliver them to the appropriate location for storage.
  12. The LM will sign, date and mark “OK to Pay” the PO green copy.  This should then be copied and kept.  The green copy will be sent to purchasing.
  13. The LM will file the remaining PO copy and original packing slip according to the assigned budget number.  These files shall be accessible to the Department Chair and the Department Secretary for budget monitoring purposes.