Acquisitions is the process by which an institution acquires new items or services. "New" means either copies of items that already exist in the inventory, new items without holdings that are defined in the Institution, Community, or Network Zones, or extensions or additions to existing services (such as additional users for an electronic resource). Alma provides a step-by-step process that guides all acquisitions. Alma handles many kinds of acquisitions, including physical, electronic, and digital, and including standing orders, periodical subscriptions, and renewals.
After defining vendors and their parameters, such as how to communicate with them, the acquisition workflows include purchasing, invoicing, and managing trials. Alma can be configured to handle various special payments and processing due to added tax, returns, split invoice payments, and so forth.
Watch the Acquisitions Overview video (5:00 mins).
Acquisitions contains the following workflows/sections:
Before you can begin working with the Acquisitions workflows, you must ensure that the Purchasing Manager has properly set up the Acquisitions infrastructure. For details, see Acquisitions Infrastructure.
- Acquisitions Infrastructure – Before purchasing anything, you must ensure that your acquisitions infrastructure is configured. Add all relevant vendors and vendor accounts, enter information about your funds and ledgers, and enter information about your licenses and license amendments. When required, you can perform fund allocation transfers (move money between funds in the same fiscal period). For a detailed explanation of the Acquisitions infrastructure, see Acquisitions Infrastructure.
- Purchasing – Handle purchase order (PO) lines from the point of their creation to the point at which they await activation or receipt. Purchases can be for physical or electronic material. Purchases can be one-time, continuous for serial publications, or standing orders for new books by certain authors (for example). Received items can be shelf-ready (already with barcodes) and/or require additional processing (such as sending to the correct department, copy cataloging, or notifying patrons who are waiting for it). For a detailed explanation of the purchasing workflow, see Purchasing Workflow.
- Invoicing – Handle invoices from the point of their creation to the point at which the invoices are closed. Invoices are processed to determine if they require special attention and may be exported to be handled by an ERP system. For a detailed explanation of the invoicing workflow, see Invoicing Workflow.
- Renewals – Mark PO lines for renewals of subscriptions for both electronic and physical material, such as magazines, journals, or periodicals, during their creation to the point at which the materials are renewed. For a detailed explanation of the renewal workflow, see Renewal Workflow.
- Deferring PO Lines – Handle PO lines from the time they are deferred to the point at which they are either reactivated or canceled. For a detailed explanation of the deferring PO line workflow, see Deferring PO Line Workflow.
- Evaluations – Handle PO lines from the point of their creation for the evaluation (trial) to the point at which a decision is made whether or not to purchase the electronic materials. Evaluations refer to when a vendor offers new electronic material for evaluation or a request is received from a member of the institution to have electronic material evaluated. For a detailed explanation of the evaluations workflow, see Evaluation Workflow.
- Import Processing – You can monitor and resolve issues with jobs that import records of newly acquired material. For more information, see Import Processing.
- PO Line Sets and Processes – To globally change multiple PO lines, you must first search for the PO lines, create PO line sets, and then run jobs on these sets. For a detailed explanation, see Searching for PO Lines, Managing Jobs and Sets, and Running Manual Jobs on Defined Sets .
- Advanced Tools – Advanced acquisitions activities include viewing exchange rate reports, rolling over ledgers and PO lines (from one fiscal period to the next), and managing patron-driven acquisitions (PDA). For a detailed explanation of the advanced tools, see Advanced Tools.
- Configuring Acquisitions – As an administrator, you must configure the parameters for all of the acquisitions activities. For a detailed explanation, see Configuring Acquisitions.