Purchasing System

From RedwoodCenter

As part of Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, the Redwood Center's purchasing has been handled by Research Enterprise Services (RES) since 2008. This document describes common uses of the purchasing system and provides some resources for those seeking further information.

Short Instructions

ATTENTION! With the implementation of Bearbuy, I believe the demarcated instructions are obsolete. If no one objects they will be deleted after a small grace period. Detailed instructions are below, but here's a shortcut for those who know what they're doing (these links may be somewhat fragile):

  1. Go to http://resaccess.berkeley.edu/ -- you should be redirected to a CalNet page, so log in there.
  2. On the top blue bar, click on "Purchasing Reimbursement"
  3. Under "Queue a purchase or reimbursement request for review & approval," select the head of the unit under which you are making a purchase (NB: This must be the actual person who will approve the order. A common choice while Prof. Olshausen is on sabbatical is Prof. Sommer).
  4. Make your order.
  5. Contact the person who will be approving your order directly!


NEW INSTRUCTIONS! With the implementation of Bearbuy, please follow the following instructions:

  1. Go to blu.berkeley.edu
  2. Login
  3. Click "Buying"
  4. Click "BearBuy"
  5. Shop from the various vendors and add desired items to cart
  6. Click on "Carts" and select desired cart from active carts
  7. Click on "View Cart Details"
  8. In Org Node enter "EUNEU" (without quotations)
  9. Click on Shipping
  10. Under 'Ship To' click on "Enter"
  11. Select 575A Evans (If 575A Evans is not already available, click "select from org addresses" and search for 575A Evans)
  12. Click on "Billing"
  13. Under 'Bill To 'click on "Enter"
  14. Select "Disbursements" from the drop down menu
  15. Click on "Comments"
  16. Click on "Add Comments"
  17. Add the following comment "Attention RES: please fill in Accounting Code Information as appropriate. Thank you."
  18. Click on "Submit"

What Can and CANNOT be bought this way

CAN be bought: Supplies -- this includes anything that can be delivered to campus, as far as I can tell. Conference registration. Other random fees.

CANNOT be bought: Anything that is solely related to travel, for example:

  • meals
  • plane/bus/whatever tickets
  • conference registration if it includes this

For this kind of service, use Waggonlit Travel (my understanding is that the service charge is to the university and not to the traveler's chartstring). You can be specific or non-specific, as applicable.

I don't know where hotel charges fit in.

Advantages and Disadvantages


Detailed Instructions

Accessing the Page

  1. Go to http://res.berkeley.edu/res/
  2. Under "Purchasing" on the left bar, select "Accessing the Purchasing System"
  3. Click the link to the "online purchasing system"
  4. Finally, click "Login" above on the blue bar and login with your CalNet ID.

Creating a Request

  1. On the top blue bar, click on "Purchasing Reimbursement"
  2. Under "Queue a purchase or reimbursement request for review & approval," select the head of the unit under which you are making a purchase (NB: This must be the actual person who will approve the order. A common choice while Prof. Olshausen is on sabbatical is Prof. Sommer).
  3. Enter your order. Estimates are fine for all quantities and units. Add anything that is not obvious in the comments (e.g. delivery-related issues, timing, specificity of quote, etc.). If you need to be present to complete the order (and just need the purchaser to use his/her credit card, note that, too). For an example, see the figure to the right
    Here is an example request.
  4. Click "Queue Request for Review" -- you might have to do this twice if you didn't use all available lines.
  5. Contact the person who will be approving your order directly! The unit head is not notified automatically!
  6. If you would like to add a chartstring to your order or make any other changes, see the next topic below.

Deleting or Modifying a Request

  1. At the purchasing interface, select "See the status of your requests"
  2. Once there, select "view request" for the order of interest.
  3. Then, modify your order as appropriate.
Modifying a request.
More Modifications.
  • Deletion is easy: press cancel.
  • To make any changes, you MUST know the chartstring to be used.
  • One you have added a chartstring, you can upload a pdf or similar backup material to accompany your purchase.

Approving Orders

TODO ... I have no access to this part of the system.


  • Lisa Torres [1] -- Lisa has access to all parts of the authorization side of purchasing, but it makes sense to find her in person or call her to make sure things work well for you.
  • Jadine Palapaz [2] -- Jadine is a purchaser and she actually sits in Barker and is mostly dedicated to HWNI purchasing. As of 2/2009, she gets in at 7am and can thus handle East Coast vendors well.
  • Emily Smith [3] -- Emily is Jadine's counterpart in Stanley, in case you want to sit with the purchaser as your order is being made. I have not interacted with her.
  • Alexis Kurland-Deeds [4] -- she's in charge of a lot of things related to HWNI grants and can probably help identify chartstrings

Common Office Supplies

Office Max offers discounts on many common office supplies. If you want to shop for discounted prices from Office Max and you have access to blu, follow these instructions: [Please note this is simply a way to get the prices and catalogue numbers for office supplies, purchases will still need to be placed through the RES system as described above]

  1. Go to http://blu.berkeley.edu
  2. Click on the "Login In" to do just that
  3. Click on "Buying" towards the top middle of the page
  4. Click on "BearBuy" in the left hand list of links
  5. Click on the "Office Max" link
  6. Enter search term (e.g.. "HP 4700 Toner") and click enter
  7. Start shopping

Commonly Purchased Items from VENDOR: Office Max


Description: Office Max Copy Paper - Sold by Carton

Product Code: P1OM98023-CTN

Price: $31.51


Description: HP - Toner Cartridges for HP LaserJet 4700 Series

[Add color to description]

Product Code and price:

S1Q5950A $135.55 (Black)

S1Q5951A $192.32 (Cyan)

S1Q5952A $182.37 (Yellow)

S1Q5953A $192.32 (Magenta)

Known Issues / Bugs

  • On the modifications screen, there are many buttons that regular users do not have access to (e.g. purchase now). Also, it's idiotic that any modifications must include the addition of a chartstring (one cannot upload a pdf in one does not add one). -- Will
  • One can only repeat one's own orders, but not the orders of others in the unit. -- Will
  • The prices of everything ordered in the unit are visible to everyone, which is kind of odd from a privacy standpoint. -- Will
  • The list of past orders is not sortable by anything reasonable
  • It is impossible to see details on past orders in the unit
  • No "aliases" for chartstrings, which is bad, since it's hard to remember the numbers.
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