You are here: American University Finance Procurement & Contracts Receiving Process

Receiving Purchases

Purchases must be delivered directly to the location specified by the buyer in the PCD. All packaging should be carefully examined for any visible evidence of damage, particularly if the purchase is fragile or costly.

Receiving will make a note of the date the order was received, the name of the vendor, the quantity received, the purchase order number, serial number, manufacturer's model number, and back order information if available. The receiving and purchase order information will be checked against the invoice to make sure that the quantities received are the same as the quantities being invoiced.

Damaged Shipments and Shortages

Damaged shipments should be refused, especially if the broken contents would cause contamination. If the shipment is refused, the vendor or shipper could dispose of the shipment, making it very difficult for the buyer or end user to initiate a successful claim. Any damage to the package, no matter how slight, should be noted on the carrier's and receiver's delivery receipt. If the shipper is unwilling to wait while the contents of the package are inspected, the receiver should note on the delivery receipt that the condition of the contents is unknown. If concealed damage is discovered during unpacking, stop unpacking, notify Central Receiving, and request an immediate inspection. Save damaged packaging and cartons for Central Receiving.

Initiating a Damage Claim

The shipper should be notified immediately by phone and in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of the damaged merchandise. A formal claim letter should include:

  • description of damage
  • date the shipment was received
  • name of the vendor
  • copy of the delivery receipt with the shipper's signature and the receiver's description of the damage
  • written estimate from the vendor of the costs to replace or repair the damaged items
  • copy of the vendor's original invoice
  • copies of all correspondence pertaining to the claim

The shipper should acknowledge the claim within thirty (30) days and offer a settlement within one hundred (120) days. When terms are F.O.B. Destination, the end user should contact the buyer or Central Receiving immediately so that a claim can be filed with the appropriate transportation vendor.

Returning Goods to the Vendor

Goods should not be returned without first notifying the vendor. Some vendors require the buyer to obtain a return authorization number and have procedures as to how and when a return shipment should be made.