Team Purchasing of Material/Services

Just a question for the teams out there.

How does your team purchase material and services. Right now the money from the sponsorship (My Employer) gets transferred to the school. The mentors have to buy everything on our credit cards then submit the invoice and a copy of our credit card receipts showing the charge. Then it goes to the school who audits it (and usually finds some BS problem with it) then a while later the school cuts a check and mails it to you. I personally have had it with the system and think it is terrible to have the mentors floating sizable loans to the team then jumping through hoops to get reimbursed.

So how does your team do it?

Pretty much exactly the same way but we have an account with the school treasurer that all our money is in, rather than some outside entity transfering it in.

We use purchase orders from the school for high dollar items. Most businesses accept them once they have the billing Info.

We started out doing pretty much the same thing. But as the team became well established with the school, and the school system became more comfortable with the way the team operated, we were able to make some changes. Now, for most of the vendors that we expect to use regularly (MSC, Enco, Boster Gear, Small Parts, etc.), we establish a team account and then issue school purchase orders for each order. For other purchases we have been able to have the school issue a school credit card to the team that goes directly to our team account. We use that for most small purchases and one-time purchases for new vendors. Those two options seem to cover just about everything that we may need.


Our School District has activity funds in which all our team has to do is summit a permission to purchase form and then a student, a mentor from the school and the principle must sign it. Then we can either get cash from are cashier or just buy the items and get reimbursed later for what ever it is. For large orders like our mill and lathe we have to summit purchase orders but that is on items that do not necessarily come out of our Robotics account but instead our Engineering programs account.