Blanket & Open Orders

Blanket and Open orders are good alternatives to the standard Purchase Order or Department Order. Think of it as filling out paperwork only once a year instead of several times a year. Please note: Blankets and Opens fall under the same rules as Purchase Orders regarding dollar amount and bidding. For more information, you can visit our Order Rules page.

If you make many purchases at the same store, or make repeated payments to one vendor throughout the year, you could save time by starting a Blanket or Open Order with those vendors.

Here are some common questions people have about Blankets and Opens:


How are Blanket Orders and Open Orders different?

The first step in understanding the difference between the two is realizing that they are two distinct types of orders that serve two very different purposes.

Blanket Orders

  • Are not encumbered
  • Are good for unspecified unit amounts

Open Orders

  • Are encumbered
  • Are good for regular payments of a specified amount

How do I get a Blanket or Open Order started?

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Begin by filling out a Purchase Form. Check the box "Purchasing to Place".
  2. Fill in the Vendor Information and your delivery address/location.
  3. For the item description, indicate the types of products you will be buying, the year during which you are going to make the purchases, and the maximum dollar amount you'd like to spend.
    Please note: Blankets and Opens fall under the same bidding guidelines as Purchasing to Place orders. Basically, if it's over $3000 we have to quote it!
  4. Fill in the accounting information and get all the necessary signatures. If you would like to determine the fund as each invoice is received, write "Various".

How do I use a Blanket or Open Order

After Purchasing receives your completed Purchase Form indicating you would like a Blanket or Open Order, you should receive a fax copy of the official Purchase Order (that's the one with the State seal at the top).

For Blanket Orders:

  • Contact your vendor as you usually do and place an order.
  • When they ask for an order number, give them the Blanket Order number (starts with a B).
  • They will invoice against this order and it will meet up in Accounts Payable for standard payment processing.

It's just like a Department Order only you don't have to fill out the Purchase Form every time!

For Open Orders:

  • You don't do anything! The vendor will invoice for the proper amount for each period of payment (month, quarter, year, etc.). The invoice should arrive in Accounts Payable for standard payment processing.

Once a year, near the end of your order's period, Purchasing will send a renewal notice to the person who filled out the original Purchase Form. At that time you have the option of canceling the order or renewing it (extending it) for another year. Simply fill out that form and send it back to Purchasing.

Page Updated 10.09.2012