Creating Orders for Services and Memberships

Occassionally, a library will purchase services, memberships, and other resources that don't involve physical or electronic inventory. Alma provides an acquisition method called a Technical Order that enables the tracking of funds and expenditures towards such resources without creating either items to receive or e-resource activation tasks. This method works well for the following types of resources:

  • Memberships, for example:
    • society memberships acquired as part of a journal subscription
    • general library memberships recorded to the acquisitions ledger (e.g., a library's institutional membership in a library association)
  • Services and service fees, for example:
    • Electronic resource platform or archive fees
    • Vendor acquisitions platform or record fees
    • ILL/document delivery budgets
  • Approval plans purchased at the plan level
  • Resource subscription/rental plans (e.g., McNaughton)

Creating a Technical Order

The Technical Order is a PO line for a service or package that may be invoiced at the top level, but is not itself an information resource that library patrons will search or use. It may be the parent record for one or more child resources (e.g., journals from a society or association press), or it may standalone.

1. Go to Acquisitions > Order without Inventory.
2. Enter an order heading, such as the title or name of the service.
--e.g., ALA Tech Source
3. Enter an alternative heading, for instance, another way to search for the resource.
--e.g., American Library Association
4. Enter a description of the service 
--e.g., Tech Source Service Subscription that includes Library Technology Reports, etc.
5. Select a PO line type of Other Service-Subscription.
6. Select your PO line owner.
7. Click Create PO Line.
8. Select your Material Supplier (e.g., EBSCO). Fill in claiming grace period and reclaim interval if needed.
9. Enter the list price for the service subscription. Be sure to tab to or click to another field, such as quantity, so that Net Price is populated.
10. Click Add Fund, then select the fund where the subscription should be applied.
11. Select the acquisition method of Purchase at Vendor System.
12. Add reporting codes, and check manual packaging.
13. If you have a title number from EBSCO, enter that as the Vendor Reference Number, and select the appropriate vendor reference number type (might be "Agent's unique subscription reference number (SNA)," but you could refer to other PO lines or EBSCO EDI files to check).
14. Enter renewal information appropriate for your subscription.
15. Click Save, then Confirm if prompted.
16. When back at the Purchase Order Lines in Review screen, click Order Now, then Confirm.
17. Make notes of the PO number and PO Line number, as EBSCO will want to have these for matching with EDI invoices.

That creates the service subscription. In case you're wondering about the headings you created (steps 2-4), that information created a PO line description that simulates a bibliographic record; however, no actual bib record was created. So if you search for "ALA Tech Source" in an All Titles search, you won't find anything. But you will be able to search "ALA Tech Source" as a title for an Order Lines search.

If having an actual bib record is important for you, you can import a bib or create a bib in the metadata editor, then create a PO line as normal, following the above steps for the PO line settings.

Creating Related Order Lines

If your package does have child components that will create inventory, you may create additional order lines for the service components. This will be more like a normal ordering process, except for the acquisition method and the use of the Associated PO lines field. 

1. Search for or import a title that is part of this package.
2. If the title is found in the community zone (i.e., found on the Community tab), you may review the portfolios available by clicking Portfolio List.
3. When you have a suitable bib record, click Order.
4. Select a PO Line Type that is appropriate for the resource ordered
--e.g., Electronic Journal-Subscription for an electronic serial
5. Select your PO line owner.
6. Click Create PO Line.
7. If adding an electronic PO line, you may choose to activate the portfolio if you already have access. If ordering a physical item, you may choose to add a barcode if you already have received the physical item.
8. Select your vendor, and update other fields in the Vendor Information section.
--e.g., EBSCO
9. Go down to Acquisitions Method and select Technical. With a Technical order, you do not need to enter a price or fund.
10. Update the Renewal information as appropriate.
11. Click the Additional section to expand it.
12. In the Associated PO Lines field, enter the PO line number you created above.
--e.g., POL-119.
--It's also possible to click the Select from a List button to search for the PO line.
13. Click Save.
14. When back at the Purchase Order Lines in Review screen, click Order Now, then Confirm.