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Finance Division

Frequently Asked Questions

Accessing buyWays
Q:  How do I access buyWays?
A:  Log into procurement homepage, and select "buyWays Faculty and Staff" on the right hand side.  The website is:  http://www.clemson.edu/cfo/procurement.

Q:  What User ID and password should I use to access buyWays?
A:  You should use your Novell User ID and password to access buyWays.

Q:  Am I authorized to shop in buyWays?
A:  Yes.  Everyone can shop in buyWays, but all cannot submit a shopping cart for approval.  If you are only a shopper, then you must assign your cart to the requisitioner in your department.  To modify your role from shopper to requisitioner, your Budget Center must submit the role identification form.

Q: What User ID and password should I use to access buyWays?
A:  You should use your Novell User ID and password to access buyWays.
Q:  What browser should I use?
A:  Click here for browser guidelines.
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Shopping 
Q: How do I start a requisition in buyWays?
A:  There are several ways to start a requisition, depending on the type of purchase you are making.  Use the shop bar at the top of your home shopping page to search for any product. If your product appears in the search results, add the appropriate quantities to your cart.  Items that appear in the results section are from hosted or electronic catalog suppliers.  Shop the punch-out suppliers.  Displayed on the Shopping page are a variety of punch-out suppliers. Click the icon to the supplier, use the supplier's search to create a new order and add items to your cart.  Each punch-out supplier has a different way to return items to your buyWays cart.  If you are not using a punch-out supplier or cannot find your item in the hosted catalog search, then the most common way, is to start by choosing the "non-catalog form" on the shopping page, filling out the details, and then select "save and close", to put the item in a cart.  The other common way to start a requisition, is by selecting "Clemson forms", and choosing the appropriate form, for example, sole source, or carpet form.

Q:  What is the difference between a hosted supplier and a punch-out supplier?

A:  A hosted supplier is a pre-approved supplier whose catalogs are loaded in buyWays, with Clemson pricing and product descriptions.  You can use the search function to search these catalogs by keyword or catalog number.

A punch-out supplier is a supplier who has a specific website that contains Clemson pricing. From the buyWays home/shop page you have a direct connection to the supplier's website. Use the supplier's search feature and catalog to find your products.  When you complete your shopping follow the links to checkout from the suppliers' website, the products will be added to your buyWays shopping cart, and you will be directed back to the buyWays. 

Q: How do I start a new cart without the items being added to an existing cart?

A:  Click on the shop icon (at the left), then click on “My carts and Orders”, then “view Draft Shopping Carts”.  Click on “create Cart” button, then click “continue shopping” (at top right).  The items will be put in the new cart.

Q:  Why can't I change quantities on some items in my shopping cart?

A:  Items that are selected from a punch-out supplier's site cannot be modified once they are in your cart unless your shopping cart displays: Need to make changes? MODIFY ITEMS. You must delete the cart and start again if you need to change the quantity.

Q:  Can I request that a specific supplier be added to buyWays?

A:  Yes.  All suppliers must register at:  http://www.clemson.edu/cfo/procurement/vendors/index.html, to become a supplier in buyWays.  If a specific supplier is requested by a number of areas at Clemson, if volume warrants it, and if the supplier is technically capable, the supplier may be added to the buyWays site. 

Q:  If I purchase multiple items in one shopping session, can I charge each item to a different account/ chartfield?

A:  Yes. You can charge a different account code to each line item, or split account codes within a line item.  Line item splits or changes to a line item accounting code overrides the account code displayed at the header. DO NOT create a split distribution on the same account/chartfield.  If only one chartfield is being used for a requisition or line item, there is no reason to split account codes.
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Suppliers 
Q:  Where should a supplier register?     

A:  All suppliers must register at:   http://www.clemson.edu/cfo/procurement/vendors/index.html, if they wish to do business with Clemson, A purchase order cannot be issued to their company if they are not a supplier in buyWays.

Q:  Do suppliers need to register if I am procuring a one-time purchase / payment only?     
A:  Yes, all vendors must register through the vendor portal. Refer also to the How To Buy/Pay guide available by clicking here.
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Approving Requisitions
Q:  I am the approver, how do I approve the requisition that was sent to me?   

A:   Approvers will now be able to take action on requisitions quickly whether they are in the office or on the go. Approvers will continue to have the ability to take action directly in buyWays; however, this feature allows approvers to also take action from their desktop email or on many mobile devices without having to access buyWays, potentially decreasing the length of the procure-to-order process. Complete Approver Instructions

With email approvals configured (more on this below), approvers will receive an enhanced approval email containing pertinent order information and a quick action webpage link where action may be taken. The email contains requisition information to allow the approver to make a decision on what action to take on the entire document. The webpage allows the approver to select their action and enter comments.

By default, a personal approval code (set up in buyWays on the my profile tab) is required in order for the approver to take action from the webpage link, therefore ensuring the authorized approver is the person taking action on the requisition. Approvers maintain an email approval code in their buyWays profile. When the approver accesses the approval webpage, they enter the email approval code and are authenticated as the authorized approver.

Taking Action (How it works):

  1. Click the link… After reviewing the order details in the email, the approver selects Take Action to access the secure approval webpage.
  2. Available actions… The approver will have the same actions that are available to them in buyWays, for taking action on entire documents. Possible actions include:
    1. Requisition: approve, reject, assign to myself, and return to requisitioner.
    2. Purchase order (Procurement Only): approve, reject, assign to myself.
  3. Entering approval code and taking action… The approver selects the desired action and enters a comment if they choose. Approvers must enter their email approval code and click submit to complete the approval step.
  4. Confirmation… Once the action is complete, the approver receives a confirmation webpage. The action is logged in history as having been completed via email. Comments are also logged to Comments and History.
  5. Requisition already approved? If action has already been taken by another approver in a shared folder, the approver will receive a message that action has already been taken on the document.
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Submitting Your Order 
Q:  When I "Submit Req for Approval", where does it go?

A:  When you select "Submit Req for Approval", the cart turns into a requisition, and is routed through the workflow process.  For additional information on buyWays workflow, view the Progression of a buyWays Transaction. Submit Req for Approval is only available for users with the role of requisitioner.

Q:  When I "Assign Cart to Requisitioner", what does this mean?

A:  When you select "Assign Cart to Requisitioner", you are simply allowing another person to view your cart.  You are probably the shopper. The requisitioner will assign accounting information, and submit order.  The Requisitioner has the task to "Submit Req for Approval" (see question above).  Until the cart has been assigned to the requisitoner and he/she selects "Submit Req for Approval", the order CANNOT be approved by the approver.
Q: Can I unassign a cart?
A: Yes.  If you have assigned a cart to the wrong person, or you need to add additional information to your cart, you can unassign the cart.  Click on the my carts tab, click draft carts, then click the unassign box on the right of the screen.  See Correcting an Order if your cart has already been submitted by the requisitioner.
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Correcting Chartfields   
Q: Correcting a Chartfield After the order has been placed with the supplier?
A: There are 3 possibilities to correct a chartfield after the order has been placed with the supplier:
Method 1 - after the invoice has been created
  • Cancel the PO using the PO Change Request Form on the home shopping page of buyWays under the Internal Request Forms
  • Cancel the invoice using the Delete/Hold Invoice form, on the home shopping page of buyWays under the Internal Request Forms
  • Use the Payment Requests Form, referencing the original PO# with the new/correct charfield information
  • Approvals will be obtained and a new PO# will be created that is not issued to the supplier

Method 2 - after the invoice has been created

  • Allow the invoice to post on the existing chartfield
  • Process a journal correction in PSFT

Method 3 - before the invoice has been created

  • Cancel the PO using the PO Change Request Form on the home shopping page of buyWays under the Internal Request Forms
  • Use the Payment Requests Form, referencing the original PO# with the new/correct chartfield information
  • Approvals will be obtained and a new PO# will be created that does not get issued to the supplier
  • Create an invoice for the new PO
Correcting an Order After it is Submitted 
Q:  How do I correct an order after it is submitted?

A:  Once an order has been completed, it cannot be altered by you.  However, if it has not been approved by anyone, you can withdraw the entire requisition, using the available actions drop down option, and follow the prompts.  The approver may return a requisition with comments about corrections that must be made, or could reject your entire order. For a returned requisition, you can make the necessary changes and submit the order again.  The requestor can edit or add items, change shipping/account information, etc.  To start over completely, the shopper can use the Delete button at the right side of the screen, (when looking at the draft carts in a list) and then go to your Shopping page. 

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Rejected Orders
Q: 
What do I do if my order is rejected? 

A:  If your order is rejected, and you shopped using a punch-out supplier, then you must start your shopping experience again, by "punching" out to the supplier, and selecting the items again.  If it was rejected due to failing budget checking (the reason can be found in the history of the rejected requisition), then you need to make sure you use the correct chartfield, and that the budget center has corrected any issues they are responsible for, before resubmitting the new requisition. 

If you shopped, and did NOT use a punch out supplier, then you can open up the rejected requisition, from the "available actions", at the top right hand corner, select "copy to new cart", and "go".  From this point, you can change any incorrect information, and "Submit Req for Approval".

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Checking the Status of Your Order
Q:  How can I find out the status of my requisition?  

A.  Select Orders & Documents icon (on the left), then select Search Documents.  Select My Requisitions (at the top).  If the requisition that you are searching for was created before the current month, you would then filter by Date Range (to the left).  Once you have accessed the requisition, click on the requisition number to open it.  Then click on Req Approvals (VIEW ONLY).  This will show which step in the workflow the requisition is.  Or, if you know your requisition number, you can find the status by clicking on the Search Icon (in the top right corner of your screen), choose requisition from the drop down menu, type in the number, and click the search icon. 

Q:  How do I find out the status of my purchase order? 

A.  Select Orders & Documents icon (on the left), then select Search Documents.  Select My Purchase Orders (at the top).  If the purchase order that you are searching for was created before the current month, you would then filter by Date Range (to the left).  Once you have accessed the purchase order, click on the purchase order number to open it.  If there is a green check mark and completed in the document status box, then the PO has been completed.  Also listed in the status box, is the time and date that the PO was distributed to the supplier, and the method of distribution.  If there is not a green check mark, but blue arrows in a circle, then select PO approvals (VIEW ONLY), and this will show which step in the workflow the PO is.  Or, if you know your PO number, you can find the status by clicking on the Search Icon (in the top right corner of your screen), choose Purchase order from the drop down menu, type in the number, and click the search icon. 

Receiving Your Order
Q: 
What orders should I do a receipt for?   

A.  A receipt must be created for all orders over $2500.  Receipts are not based on supplier.  For orders that are less than $2500, without a receipt, buyWays will wait 5 days after the order is invoiced before the order is sent for payment.  If you go ahead and enter a receipt for orders under $2500, they will not wait the 5 days after invoicing to be sent for payment, but will be sent immediately. 

Q:  What should I do if I do not receive all my items or if my shipment is incorrect or damaged?

A:  You will need to contact the supplier directly to resolve any problem(s) with your order. Contact information and/or instructions are typically provided on your order confirmation or packing slip.

Q:  What should I do if I do not receive my order within a reasonable time frame?

A:  You will need to contact the supplier directly for the status of your order, especially if you did not receive an order confirmation.  Contact information and/or instructions are provided on your order confirmation, if you have one, or you can look up supplier information in buyWays.  If there is a problem with delivery, or they cannot find the PO, contact cubuyways@clemson.edu.
Payment & Shipping 
Q:  Can I use my Purchasing Card to pay for my order?

A:  No.  When you purchase through buyWays, you must do a receipt and an invoice. The supplier will be paid once the invoice and receipt have been completed.

Q:  How do I make a payment to a supplier, when there is not an existing PO, I just have an invoice?

A:  To make a one-time payment, use the Payment Requests form on the Shopping page of buyWays, under the Clemson Forms.  Process as you would a regular requisition.  When the form creates a PO, then pull up the PO, and create a receipt and invoice, attaching a copy of the paper invoice to the invoice.

To make recurring or ongoing payments to a supplier, (such as for utilities, rent, etc.) Choose the Direct Purchase Request Form, and enter the amount for the year, then each month, pay against the PO, creating a receipt and an invoice each month.  This form does encumber. 

Q:  How do I know whether the supplier has been paid?

A:  Payment information is passed back to the invoice from PeopleSoft.  Open PO in question.  Select the invoices tab on the PO. All of the invoices will be displayed on the invoices tab. The invoice status shows whether it is payable, in process, or paid. Next, click on the invoice number, and look at the "invoicing summary". In the Payment Information box, you can view the payment date, payment method; EFT, ACH or check and payment/record number. 

Q:  How can I change my ship-to and bill-to addresses? Can I add additional ship-to addresses?

A:  Click on your name at the top right hand corner of your screen, click on View my profile.  Next, click on Default Addresses under User Information and Settings.  It will display the Ship to addresses first.   Then, click on Select Addresses for Profile, type in building name or department number in the Nickname/Address Text box.  Click Search.  Choose your address from the listing.  To set as default, choose the default box under the Department Number.  If you have a floor, room or suite number, enter that in the box under your name.  Do not include Building name or street name in this box.  Click Save.  If you need to change the Bill to, click on Bill To (to the left), and repeat the steps above. 

Q:  How do I change my address if my department moves to a new building, or I have a new department number? 

A:  Send an email to cubuyWays@clemson.edu, include the department number, and the complete street address for shipping and billing. 

Invoicing Your Order
Q:  Do I have to create an invoice for all orders placed in buyWays?  

A:  No.  Some suppliers send electronic invoices to buyWays.  A link to this list of suppliers may be found on the home page of buyWays, under "Suppliers/ Ordering/ Invoices/ Receipts", under "CXML Invoice Suppliers Defined".  The link to this document is: http://www.clemson.edu/finance/procurement/buyWays/bwdocs/InvoiceNuances04252014.pdf.  For any supplier not listed under CXML Invoice suppliers, you must create an invoice for them. 

Q:  Whom can I contact for further assistance?

A:  You may e-mail questions to cubuyways@clemson.edu, call 1-864-656-5581 for the helpdesk, or call 1-864-656-2390 to speak to a buyer in Procurement.

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Training & Support
Q:  Where can I obtain training materials?

A:  Training materials are available at www.clemson.edu/cfo/procurement/buyways.html#train.  You can also sign up for training classes through this link.  You will need to log in to view the classes that are available, and to sign up. 

Q:  Whom can I contact for further assistance?

A:  You may e-mail questions to cubuyways@clemson.edu, call 864-656-5581 for the helpdesk, or call 864-656-2390 to speak to a buyer in Procurement.
Trailer Purchase
Q:  How do I purchase a trailer?

A: Follow these simple instructions:

  1. Prior to purchase, all trailer requests (regardless of cost) need to be submitted using the Vehicle Purchase form in buyWays.  The requisition will be routed to the State Fleet Management office for approval.
  2. Select “Supplier Unknown” if the trailer is not being purchased from a Contract Supplier.  Enter the preferred supplier, if applicable.
  3. Enter N/A in the interior/exterior color field on the form.
  4. Enter the estimated cost of the trailer if the actual cost is not known.
  5. Attach a justification letter on department letterhead signed by the department head to the form.
  6. Complete and attach the 6-77 form.
  7. Once submitted, the requisition will be routed through the buyWays workflow, including State Fleet approval. 
  8. Bids may be obtained when the trailer is not purchased from a contract supplier.  Requesting department will have the opportunity to accept or reject the low bid.
  9. The requesting department will be contacted when the trailer is ready to be picked up. Trailers do NOT have to go through State Fleet’s receiving lot.
  10. Department will be notified when the tag has been received.

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Donated Vehicle 
Q: How do I receive a donated vehicle?

A:  Follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill out the Vehicle Request form in buyWays.  Select “Supplier Unknown”.
  2. Attach a letter from the company that is donating the vehicle; stating the make, model, year and the VIN number of the vehicle that is being donated. This will need to be on the Company’s letterhead, including the department the vehicle is being donated to and the purpose of the donation.
  3. Attach a justification letter to the Vehicle Request form explaining the need for the vehicle and use.  This will need to be on department letterhead and signed by the department head.
  4. The title for the vehicle will need to be made out to The State of South Carolina at 1430 Senate Street 3rd floor, Columbia, SC 29201.
  5. Include in the comment section of the form if a tag is needed for the vehicle.  Vehicles being donated for research generally do not need a tag.

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