UTDesign Capstone and EPICS teams are allocated a project budget to cover the expenses for equipment, parts, and supplies, etc. needed to build their prototypes. Shipping charges are considered a budget expense. Before placing any orders, the teams must study the procurement process.
The teams must use the UTDesign Procurement Manager (UPM) to submit order requests. UTDesign will place the orders and provide order, shipping, and expense information through the UPM tool.
When determining which items are needed for the project, the students should primarily look for solutions from the preferred vendors. If a team must use a vendor that is not on the preferred vendor list, they have to make sure that the vendor is located in the US and have a procedure in place for sales tax exemptions. Extra time may be required to establish accounts with new vendors.
Be aware of product lead-times and plan accordingly. In general, items are shipped by ground, and UTDesign does not pay expediting fees or overnight delivery costs.
Consider your budget and expenditures and shop for best prices. Ask if the vendor offers an education or university discount. Quotes are needed for specialty equipment or items not available online.
Delivered orders will be available for pick up by the teams at a designated locker (see UTDesign locker guide).
Reimbursement takes a long time due to all the instances that are involved (see reimbursement process) and should be avoided as much as possible. If a team must purchase any items on their own, they have to have a verbal approval from their faculty advisor before each purchase. Sales tax is not reimbursable. To avoid having to pay sales tax, the students should request a tax-exempt form from the UTDesign office before they make a purchase.
The UPM keeps a running total of the remaining project budgets. The teams may also want to track their project’s expenses in a separate ledger. Orders exceeding the allotted budget will be rejected (unless preapproved by the UTDesign program coordinator).
If items need to be returned, talk to the UTDesign office. There are restrictions on returns.
For a tutorial on ordering parts and materials for your project, please see the video below (please note that the UPM tool has replaced the procurement request form).