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    Managing Vendors

    Translatable
    To manage vendors and vendor accounts, you must have the following role:
    • Vendor Manager
    Before creating a purchase order, you must create entries in Alma for the vendor that will supply the order. For each vendor, you must also create one or more vendor accounts, representing specific purchasing accounts at the vendor.
    You manage vendors and vendor accounts on the Search Vendors page (Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Vendors).
    The Search Vendors page displays a list of vendors. You can filter the list of vendors by active status and vendor type.
    Search Vendors Page
    Active vendors have a yellow check mark to the left of their names. Inactive vendors have a grayed out check mark to the left of their names.
    The vendor types include:
    • Access Provider
    • Governmental
    • Licensor
    • Material Supplier
    Managing vendors and accounts includes:
    You can share global vendor information between members of a collaborative network. For more information, see Sharing Vendor Information in a Network Zone.

    Adding a Vendor and Vendor Account

    You add a vendor by creating a vendor account and entering a new vendor name. You can also add a vendor account to an existing vendor. A vendor cannot be activated until it has at least one vendor account with at least one payment option selected.
    To add a vendor and vendor account:
    1. On the Search Vendors page (Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Vendors), click Add Vendor. The Vendor Details page appears.
      Vendor Details Page
    2. Enter the vendor name and a code. These fields are required.
      A vendor code must:
      • Be unique across all vendors
      • Be up to 255 characters
      • Contain only alphanumeric characters
    3. Enter any other relevant vendor details.
    4. If this is a non-governmental vendor: select Liable for VAT to indicate that invoices must be paid with VAT included. You must also select this field to enable a separately-defined governmental vendor to collect VAT for this vendor’s invoices (see the following step).
    5. Select the vendor type from the following check boxes:
      • Material supplier/Subscription agent – Supplies the reading material or the subscription to the material.
      • Access provider – Holds the access privileges to services which manage e-resources. Access is managed using interfaces, configured in the Interfaces section on the Vendor Details page (see step 7 below).
      • Licensor – Holds the license of electronic resources. A licensor must be defined when defining a license on the Licenses and Amendments page (see Managing Licenses and Amendments).
      • Governmental – The vendor receives use tax (VAT) for an invoice payment from non-governmental vendors. Use tax represents a tax on the usage of library items, and is expended from the same funds as the actual invoice charges.
        If a governmental vendor is associated with the institution, and the vendor is defined as liable for VAT (liable for use tax), and an invoice is set to report (use) tax, then, when the invoice is created, a separate invoice for use tax is automatically generated for the use tax.
        A governmental vendor's invoices handle only use tax on invoices, ensuring that tax payments are handled separately from the regular invoice charges and go directly to the government.
        A governmental vendor cannot be selected when configuring a vendor for the PO line or invoice; it is used only for handling use tax invoices.
    6. If you selected Material Supplier/Subscription Agent:
      1. In the Accounts section, click Add. The Vendor Account Details page opens, enabling you to divide the vendor among different accounts and their respective parameters.
        Vendor Account Details Page
      2. Configure the form fields, as described in the following table:
        Summary Tab Fields
        Section Field Description
        Account General Details Account description (required) A description for the account
        Financial sys. account code A code for the financial system account
        Libraries Click Browse to select a library
        Account discount percent A discount percentage for the account
        This value is pre-filled in the Discount (%) field when purchasing. See Manually Creating a PO Line.
        Note Add a note for the account
        Account code (required) A code for the account
        Status Active or Inactive
        Payment Methods Payment methods (required) For information on the workflow impact of the payment method, see the Payment method entry in Invoice Details Page Fields under the Creating an Invoice from a PO or Manually procedure.
        Delivery and Claim Information Expected receipt after ordering (days) When creating a PO line for a physical resource, this value appears by default in the same field on the PO Line Summary page. It is added to the current date to determine the expected receipt date.
        Expected invoice interval (days) N/A
        Renewal evaluation interval (days) The number of days after the evaluation period that renewal can be performed.
        Claiming grace period (days) When creating a PO line, this value appears by default in the same field on the PO Line Summary page. It is added to the expected receipt date to determine when a PO line is sent to the Claims task list (see Processing Claims).
        Expected activation after ordering (days) When creating a PO line for an e-resource, this value appears by default in the same field on the PO Line Summary page. It is added to the current date to determine the expected activation date of the resource.
        Subscription grace period (days) When creating a PO line, this value appears by default in the Claiming grace period field on the PO Line Summary page. It is added to the expected activation date to determine when a PO line for an e-resource is sent to the Claims task list (see Processing Claims).
      3. Click Save to save the account information. The account appears in the Accounts section of the Vendor Details page.
        Vendor Details Page
    7. If you selected Access Provider:
      1. In the Interfaces section, click Add to open the Vendor Interface Details page, where you can configure interfaces to provide access to services that manage e-resources. Vendor interfaces describe the access to services that manage e-resources.
        Vendor Interface Details page
      2. In the Interface name field, you can either enter the full name of an interface or enter part of an existing interface name and select a matching interface from the resulting drop-down list (the list is generated from the Community Zone and cannot be configured).
      3. Enter an interface description, select a status, and add an optional note. Click Save to save the interface to the Vendor Details page.
        Vendor Details Page With Interfaces
      For details on editing a vendor interface, see Editing Vendor Interface Information.
    8. If you selected Governmental:
      1. The Tax percentage field appears.
        Tax Percentage Field
      2. Enter a numerical value for the tax to be administered. This is the percentage that will calculated from the PO line amount of the regular invoice (total less discount, not including shipping or other charges) in order to create a special tax-only governmental invoice
      3. Click Save. The vendor is saved on the Search Vendors page with Vendor Type = Governmental. The governmental vendor sends a separate invoice containing only the use tax on an invoice's charges, according to the value entered in the Tax percentage field.
        There can be only one governmental vendor in an institution.
    9. Configure the Vendor Details tab, as follows:
      1. In the Summary tab, select the currencies with which the vendor operates, a national tax ID number for the vendor, and an ERP and additional code, as needed.
      2. In the Contact Information tab, enter the address, phone number, email address, and web address information for the vendor.
        Select Preferred address for an address to be the default address used for the account. If there is no address specified for this type of correspondence (such as Claims, Orders, Payment, or any other address type value selected in the Add Address dialog box), the preferred email address is used. If multiple addresses are configured and no address is assigned as the preferred address, the first address listed on the Vendor Account Details page acts as the preferred address.
        Several entries may be provided for each method of contact, with an indication of the type or purpose for each method (such as shipping or billing). The information is stored at the vendor level and linked from the vendor account.
        If the parameter acq_use_vendor_account_email is set to true, the vendor account email address (if it exists) is preferred over the vendor email address. See Configuring Other Settings.
      3. In the Contact People tab, click Add Contact to enter names and other contact information for people who may be contacted directly, if necessary. The information is stored at the vendor level and linked from the vendor account.
      4. In the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Information tab, enter the information that enables orders to the vendor and/or invoices from the vendor to be transmitted electronically, if the vendor you are defining supports EDI. For more information on this tab, see Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
        If you want to define two different vendors for an EDI vendor (for example, YBP-US and YBP-UK) and both vendors use the same input directory on the same server, ensure that you define only one of the vendors as supporting incoming files, such as invoices (by selecting the Incoming check box; the POs check box can be selected for both vendors) so that the incoming files do not get locked. Note that incoming EDI job history and reports will be available only for the vendor that supports incoming files.
      5. The Invoices tab lists all the invoices associated with the vendor. Click the invoice number in the Invoice # column to view an invoice, or click Edit to edit an invoice. For more information on invoices, see Invoicing.
      6. The PO Lines tab displays all PO lines whose vendor code is the current vendor. For details on creating PO lines, see Creating PO Lines.
      7. In the Communications tab, send or reply to email messages to vendors, and record vendor responses to email messages. Alma sends email messages directly to the vendor. All responses from the vendor, including those received by email or telephone conversations, must be entered manually in this tab. Attachments associated with any communication can also be saved and viewed in this tab. For more information on the Communications tab, see Communicating with Vendors.
        In addition to users with the Vendor Manager role, users with the Purchasing Operator or Purchasing Manager roles can also communicate with vendors on this tab.
      8. In the Attachments tab, include any attachments that you want to associate with the vendor. EDI files sent to or received from vendors, as well as the attachments that may have been sent with or received in any communication with vendors, appear automatically in this tab.
      9. In the Notes tab, add a note to associate with the vendor in the Note field, as needed, and click Add to add the note to the Notes tab.
    10. Click Save to store all vendor detail information and return to the Search Vendors page.

    How Alma Handles VAT Payments

    The following table presents how Alma handles VAT payments based on three key configurations:
    • Whether the (non-governmental) vendor has an associated governmental vendor
    • Whether the vendor is noted as Liable for VAT; see above
    • Whether the VAT is reported for the invoice (either by selecting Report VAT or by manually entering the VAT amount)
    Governmental Vendors and VAT Payments
    Governmental Vendor Vendor Liable for VAT VAT Reported in Invoice Result
    No No No No special handling
    No No Yes Before saving the invoice, Alma prompts you to confirm that VAT is included in the invoice amount, even though VAT is not required for the vendor.
    No Yes No Before saving the invoice, Alma prompts you to confirm that VAT is not included in the invoice amount, even though VAT is required for the vendor.
    No Yes Yes No special handling
    Yes No No No special handling
    Yes No Yes Before saving the invoice, Alma prompts you to confirm that VAT is included in the invoice amount, even though VAT is not required for the vendor.
    Yes Yes No Before saving the invoice, Alma prompts you to confirm that VAT is not included in the invoice amount, even though VAT is required for the vendor.
    If you select to report VAT, the configured VAT amount for the governmental vendor is automatically added to the invoice and a separate invoice is generated for this amount to the governmental vendor.
    If you select to not report VAT, the invoice is saved without VAT.
    Yes Yes Yes Either the configured VAT for the governmental vendor (if you selected Report Tax), or the amount of VAT that you manually entered, is added to the invoice and a separate invoice is generated for this amount to the governmental vendor.

    Editing Vendor Interface Information

    Vendor interfaces describe the access to services that manage e-resources. You can update vendor interfaces on the Vendor Interface Details page (Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Vendors, select Actions > Edit for an Access Provider vendor and select Actions > Edit for an interface).
    Vendor Interface Details Page
    To edit vendor interface information:
    1. On the Vendor Interface Details page, configure parameters for the interface on the displayed tabs:
      • In the Summary tab, modify as needed.
      • In the Contact Information tab, add an address, phone number, and email account for the vendor.
        • When configuring a vendor account, the Preferred address field is for information only and must be identical to the preferred address assigned to the vendor.
        • If the parameter acq_use_vendor_account_email is set to true, the vendor account email address (if it exists) is preferred over the vendor email address. See Configuring Other Settings.
      • In the Administrative Information tab, enter administrative details about the interface. The non-self explanatory fields displayed on this tab are described in the following table:
        Administrative Information Fields
        Section Field Description
        URL Attributes Online Admin Module Whether resource attributes can be directly modified online by the subscribing institution.
        Admin URI The URI of the online administration module. The field is available if the value of Online admin module available field is assigned.
        Linking Note Information about external linking, such as implementation details, or other notes.
        Open URI Compliant Whether the electronic content is compliant with an open URI.
        Admin URI type The type of online administration module URI.
        Support Incident Log A log of downtime and problem reports, as well as their resolution.
        Hardware Requirements Internal Information about hardware requirements and restrictions – not visible to end users.
        Hardware Requirements Public Information about hardware requirements and restrictions – visible to end users.
        Software Requirements Internal Information about software requirements – not visible to end users.
        Software Requirements Public Information about software requirements – visible to end users.
        Maintenance Window Value The provider’s regularly scheduled downtime window for this product. The recurring period of time reserved by the product provider for technical maintenance activities, during which online access may be unavailable.
      • In the Access Information tab, enter access details about the interface. The non-self explanatory fields displayed on this tab are described in the following table:
        Access Information Fields
        Section Field Description
        URL Attributes IP Address Registration Method The method by which IP addresses are sent to the product provider. Possible values are:
        • Online
        • Provider
        IP Address Note Additional notes pertaining to IP address information.
        IP Address Registration Instructions The URI at which IP addresses are registered, the email address or contact role to which updates are sent, or other relevant instructions.
        Access Note Additional notes pertaining to access information.
        Primary Access URI The method of access, the location, and the file name of an e-product.
        Implemented Authorization Method Method of authorization. Possible values are:
        • Empty
        • Certificate
        • IP address
        • IP address + password
        • Other
        • Password
        • Script
        • Unrestricted
        These fields can be customized by modifying the code table.
        Interface URI  
        Local Persistent URI  
      • In the Statistics Information tab, enter details about the statistics information resulting from the usage of the interface. All of the information on this tab is for informational purposes, only. The non-self explanatory fields displayed on this tab are described in the following table:
        Statistics Information Fields
        Section Field Description
        Usage Statistics Usage Stats Available Whether usage statistics are available for the resource.
        Usage Stats Delivery Method The manner in which statistics are made available.
        Usage Stats Frequency The frequency with which statistics are made available. Possible values are:
        • Annual
        • Bi-annual
        • Monthly
        • Quarterly
        • User-selectable
        These fields can be customized by modifying the code table.
        Usage Stats Delivery Address The contact name within the library.
        Linking Note Information about external linking, such as implementation details, or other notes.
        Statistics Note Information about usage-related statistics.
        Stats Format The formats in which statistics are made available. Multiple formats can be entered, separated by a semicolon.
        Possible values are:
        • HTML
        • Delimited
        • Excel
        • PDF
        • CSV
        • ASCII
        • Other
        Usage Stats Online Location The online location where statistics can be accessed, such as a URL or file path.
        Usage Stats Locally Stored Information about and/or links to locally stored data.
      • In the Inventory tab, view the portfolios and electronic collections associated with the interface. Do one of the following:
        • Click the electronic collection name to open the Electronic Collection Editor page. For details on the Electronic Collection Editor page, see Adding a Local Electronic Collection.
        • Click the name of the standalone portfolio you want to access. For details on working with portfolios, see Managing Local Portfolios
      • In the Notes tab, add, update, or delete notes for the vendor interface.
        • To add a note, type your note in the Note field and click Add. The note appears in the list of notes on the page.
          Select the relevant option in the drop-down at the top of the page (Activate Notes or Dismiss Notes) to either assign notes as active or to dismiss displayed notes. Notes received from a peer member are automatically labeled as Active. Dismissed notes are excluded from the Activate Notes facet, but are still included with their respective requests (they are not deleted).
        • To edit a note, select Actions > Edit for the note that you want to update, modify the note on the Edit Note page, and click Save.
        • To delete a note, select Actions > Delete for the note that you want to delete and click Confirm in the Confirmation Message pop-up window.
        • To locate a note in the list of notes, enter the text for which you want to search in the Find box and select the field — Created by, Modified by, or Note — in which you want to search for the text.
    2. Click Save when you are done to save your changes.

    Editing Vendor or Vendor Account Information

    You can update the information entered for a vendor or vendor account. This includes activating or deactivating the vendor or vendor account.
    To edit vendor information:
    1. On the Search Vendors page (Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Vendors), select Actions > Edit for a vendor. The Summary tab of the Vendor Details page opens.
    2. Edit the vendor information as required. For information on the tabs included on this page, see Adding a Vendor and Vendor Account.
    3. Click Save to store your modifications and return to the Search Vendors page.
    To edit vendor account information:
    1. On the Vendor Details page (Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Vendors and select a vendor), select Actions > Edit for the specific vendor account whose information you want to update. The Vendor Details page opens.
    2. Edit the vendor account information as required. For information on the Summary tab, see Adding a Vendor and Vendor Account.
      Note that each vendor account can link to any of the contact information records pooled on the vendor level by clicking Link in the Contact Information or Contact People tab (appearing on the vendor account level only).
      Vendor Account Details
      A vendor must have at least one vendor account in order to be an active vendor.
    3. Click Save to store your modifications.

    Deleting a Vendor or Vendor Account

    You can permanently delete a vendor or vendor account.
    To delete a vendor:
    On the Search Vendors page (Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Vendors), select Actions > Delete and click Confirm in the confirmation dialog boxfor a the specific vendor record you want to delete.
    A vendor with open orders cannot be deleted.
    To delete a vendor account:
    On the Vendor Details page (Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Vendors and select a vendor), select Actions > Delete and click Confirm in the confirmation dialog box for the specific vendor account you want to delete.
    If you delete the last vendor account of a vendor, you must add a new, active vendor account or change the status of the vendor to inactive.
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