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Instructions for placing a one-time order for a physical item: a print book or a physical item such as a CD, DVD, Microform, etc.

Creating a PO Line

  • After finding, creating, or importing the bib record, click on Order from the search results list (via the ellipsis menu or by adding order to your display), or on the Shopping Cart icon in the Metadata Editor.
  • The PO Line Owner and Type window opens up

PO Line Owner and Type

  • Select Purchase Order Type: Print Book-One Time for a book order, Physical-One Time for another monograph physical material type (CD, DVD, Microform, etc.), or Print Journal One-Time for a one-time one item print journal purchase (e.g. purchase of a single print journal issue).
  • Select PO line owner (the acquisition library that is placing the order, which may or may NOT be the library for whom the material is being ordered)
  • Assign inventory manually check box:
    • Alma One-Time orders automatically create both an Item record and a Holdings record--both of which are referred to as Inventory.
    • During the creation of a One-Time POL, you can decide whether the creation of Inventory will be:
      • Automatic based on the POL owner – uncheck this box if you would like the attached inventory (i.e. item and holding records) to be automatically created based on the Library that is the POL owner, for example: POL Owner of Schlesinger Library would automatically create an item and holdings record for Schlesinger
      • Automatic based on the inventory saved in a POL template – uncheck this box if you are using a template and want to use the item and holding inventory from that template.
      • Assigned manually – Check this box if you would like to create the attached item and holdings manually because it differs from the POL owner; for example, POL Owner of ITS at Langdell would have to create inventory manually for one of the holding libraries (i.e. Gutman), unless using a predefined template

Purchase Order Line Details

Summary Tab

Required fields are indicated with a red asterisk

Ordered Items Section

Note: If inventory is assigned automatically, you still might want to edit the location information as the default location setting is GEN

If you checked the Assign Inventory Manually box on the previous screen:

    • Click on Add Location
      • Note: this is a mandatory field, but the red asterisk is not visible until you click
      Go to Supported Libraries and select the Library and location (collection code) from the drop-down menu
    • Select the Item policy, if applicable
    • Click Add
    • An Ordered items line will be created with Library, Location, System generated barcode, Receiving date, Item policy 
    • To edit this line, click on the row action item list icon and choose Edit to open the Physical Item editor.   

If you did not check the Assign inventory manually box and did use a template: 

    • Continue filling out the rest of the order unless you need to edit the inventory information set up by the template

If you did not check the Assign inventory manually box, did not use a template, and need to update the default inventory information, or if you need to edit the inventory information for any reason: 

    • From the Order Summary screen, click on the row action item list icon next to the item info and choose Edit.
       In the Location Information section, change the Permanent library and Permanent location within that library as needed 
    • Click Save. An alert tells you that the item will be moved to a new holding and the default holding record will be deleted.
    • Click Confirm

Receiving note: add text intended for the Receiving operator 

Routing during receivingIf selected, a confirmation message appears when receiving the PO line, stating that the order is marked for routing, and that the user may want to print the list of interested users (see Other POL tabs section below) 

Vendor Information

Material Supplier (vendor): Make sure to choose the proper Vendor account record, if applicable.

NOTE:  The Vendor account record is required for vendors to whom Harvard sends EDI orders. See the Selecting the correct vendor account page and Vendor and Vendor Account Records training document for more details. 

Claiming grace period (days): A grace period (in days) after the expected receipt date, after which the PO line is sent to the claims task list

    • The value in this field for One-time orders will come from the Vendor account record; change the value in the order if desirable

Expected receipt after ordering (days) or Expected receipt date

  • Expected receipt after ordering (days): the value in this field will come from the Vendor account record; change the value in the order if desirable
  • Expected receipt date: select the expected receipt date from the Calendar pop-up

Enter a value in only one of these fields. If both fields are filled, the Expected receipt after ordering (days) field is ignored. If both fields are left empty, the expected receipt date defaults to the date that the PO line is sent to the vendor. These values are used to calculate the claim date.

See the Claiming (One-time / Continuous) training document for more details.


List Price: required

Net price: will populate automatically based on List price

Discount: enter if applicable

Quantity for pricing: required. Enter the number of items to be paid for. The total price for the PO line equals the quantity for pricing multiplied by the list price.


Fund: When a fund is assigned, it will display in the Fund Name column as a clickable link to the fund details. 

To add a fund:

    • Click on the Add Fund button and select the appropriate fund from the fund list. 
    • The percent field will default to 100% and the amount field will default to the list price in the order. if the fund is intended to cover 100% of the list price, there is no need to edit the percent and amount fields.
    • To continue, click Add Fund
    • When the PO line is saved, an encumbrance transaction is created.


Assigning multiple funds to a single order: You can distribute the cost of a PO line among several funds. To add a fund to the list, select the fund, stipulate the percentage of the cost to be covered by the fund, and click Add Fund or press Enter.


Orders are encumbered when Saved, not when 'sent':

Unlike what we are accustomed to in Aleph, an order's encumbrance is not created when the POL is "ordered" via Order now or save and continue. Instead, it is created merely by saving an order.

When one "saves" an order, it goes into review. Orders that are in review and that have a fund and a price entered, will count against open encumbrances on funds

 If an amount other than 100% is allocated to funds, click Redistribute Lines to re-allocate the fund amount percentages, based on each fund’s respective amount.

You can delete the fund in this section by clicking on the ellipsis and choosing Delete

See Funds and Ledgers for more information.

PO Line details

Acquisition method:

  • Purchase - order will be sent to the vendor, invoice expected (Pricing and fund information mandatory)  NOTE: this is the only Acquisition method that results in a purchase order being sent to the vendor
  • Purchase - Without letter - if no letter to the vendor is needed, invoice expected (Pricing and fund information mandatory)  This means no email or EDI order is sent to the vendor
  • Approval Plan - order will not be sent to the vendor, invoice expected (Pricing and fund information mandatory)
  • Gift - order will not be sent to the vendor, no invoice expected (Pricing and fund information optional)
  • Purchase at Vendor System - order will not be sent to the vendor, invoice expected (Pricing and fund information  mandatory)
  • Depository (for government depository items) - order will not be sent to the vendor, invoice not expected (Pricing and fund information optional)
  • Exchange (i.e. received on exchange) - order will not be sent to the vendor, invoice not expected (Pricing and fund information optional) 
  • Technical - order will not be sent to the vendor, invoice not expected (Pricing and fund information optional). Use technical for any order that does not need to be sent to the vendor and that does not fit into the other categories. This can be used for membership payment, series standing order payment, payment of materials sent on exchange, etc.

Material type: choose from the drop down list

Invoice Status: No invoice (This field is set by default  and should not be modified. Alma automatically updates this field as required)

Reporting code (this was called the Object code in Aleph)

    • You can type in the code that was used in Aleph to bring up the code you want, and you can click on it

Secondary and Tertiary Reporting codes: not yet in use

Rushcheck if you want to rush the order of this item. 

    • The rush icon appears next to relevant items on PO line details pages.

Manual packaging: 

    • check this field if you would like to select which POLs are group together (i.e. Packaged) and sent to the vendor on one list.
    • check this field if you would like to specify a different ship to or bill to address than the one associated with the POL owner

see Packaging and Sending a Purchase Order for more details

Cancellation restriction: check to display a cancellation restriction note containing a warning upon the cancellation of a PO line. 

    • To then continue with the cancellation of the PO line, the user must click Confirm
    • The Cancellation Restriction icon appears next to the relevant items on the PO line details pages.

Cancellation restriction note: The text of the warning to be displayed when canceling a PO line.

Identifier: The ISBN/ISSN of the item to be ordered. 

    • By default, this field is populated by the first identifier listed in the bibliographic/imported record’s ISBN/ISSN (020/022) field. You can select a different value.

Proposed Identifier: An identifier indicating which ISBN/ISSN of the item to order.

Vendor reference number: most likely only populated when the order is created by the EOD process. A reference number for the PO line in Alma, as provided by the vendor. Serves as a matching point for identifying a PO line in Alma.

Vendor reference number type: this will self populate in the EOD process; it is the vendor matching/ref number for imports and overlays

Note to vendor: used for any notes for the vendor

    • Notes entered in this field are moved to the Notes tab when the PO line is saved.

Vendor invoice number: no need to fill in manually. Appears when the PO line was uploaded from an EOD file 


This section appears collapsed by default

Associated PO lines: A target PO line

Per ExL documentation:

 The relationship in this field is a one-way relationship: this PO line is associated to the target PO line, but not the reverse. One use-case for this field is if you are ordering multi-part serials. It is recommended that you have one, main PO line (with fund information) for the subscription and an additional Technical PO line for each item that you are to receive at a different interval. You can only associate the current PO line with one target PO line. The target PO line appears in this field. Note that the Associated PO lines tab lists only the PO lines that are associated with this one (the reverse relationship), and not the PO line selected in this field.

Source typeThe source from which the current PO line originated, such as Manual; Migrated, Imported, etc. 

    • Note: For orders created via EOD (Enhanced order loader): this field will have the value: Import EOD. There will also be a clickable link to see information about the Import job details. 

Additional PO line reference: The reference code by which you want to identify the current PO line.

 Other POL Tabs


The following tabs are not used during POL creation, but hold data throughout the life of an order:


  • Description: created automatically but can be edited. 


    • NOTE: The PO line description is an entity that is created at the time of the PO line creation and is not connected to, or influenced by, the bibliographic information of the related record. This means, for example, that if a PO line is created for a title Introduction to Chemistry, the PO line description title will be Introduction to Chemistry. If, at a later point in time, the title changes to Introduction to Organic Chemistry, the PO line description title will not automatically change. If you want to have the PO line description title updated as a result of a changed bibliographic record title, you may do so using the PO line's Change Bib Reference button. See the Order maintenance training doc for more information


  • Alerts: lists the alerts that were generated for the PO line
  •  Invoice Lines: allows you to view invoice line item associated with this POL
  •  Associated PO Lines: PO lines appearing in this tab were:


    • Associated automatically to this PO line by Alma. or
    • Manually associated to the current PO line in the Associated PO line field in the Additional section of the Summary tab of the other PO line.
    • For migrated orders, this tab would show any additional Aleph orders that were on this bib record


  • Communications: use to start a new communication with the vendor or, if a communication already exists, you can enter details of the reply from the vendor and/or follow up on the communication with your reply to the vendor.


    • The communication created here is sent to the vendors via email.
    • Replies from vendors do not populate here, however; they would have to be manually copied and pasted in.


See the Claiming (One-time / Continuous) training document for more details.


  • Interested Users: use to manage users interested in the acquisition: somewhat akin to a routing list.  You can also select that an interested user is notified when the item is received, activated, or renewed, and/or that a hold is placed on the item for the user. (Note that the notification to the interested user is only sent out when the item is fully received or activated. If the item is "In Department", it won't trigger a message until it marked as "Done.")  For general information about requests, see this training document.


  • History: shows the the audit trail of changes performed to the PO line. These include changes in status, price, and fund distribution; it may also include some migrated order history data


  • Notes: allows one to add, update, or delete notes for the PO line; it will also include the Aleph Library note field for migrated orders

Completing the POL

After entering all the mandatory and pertinent information in the POL, click on one of the following actions on the top Purchase order line details bar:

To place the order, choose Save and continue or Order now;

  • Save and continue – The information you entered is saved and the PO line continues to the next stage of the workflow (review rules are not checked) which most likely is to place the order via Manual or Auto-packaging
  • Order now – Enables you to process an order for a PO line, which moves the PO line to the purchasing workflow where it is normalized (checked) and validated before being packaged and sent to the vendor.  You will see a Confirmation message which lists some out of the box alerts

      Note: staff will receive an Order notification email when using the Order Now command. We cannot turn these off.

      • The email is evidence of a successful process

      • Staff will also get an email if it was an unsuccessful process; here is an image of that email:

See Packaging and Sending a Purchase Order for more details

Other actions:

  • Save – The information you entered is saved, and the PO line remains in its current workflow stage (if you just created the PO line manually, it remains In Review). After hitting Save, the PO line will appear in the Assigned to Me tab of the Purchase Order Lines in Review page.
  • Cancel line – The PO line is canceled
  • Defer – The PO line is deferred and appears in the Review Deferred task list until it is either reactivated or canceled.
  • Relink – Changes the bibliographic record to which the PO line is linked. See the Order maintenance training doc for more info.
  • Delete – Deletes the PO line. See Order maintenance for more details about deleting POLs
  • Change Bib Reference – Changes the bibliographic record of the PO line.
  • Save as template —The entered field values are saved as part of a template. See PO Line Templates for more details.
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