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    Managing PO Lines

    Translatable

    This page describes how to manage PO lines including editing PO line information, performing global changes, communicating with vendors, etc. For information on the overall purchasing workflow see Purchasing Workflow. For an overview of working with acquisitions in Alma, including links to relevant sections such as Invoicing, Renewals, Configuration, etc., see Introduction to Acquisitions.

    Once a PO line has been saved, Alma begins to process it. Depending on its nature and settings, and its current workflow step (status), various avenues are available for managing it. Some of the information it contains can be edited, and a variety of options are available in its row actions. Certain actions can also be performed globally, on multiple, selected PO lines, at one time. In addition, you can communicate with the vendor by sending emails directly from the PO line, and you can keep track of the interactions with the vendor by saving the content of vendor emails in the PO line as well. You can also create a template from an existing PO line, which can be used to streamline the process of creating similar PO lines in the future.

    For a general overview of the PO line workflow, see PO Line Types and Workflow Steps

    For information about searching for PO lines or filtering the list that appears in the PO Lines task list, see  Searching for PO Lines - New Layout.

    For a brief overview of the PO Lines task list, watch New PO Line Task List (4:56).

    The main row actions available for PO lines are listed under Manually Creating a PO Line. Some additional row actions that only appear at certain points in the workflow are documented in the pages that deal with those processes. See:

    Opening the PO Line Task List

    You access existing PO lines in the PO line task list.

    POL Task List - All.png

    PO Line Task List

    The PO line task list can be accessed in a number of ways:

    • Navigate to Acquisitions > Purchase Order Lines > All PO Lines to open the task list with all the PO lines that exist included in it. You can then filter the list using the facets to locate the PO lines you want to work with; see Searching for PO Lines.
    • In the persistent search bar, search for Order lines that meet certain conditions; see Searching for PO Lines.
    • Select one of the pre-filtered options under Acquisitions > Purchase Order Lines:
      • Review (PO Line) – Open the PO line task list with the Assigned to Me and In Review facets pre-selected.
      • Package – Open the PO line task list with the Manual Packaging facet pre-selected.
      • Claim – Open the PO line task list with the PO Line in Claim facet category set to Yes.
      • Renew – Open the PO line task list with the Waiting for Manual Renewal facet pre-selected.
      • Review Deferred – Open the PO line task list with the Assigned to Me and Deferred facets pre-selected.
    • In the persistent menu bar, select the Tasks icon (Tasks Icon.png), and then, in the Tasks list, select one of the following pre-filtered options:
      • Package – Open the PO line task list with the Manual Packaging facet pre-selected.
      • Review (PO line) - assigned to you – Open the PO line task list with the Assigned to Me and In Review facets pre-selected.
      • Review (PO line) - unassigned – Open the PO line task list with the Unassigned and In Review facets pre-selected.
      • Renew – Open the PO line task list with the Waiting for Manual Renewal facet pre-selected.
      • Claim – Open the PO line task list with the PO Line in Claim facet category set to Yes.

    Order Line in Task List.png 

    Order Lines in the Tasks List

    Regardless of how you open it, once the PO line task list is open, you can further sort it and change the facet settings as necessary to find the PO lines that you are looking for; see Searching for PO Lines.  

    Editing PO Line Information

    You can edit PO lines in the PO line task list, in the Details pane. For information about the sections and fields that appear in the Details pane, see Manually Creating a PO Line. You cannot edit a PO line if it is assigned to someone else. While you are editing a PO line, the PO line is locked and cannot be edited by other library staff.
    PO lines can be edited during any stage of the PO line workflow, but certain fields may be unavailable for editing, depending on the workflow stage/packaging status. For example:
    • Acquisition method is editable only when the PO line is in the In Review status.

    • Currency, Location, and Material supplier are editable only if the PO line has not yet been packaged.

    To edit the information in a PO line:
    1. Locate the PO line in the PO line task list, as explained under Opening the PO Line Task List, above.
    2. Ensure the PO line is not currently assigned to someone else.
    3. Select Edit  (Edit button in task.png in the task list or the Edit button Edit button + label in Details pane.png at the top of the Details pane) to switch to Edit mode. The information in the Details pane becomes editable.
    4. Edit the information as required.
    5. Select Save. The changes are saved.

    For PO lines in review the process is quite similar apart from how to save and continue the process. For details see Editing a PO Line in Review.

    (New for February) Updates in the PO line are reflected in the related inventory, for example in material type.

    Replacing the Resource Associated with an Electronic PO Line

    When you are editing an electronic PO line (Collection or Portfolio), you can detach the existing resource from the PO line and replace it with another electronic resource. This enables you to avoid having to delete a PO line if it was associated with the wrong electronic resource.

    This operation is available for any type of electronic resource, but the replacement resource must be of the same type as the original resource. For example, if the currently selected resource is Electronic Portfolio, only another Electronic Portfolio can be selected as the new resource.

    A replacement resource can belong to the Institution Zone, Community Zone, or Network Zone. An indication of the zone with which the resource is associated appears in the Ordered Portfolios section of the electronic PO line's Details pane, with color coding indicating whether the resource is available or not (see Manually Creating a PO Line).

    The Replace Resource function can be used to handle purchasing and activation of electronic resources that are handled by a Network Zone (see Handling Electronic Resources that Are Managed in a Network Zone, below).
     

    PO-packaging-jobs_1.png

     

    Replace Resource Option in the Ordered Portfolios section of the PO Line Details Pane

    Replacing a Resource

    You can change the resource associated with an electronic PO line. If the resource being replaced is associated with a different bibliographic record from the new resource, the PO line will be associated with the new bibliographic record.

    To change the portfolio of the PO line:
    1. Select Edit to switch to Edit mode.
    2. In the Ordered Portfolios section, in the row actions of the portfolio, select Replace Resource. The Electronic Portfolios page opens in a sliding panel, with the persistent search bar at the top.

      If the resource being replaced is associated with a different bibliographic record, you may be prompted about whether to keep the bibliographic record in the repository or delete it. If this occurs, choose one of the options, and then select Save.

       

      If you choose to delete the resource, when Alma performs the resource replacement for the PO line, it also checks whether the bibliographic record of the original resource has any other inventory associated with it. If it does not have any other inventory, it is deleted. You will only see this prompt if the pol_handle_bib_record_without_inventory customer parameter is set to MANUAL. For additional information about this parameter, see Configuring Other Settings (Acquisitions).

       

      PO-packaging-jobs_2.png

    3.  In the persistent search bar, search for the portfolio you want to order instead of the current portfolio.
    4. When you have located the resource, select the button beside its number in the list of search results.

      Replacement Resource.png
       
    5. Select the Select button. The sliding panel closes, and the portfolio you selected replaces the previous one in the PO line.
    6. Select Save to save the change in the PO line.

    Handling Electronic Resources that Are Managed in a Network Zone

    Institutions that are part of a Network Zone whose electronic resources are managed by the Network Zone (although the institution's purchases are handled locally) can perform the following steps to purchase and activate an electronic resource:

    1. Create a local PO line associated with an electronic resource.
    2. Send the order to the vendor.
    3. Once the resource is available, ask the network institution to enable the electronic resource in the Network Zone and make it Available for them.
    4. Use the Replace Resource function to replace the resource currently associated with the PO line with the Network Zone resource that was made available.

    If the PO line doesn't have a license and the Network Zone resource has a license - the Network Zone license will be associated with the PO line. If the PO line has a license and the Network Zone resource has a license as well - the Network Zone license will not be associated with the PO line.

    Performing Global Changes on Selected PO Lines

    You can perform certain actions in bulk on selected PO lines that appear in the PO line task list at the same time. These actions can be selected in the Actions menu (see New Layout 2022), which becomes available when one or more PO lines are selected in the task list. 

    POLs Selected w Actions menu.png

    PO Lines Selected in the PO Lines Task List, with the Actions Menu Available
    To select a PO line:
    • Select its checkbox.

    If the task list that is currently open has more than one page, you can select PO lines from multiple pages.

    The available actions are:

    • Create New PO – Package the selected PO lines into a purchase order; see Packaging PO Lines into a PO.
    • Change Expected Date – Update the expected dates of PO lines that are in claim; see Processing Claims.
    • Manage Labels – Add labels to or remove labels from the selected PO lines; see New Layout 2022.
    • Assign Selected – Assign the selected PO lines to yourself or to another user, or release the assignment of the selected PO lines that are currently assigned to you: In the dialog box, select the required option, and then select Assign to selected.
      Choose Assign To - Action menu.png
      Choosing the Assignment Action for the Selected PO Lines 

    Performing Global Changes on PO Line Sets

    To perform global changes on PO lines, you must have one of the following roles:
    • Purchase Operator
    • Purchase Manager
    • Acquisitions Administrator
    • General System Administrator
    To change a list of PO lines, you must first create a PO line set, which is a set of PO lines; see Managing Search Queries and Sets.
    To perform global changes on PO lines:
    Run one of the following jobs:
    • Update PO Lines Workflow – Move PO lines to a specific stage in the workflow
    • Update PO Lines Transactions – Modify PO line allocation between funds
    • Update PO Lines Information – Update PO line information according to specified conditions
    • Update PO Lines Information - Advanced – Modify PO line attributes after an order is created and sent to the vendor
    • Change PO Lines Status – Choose a status (Cancel, Close, or Delete) to which to change a set of PO lines
    • Update PO Lines Interested Users – Update the list of interested users defined for a set of PO lines
    For more information about these jobs, and manually running jobs in general, see Manual Jobs.

    Communicating with Vendors

    To communicate with vendors, you must have one of the following roles:
    • Purchasing Operator
    • Purchasing Manager
    • Vendor Manager
    You can communicate with the vendor of a PO line from the Communications section of the PO line Details pane, which opens the Communications page in a sliding panel. Communication can consist of any of the following:
    • Sending a new email to the vendor
    • Manually entering a response from the vendor (even if it was received by email)
    • Sending a reply email to the vendor
    Communications handled by this page are primarily manual – the user manually enters a message and sends it, and manually enters any responses received from the vendor. The exception is claim notifications, which, depending on the configuration of your system, may be sent automatically by Alma. When they are, they appear in the communication history that appears in the Communications page.
    The communication options described in this section are also available in the Communications tab of the vendor record (Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > [Select Edit in the vendor's row actions] > Communications). For additional information, see Managing Vendors
    To open the Communications page:
    1. Search for a PO line (see Searching for PO Lines - New Layout). When it is displayed in the task list, select it. The PO line opens in the Details pane.
    2. In the Sections menu of the PO line, select Communications. The Communications page opens in a sliding panel, and displays a list of communications that have already taken place with the vendor regarding this PO line. Each item in the list is a conversation that consists of one or more emails.

      Communications page.png

    Initiating a New Communication with a Vendor

    A new communication with a vendor is an email letter based on the Conversation Letter that is sent to the vendor. The letter is sent to the preferred email of the vendor (unless it is a claim letter – see Claim Communication, below). If no preferred email is available, the order email is used. To customize this letter, see Configuring Alma Letters.

    The body of the email is automatically populated with the following information concerning the PO line, when it is available:

    • Order Line Reference Number
    • Library Code
    • Library Name
    • Title
    • Author
    • Publication Date
    • Publication Place
    • Publisher
    • Identifier
    • Order Date
    • Total Price
    • Unit Price
    • Number of Units Arrived
    • Number of Units Ordered

    You can manually edit this information and add additional text to the body of the letter, as required. 

    A PO line must have a vendor selected before you can initiate communication with them, but it does not have to be saved.
    To initiate a new conversation:
    1. In the Communications page, select Start Communication. The Start Communication dialog box opens. The Body of the letter is automatically populated with information concerning the PO line. 
      Start Communication dialog.png
      Start Communication Dialog Box
    2. Under Type, select one of the following:
      • General – A general message, which is sent to the vendor's preferred email address.
      • Claim – A manual claim letter. When this is selected, details about the last item received are added to the Body of the letter, and the letter is sent to the vendor's claim address rather than their preferred address, if one is available. 
    3. In the Subject field, enter a subject for the email. It is recommended to enter the PO number and/or PO line number. While any text can be entered, a subject that includes the PO number and/or the PO line number makes communication with the vendor clearer. This subject line will identify this conversation in the list in the Communications page (even if it is modified in later messages in the conversation).
    4. In the Body field, enter the text of the email, and modify the PO-line information that was inserted automatically, as required.
    5. If you are sending an attachment with the email, under File name, select the file.
    6. Optionally add a relevant URL and any notes (to be included in the attachment, not in the letter XML).
    7. Select Send. The email is sent to the vendor and appears in the list of communications.

    Entering Vendor Responses to Emails

    Vendor responses to communications are not automatically recorded in the Communications page and must be entered manually. The following procedure describes how to enter vendor responses to emails.
    To enter vendor responses:
    1. In the Communications page, select one of the following options:
      • Select the conversation to which you want to enter a response. The history of the conversation appears in the Communication Messages page. Select Add a Response.
      • Select Add a Response in the row actions list.
      The Add a Response dialog box opens.
      Communications - Add Response.png
      Add a Response Dialog Box
    2. In the Body text box, enter the response from the vendor.
    3. If you received an attachment with the email, save it in your file system. Then, upload it by selecting it under File name.
    4. Optionally add any relevant URLs and notes.
    5. Select Response. The email response from the vendor is saved to Alma.

    Replying to a Vendor's Email

    You can continue a conversation with a vendor by sending additional emails, such as replies to their emails. The bodies of these emails include the text from previous messages, and carry the Subject line over from the first message.

    To continue an existing conversation:
    1. In either the row actions of the conversation in the Communications page, or the Messages tab of the Communication Messages page, select Reply. The Reply dialog box opens. 
    2. Under Body, enter the text of the message.
    3. Optionally, attach a file, and/or add a URL or notes.
    4. Select Send. The email is sent to the vendor and added to the messages in the Messages tab of the Communication Messages page.

    Managing Attachments to Communications

    You can view and modify the properties of existing attachments to a communication, download the attachments, add additional attachments, and delete existing attachments, in the Communication Messages page, in the Attachments tab..
    To add an attachment:
    • Select Add Attachment.
    To manage existing attachments:
    • From the row actions of the attachment, select the relevant option: Edit, Download, or Delete.

    Deleting Communications

    You cannot delete individual emails in a conversation, but you can remove entire conversations from the list in the Communications when they are no longer relevant. 
    To delete a conversation, including all of its replies:
    • In the Communications page, in the row actions of the conversation, select Close.

    Claim Communication

    For additional information about claim handling, see Processing Claims.
    When working with claims, Alma automatically sends an email notification message to the vendor if all of the following conditions are met:
    • The auto_claim parameter (for one-time physical PO lines) or the auto_claim_co parameter (for continuous physical PO lines) is set to Y (see Configuring Other Settings).
    • The email PO Line Claims letter is enabled (see Enabling/Disabling Letters).
    • The vendor's email address is configured.
    • One day has elapsed since the Expected Receipt Date + Claiming grace period of a PO line (see Processing Claims) and the material has not been delivered by the vendor.

    As long as the above conditions are met, a message is automatically sent to the vendor for physical PO lines. Messages may be sent to a vendor multiple times for a single item. For more information, see Processing Claims. All messages that are sent appear in the list in the Communications page as separate conversations.

    If the customer parameter is not set to Automatic, you can, if required, manually send an email to the vendor; see Initiating a New Communication with a Vendor, above.

    • If the vendor is configured for EDI claims (see Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)) and the EDI PO Line Claims letter is enabled, automatic claims are sent using EDI for all PO line types (see Processing Claims) as long as the above conditions are met. Claims sent using EDI do not appear in this tab. Responses to claims that are received from vendors using EDI appear in the Notes tab.
    • When manually sending a claim, the claim is sent by email regardless of whether the vendor is configured for EDI claims.
    • When a claim notification is sent to the vendor by email, if the organizational unit (owning library) has a Claim response email address defined, this address is used in the claim notification email's From address. To use the From address in the PO Line Claim Letter, and not the library's email address, remove the Claim response email address from the organization's email addresses (see Configuring Institution/Library Contact Information) and edit the email address settings under Contact Information, clearing the Claim response option). For information on configuring the letter, see Configuring Alma Letters.
    • When a purchase order is sent to the vendor by email, if the organizational unit (owning library) has an Order Response email address defined, this email is used in the email's From address.

    Creating and Managing PO Line Templates

    PO line templates are saved sets of PO line configurations that you can apply to a new PO line. This saves you time when creating the PO line, since you don't have to enter these configurations each time. When saving a template, you can also choose to delete an existing template. Templates can be saved as either public or private. When loading templates, you can choose from your private templates and all public templates.

    Fields that Are Saved in a PO Line Template

    The following fields from the PO line are saved as part of a template:
    • PO Line Information section:
      • Acquisition method
      • Material type (physical items)
      • Manual packaging (Physical and Electronic items)
      • Cancelation restriction note
      • Labels
    • Ordered Items or Holdings for Ordered Items section (physical items):
      • Number of items
      • Library
      • Location
      • Item policy
    • Vendor Information section:
      • Material supplier
      • Expected receipt - Days after ordering or Date (physical items)
      • Expected activation - Days after ordering or Date (electronic items)
      • Note to vendor
    • Pricing and Funding section:
      • Quantity for pricing (physical items)
      • Update Net Price according to item quantity (physical items)
      • Fund (physical and electronic items)
        When saving a fund as part of a template, Alma saves the fund code. When loading from a template, Alma always loads the fund from the current fiscal period.
    • Receiving Information section (physical items):
      • Rush
      • Receiving note
      • Binding during receiving
      • Routing during receiving
    • Activation Information section (electronic items):
      • Rush
      • Activation note
      • License
    • Renewal Information section (continuous items):
      • Renewal date
      • Renewal reminder period (days)
    • Reporting Codes:
      • All the reporting codes from 1st reporting code through to 5th reporting code.

    Adding or Updating a PO Line Template

    You can save any PO line as a template. Only the template owner or an Acquisitions Administrator can update a PO line template.

    To add or update a PO line template:
    1. If the PO line is not currently visible, locate the PO line in the PO Line Task List (see Searching for PO Lines - New Layout).
    2. In the row actions of the PO line (in either its row in the task list, or in the Details pane, if the PO line is open there), select Save as template. The Save as Template dialog box opens.
      Save as Template dialog.png
      Save as Template dialog box
    3. Do one of the following:
      • To save a new template based on the settings of the current PO line: Select Create new template, and then, under Template name, enter a name for a template.
      • To replace an existing template with the settings from the current PO line: Select Update existing template, and then, under Choose a template, search for and select the template.
      • Template names cannot include semicolons (;), commas (,), slashes (/), or other special characters, such as: ! or $
      • To remove any selections you have made in the dialog box, and revert it to its initial state when you first selected Save as template, select Reset.
    4. If you are creating a new template and you want to share the template with other users in your institution, select Public template. A public template can be used by everyone, but only the template owner or an Acquisitions Administrator can edit or delete it.
    5. Select Save.

    Deleting a PO Line Template

    The template owner or an Acquisitions Administrator can delete a PO line template.

    To delete a PO line template:
    1. In the row actions of any PO line, select Save as template. The Save as Template dialog box opens.
    2. Select Update existing template.
    3. Under Choose a template, search for and select the template.
    4. Select Delete, and then confirm your selection. The template is deleted.

     

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