Does Alma provide links from an order to other related information?
Can the PO line's bibliographic reference be changed?
What order types are supported in Alma?
Does Alma need brief bibliographic records to be created for ordering purposes?
Can interested users be notified if an item is received or activated?
The ‘Interested Users’ tab on the order record allows for listing users interested in receiving notification when an the ordered item is received or activated.
For physical items the options are to notify the patron and/or place a hold request for the patron:
An example of the email notification when an item is received:
Can staff edit order details throughout the whole lifecycle of the order?
Assign, reassign or release assignments of PO lines
Edit PO lines
- material supplier
- Packaging PO Lines into a PO
- Review POs
- starting a trial OR Request evaluation
- Order now
- To manually add PO lines to an existing PO
- Approval/Sending (manually)
- additional vendor
- shipping information
- edit PO lines included in the PO
- To delete POs
- Receiving Material/Receiving Stage
- Activation (for electronic material)
- Scanning (for Analytics reports, History and More Info status)
- Notifying interested users/patrons, print an interested users list
- Claim Missing Items/change expected receiving dates
- Post-Receiving Processing (Technical services, by default: Physical Processing, Copy cataloging, Temporary Storage)
- Print slips
- Un-receive (revoke the received status of an item if it was mistakenly marked as received)
- Closing, Canceling and Deleting PO Lines
- Reopening closed or canceled PO Lines
- Reassigning and Reactivating PO Lines
- Changing Bibliographic Reference (to which the PO line is linked)
How are orders for electronic and print versions for the same title handled?
How are purchase orders sent to the vendor? Can they be printed and then sent?
Does Alma create an audit trail on orders?
Can the cost of an order be split between funds?
How does Alma support core acquisitions functionality?
- Most acquisitions activities are unmediated, based on library policies and procedures. Operator intervention is needed only when staff review or mediation is required for the processes to continue.
- Alma holds a single universal currency repository (based on ISO currency codes), which includes current and historical rates. The repository is updated on a continuous basis. To help libraries track and manage currency changes, Alma also provides an exchange rate report, which can be run in real-time to generate a list of recent exchange rates.
- Alma allows staff to create acquisition records for non-purchased materials, such as gifts and depository materials, without requiring that the items follow the traditional workflow of funding, invoicing and payment.
Does Alma support automated ordering workflows?
Does Alma support a variety of acquisition workflows?
Approval orders are managed as standing orders, where the specific titles are loaded via MARC embedded order data/embedded order confirmation records. The system will check for approval titles that are already owned and flag them for staff review.
Firm orders for print or electronic resources are managed by creating order lines attached to either a brief bibliographic record or a complete record from the Alma Community Catalog. Once the order has been processed, it may be sent via EDI, email, or print. The library may attach complete bibliographic records either from the Community Catalog or an external source. Print titles await receiving from the vendor, and electronic titles are activated as per agreement with the vendor. At that point, these resources are added to the permanent collection.
Print continuations (print subscriptions and standing orders) and electronic subscriptions are both managed by Alma through ongoing open orders. The library establishes a purchase for the subscription, including a start and end date (the latter is optional). As new issues of print resources are received, inventory is created automatically. Electronic subscriptions may be activated and are subject to evaluation and renewal workflows.
Alma also supports acquisition workflows for non-purchased materials, such as gifts, and legal deposit, without requiring that the items follow the traditional workflow of order, receipt, invoice, payment.
Alma supports the ability to derive purchase orders based on EOD/EOCR records. The approach is flexible enough to accommodate mapping PO data from an array of different MARC fields and subfields, and can be customized based on different vendor requirements. Default profiles are included for common vendor mappings. The following screen capture shows an example of mapping inventory information from the vendor record to Alma item records:
Alma maintains a lifecycle of purchasing that allows orders to be processed automatically with no staff intervention. The library can set up rules that will flag an order for review or for automatic processing based on flags, e.g.:
By vendor (so that some vendor orders can pass through automatically)
By acquisition method (e.g., so that approval orders will pass fewer checks)
By type of material or source of PO information
By additional exceptions (duplicate active order, item already exists in inventory, price exceeds limits, fund nearing limit, etc.)
Is it possible to change the vendor after an order has been sent?
- The 'Change Vendor' option will change the vendor in the order line and resend the order to the new vendor (as described below).
- The 'Replace (only) Vendor' option will change the vendor in the order record, but will not resend the order.
Can PO Lines be relinked?
An EOD arrives for a single volume within a multi-volume work which is more suitable to link to than the existing link.
An item arrives that matches an existing bibliographic record more suitably than a new one imported at the time of the order.
The PO line is related to the Central KnowledgeBase. When this occurs, the Relink option does not appear.
The PO line contains items belonging to two different bibliographic records.
Donations, exchange, legal deposit
How are donations handled?
Can Alma handle exchange orders?
Does Alma support a legal deposit workflow?
How does Alma handle cancelations?
Can Alma notify users who have requested/recommended an item if the order is canceled?
Can purchase orders be deleted?
- In Review
- Packaging (Automatic or Manual)
- It is linked to an invoice line.
- It is attached to a PO and has been sent to a vendor (if the PO has not been sent, the PO line can be removed from the PO and then deleted).
- One of the PO line resources has been received or activated (even if the PO line is in review)
Can Alma set distinct levels of authorization for ordering workflows?
Manually create a new order
Review and update an order
Send the order to the vendor
Approve orders that have been identified by the system as requiring special approval, as per institutional criteria
Delete an order. Being allowed to perform this action would require an addition extended role
Can a variety of order templates be created/used?
Can templates be modified?
- Open an purchase order using the template that you wish to modify
- Make the relevant changes on the order, and then choose the option 'Save as template'
Confirm that you wish to replace the 'old' template with the new version.
Does Alma support item search in Amazon for the purpose of ordering?
- View in Amazon takes you to the title in Amazon
- Item Lookup will show additional information about the title – e.g. different purchasing options
- Create order will create an order in Alma
Can Alma integrate with vendor websites by the use of APIs?
Can orders be generated at a vendor's website and linked to Alma?
Is real time acquisitions with vendors supported?
Alma supports with Library Service Providers to streamline acquisitions workflows. It incorporates standard ordering and loading technologies with APIs to speed the availability of resources, increase the efficiency of integrating records, and enhance data enrichment.
- The user searches for items in the vendor's system, and places them in the shopping cart (or equivalent).
- The user verifies owning library, fund codes and other relevant information.
- At checkout, the vendor sends the shopping cart data to Alma using the Create PO line API.
- Alma validates the received PO line information
- Alma attempts to match the bibliographic data using standard identifiers. If no match is found, Alma creates a brief bibliographic record for the order.
- Alma responds with the newly created PO line number to the vendor.
- The PO line is processed in Alma as other PO lines are processed. If an order requires manual review, Alma sends it to the In Review task list.
The vendor reference number is kept as part of the Alma PO line. Alma PO line number is kept as part of the vendor order details.
The following flow chart represents the workflow:
The following vendors currently support this integration:
Can searches for bibliographic records be limited to those with purchase orders attached?
Does Alma provide the ability to search all fields within all acquisitions records?