Fluid Catalog Requisition in iBuyNU / NUFinancials (Training Guide)

This Training Guide will walk a Requester through the process of creating a Catalog (iBuyNU) Requisition.

Catalog Requisition - Getting Started  

What is a catalog requisition?     

A purchase request for goods found only in iBuyNU.

Who creates catalog requisitions?

Users with the Requester security role.

What is iBuyNU?  

A web-based ordering tool that provides departments and schools with the most streamlined, cost effective way to order. It contains items from preferred vendors (discount pricing, enhanced customer service, and negotiated contracts). This tool offers two catalog formats for shopping: hosted and punchout.

What is a hosted catalog?

A catalog that is established by Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) on behalf of a preferred supplier that is included in the iBuyNU Marketplace. All item detail is sent to PPS in spreadsheet format that is then turned into a catalog that is placed in the Marketplace.

Features of a hosted catalog include:

  • Shopping experience is contained within iBuyNU
  • Retains the look and feel of iBuyNU
  • Searchable simultaneously across multiple catalogs
  • Can generate side-by-side product comparisons
  • Hosted items can be edited in cart until submitted for requisition

What is a punchout catalog?

For many suppliers included in the iBuyNU Marketplace, Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) has decided that it is more advantageous to allow departments and schools to connect to a supplier’s actual web site catalog that has been configured specifically to NU’s contract (products available, pricing, etc.). Orders to suppliers that are included in the iBuyNU Marketplace using a punchout strategy will generally receive their orders electronically.

Features of a punchout include:

  • Shopping experience links from iBuyNU to supplier website for shopping and cart creation, then cart is transferred back to iBuyNU
  • Punchouts have the look and feel, functionality, terminology, etc. specific to each supplier’s website
  • Punchout items may or may not be edited in cart until submitted for requisition, depending on the punchout supplier’s rules

What is a realtime catalog? 

A hosted catalog with similar features of a hosted catalog. 

Features of a realtime catalog include:

  • Shopping experience is contained within iBuyNU
  • Retains the look and feel of iBuyNU
  • Searchable simultaneously across multiple catalogs
  • Can generate side-by-side product comparisons
  • Items can be edited in cart until submitted for requisition
  • Option to punchout to supplier’s website to search and shop


Step 1: Navigate to NUFinancials

  1. Log in NUFinancials.
  2. If it's not already selected, select the Employee Self Service Home Page from the drop-down menu.

  1. Click the eProcurement tile.



Step 2: Create a Catalog Requisition

  1. Click Create Requisition tile.


  1.  Click Web Suppliers to create a non-catalog requisition.
  2. Click iBuyNU under the Web Suppliers section.

Note: You may receive an error message stating that: "There is a non-catalog item in the cart. Please clear the cart to proceed further with adding items from Web Suppliers." iBuyNU and non-catalogs items should not be combined on a requisition. The error message is indicating that you have a non-catalog item in the cart that has not been processed as a requisition. To proceed to add items from iBuyNU, either complete the non-catalog requisition or click the cart icon to clear the item(s) from your cart.

Step 3: Search for items

There are multiple ways to search for products in iBuyNU:

  • Keyword Search – search one or more supplier’s catalog by entering a keyword.
  • Part Number Search – search by selecting a supplier and entering a supplier part number, manufacturer part number, or buyer part number.
  • Shop a Specific Supplier Catalog – browse a supplier’s catalog.

Keyword Search

Use the Search field on the purple header bar to perform a keyword search.


Hosted and Real-time (Punchin) Supplier Catalogs are associated with one or more iBuyNU categories. If “Automatic” is left unchanged on the Search bar when you start a keyword search, iBuyNU selects a category for the keyword and will search only suppliers that are associated with that category; iBuyNU will not search all suppliers. For example, type “laptop” into the Search field and press Enter and iBuyNU will search only suppliers that are associated with the Computer Hardware & Accessories category; a paint supplier that is not associated to Computer Hardware & Accessories will not be searched for laptops. You can however, select a different category other than the one iBuyNU chooses, or you can choose to search all suppliers.

Follow the steps below to search for a product by typing a keyword into the Search field:

  1. Type a keyword in the Search field.

As you type several characters, iBuyNU displays a drop-down list of one or more specific categories that you can select. Example:


  1. Optionally:
    1. Click a category to search from the drop-down list that displays.


    1. Click   /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG07.JPG  to display a list of all categories, including “All Suppliers,” and select one. (Note: By clicking “All Suppliers”, your keyword will be searched across all hosted and real-time supplier catalogs regardless of the category they are associated with.)


  1. Press Enter or click  /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG09.JPG  to begin the search.

iBuyNU displays a supplier search progress window. Supplier names turn green as they respond to your search.



Part Number Search

Use the iBuyNU Quick Find search when you know the supplier and the supplier part number, manufacturer part number, or buyer part number. Up to 50 products may be entered at a time. Quick Find can only be utilized to search for items from a Hosted or Real-time (punchin) catalog. 

  1. Click  /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG11.JPG from the left side menu.
  1. Click in Part Number and select the part number type from the resulting menu: Supplier, Manufacturer, or Buyer.
  2. Optionally, click  /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG13.JPG to load one or more part numbers by uploading them from a spreadsheet template.
  3. Click in Supplier Name and select a supplier from the resulting list.
  4. Enter the part number.
  5. Optionally, enter the unit of measure.
  6. Optionally, enter the quantity.
  7. If you want to add another part number to the search, click  .
  8. Click Quick Find to search for your item.


Shop a Specific Supplier Catalog

You can browse a specific supplier catalog.

  1. Click  /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG15.JPG  from the left side menu.

iBuyNU displays a list of suppliers.


  • Click  /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG17.JPG to browse a supplier hosted catalog. 


  • Click  /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG18.JPG to leave iBuyNU and punchout to shop a supplier’s catalog/website.
    • Shop the supplier’s catalog/website. Note that punchout websites vary. Follow the supplier’s onscreen instructions and prompts to add items to the punchout cart and checkout/return to iBuyNU.
    • To return to iBuyNU without adding any items to your iBuyNU cart, click the >>Return to Aquiire button on the purple header bar.



Step 4: Add item to cart

When the search completes, the supplier progress window will disappear and the results will display.


From the search results, you can perform various actions:

  • Refresh the search.
  • Save the search.
  • Filter search results from punchin and hosted catalogs using one of the Klarity visual search tool sections. Note this is a dynamic tool and will change with each search.
  • Filter the search results by supplier or price.
  • Add the item to your shopping cart.
  • Include more search results.
  • Compare this product to others.
  • Add this product to your Favorite Products.
  • Add this product to one of your saved carts.


Step 5: Check Out iBuyNU Shopping Cart

When you have added items to your iBuyNU cart and have finished shopping, check the cart out. 

To check out:

  1. Optionally, hover over the shopping cart to view the products you have selected or to remove a product (click  /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG21.JPG ).
  1. From the hover display click View Cart & Checkout, or click   /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG23.JPG on the purple header bar.

iBuyNU will verify pricing and check to see if there are any alternate suppliers who may have the item you are purchasing for a lower price or available in a another brand. The Assign Cart and Check Out buttons will be visible but disabled while pricing is being verified.


iBuyNU will also check item availability. Check the items in your cart to make sure all are available and there are no red messages where the price normally appears. If there is a red message (e.g., “ITEM NOT FOUND”), you will have to delete the item from your cart to be able to assign the cart or check out (Requester); optionally shop for an alternative item.

  1. Click  /images/group293/shared/ESAF/NUFinancials/Requisitions/CatalogReqs/CATTG25.JPG .

Step 6: Checkout

The Checkout-Review and Submit step is where you enter ship to codes, chart strings, budget check, and save and submit the requisition.

  1. Enter Requisition Name (maximum of 30 characters).

Requisition Lines Section

Optional: Adding Attachments ((Internal use only)
  1. To add an Attachment, click the Line Comments button below the line item.
    • Click Add Attachment > My Device > Select File > Open > Upload > Done.
  2. Once you’ve uploaded the attachment, click Done.


Step 7: Enter Ship to Codes and Chart String Fields

Schedule Details (Within Requisition Overview Lines Section)

  1. To view the hidden section that contains the Ship to and chart string fields for a line item, click the Schedule Details next to that line item in order to open the section.

  1. Click the magnifying glass next Ship To.

  1. A lookup window appears. Expand the Search Criteria section to search by Ship to Location or Description.
  2. Click Search and select the appropriate Ship to Location.

  1. At this time, you can input the Attention To field, if it hasn’t already populated with the correct name.
  2. Under Distributions, enter chart string fields for a line item, click Chartfields2.

  1. In Fund, enter the Fund code.
  2. In Department, enter the Department code.
  3. In Account, enter in the Account code.
    • ​​​​​​​Click Chartfields3 to enter Project and Activity codes as applicable.
  4. To add another Chart String, click on the "+" sign at the end of the Chart String row.

  1. Click Done when all information has been entered.

To apply Ship To and Chartstring information to multiple line items, refer to the Appendix for more information regarding the Mass Change function. 


Step 8: Adding Comments and Check Budget

  1. Header Comments:  Enter a Comment to explain the reason you are creating a requisition, and any other information that will assist in getting the requisition approved.  For example: Office Supplies as requested by Professor Smith.
  2. Justification Comments. If you want your comments viewable on the Approval Pages for PPS and all other Approvers, you should enter Comments in the ‘Justification Comments’ section.
  3. Click Save. Requisition ID is assigned.

  1. Once Requisition is saved, click Checkout.
  2. Check Budget.
    • The budget check ensures the chart string(s) is valid and has no spending controls against it that would prevent you from submitting the requisition.
    • Successful budget checking pre-encumbers or earmarks the funds.

  1. A pop-up message appears regarding budget checking the transaction. Click Yes.


  1. When finished budget checking, click Checkout. A Budget Check Status should now appear.


Step 9: Submit Requisition for Approval

  1. Click Submit.

  1. After you submit your requisition, a Checkout Confirmation page appears.
    • The Requisition ID is available on this page. This is for internal use ONLY.
  2. The Requisition is submitted to workflow for approval. Click View Approval Chain to view approval workflow.
    • See the Approvals and Workflows articles for more information.

Chart Strings

Entering a Chart String

Use for Single Line Item requisition and Single Chart String.

  • Click the Schedule Details next to that line item in order to open the section.

  • Click on Chartfields2 to fill in the Fund, Dept, Project/Activity (when applicable), and Account Codes.


Mass Change function for Chart String

Use to apply chart string information to multiple line items, if the same chart string information is used for more than one item.

  • Click on Actions and select Mass Change.

  • In the Shipping Information section, enter the Ship To code.

  • In the Distribution Information section, enter the Chart String Account code under Chartfields1.

  • Click Chartfields2 to apply the Chart String Fund Code and Dept ID.

  • If applicable, click Chartfields3 to apply the Chart String Project ID, Activity code and/or Chartfield1.

  • Click Done.
    • When adding multiple chartstrings, for the Apply Distribution Changes drop-down, select Replace Distribution Lines.


  • A pop-up message appears regarding applying changes to selected lines. Click Yes.

Click here to continue with Step 8: Adding Comments and Check Budget.

Add an additional chart string to a single line item (distributed purchase):

  • Click the + to create an additional line. You can add this line in either Chartfields1 or Chartfields2.

Chartfields1: Complete the Percent of distribution between the two lines when sharing the same Chart String information.


Chartfields2: Complete the Chart String information.


For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or email consultant@northwestern.edu.

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Article ID: 2079
Fri 12/16/22 3:15 PM
Fri 3/22/24 12:30 PM