Different Types of Purchase Order Forms

Bogdan Büchner

Purchase orders come in different Purchase Order forms, and each one serves the individual role of giving permission for the purchase of goods and services from outside vendors. Depending on the role of the company or institution, special Purchase Order Forms may be required for certain types of purchases, or packages of unusual sizes. Some kinds of purchase orders you may use are: regular purchase orders, standing or regularly re-occuring purchase orders, a special Procurement order, as well as contracts for new and modern e-Procurement orders.

To understand regular Purchase Order forms, first you must begin with the business or institution that wishes to buy or acquire a good or service. It is the proposed purchaser who must prepare the PO request, and list in great detail exactly which items and services are wanted, at what time delivery is desired, and of what quantity. Usually a manager or senior executive must approve all PO decisions, but some companies have a separate purchasing department for that function. If the PO is for a big buy or a significant amount of money, many different levels of bureaucracy must be hurdled before the buy can go through.

Once the right department reviews the PO request, they will carefully select the right vendor for the desired goods or services. Once the PO request is approved, a full PO is issued and then given a special in-house tracking number that will be used for all documentation connected to the order, including financial details and payment information. Some Purchase Order forms are now digital, while some are still printed in the traditional style.

Special Purchase Order forms are used for standing PO regularly reoccurring needs, such as the desire to have a scheduled delivery cycle for common office items like copier paper or staplers. A standing PO will thus remain active over time, approving each month the same delivery interval and agreed-upon price. Standing POs should always have a built-in expiration clock in which they must be renewed or rewritten.

Another kind of PO form is known as a blanket PO form. Some departments in companies and institutions use blanket POs as a kind of petty cash, used to make routine purchases of smaller office items. Many offices use blanket POs to buy paper, toner supplies, and other things necessary to serve printers.

The contractual Purchase Order forms, on the other hand, are almost always used to describe specific work on an individual project. The contract PO will specify which work is being done, what time it will be performed, and what costs are involved. Some contract POs stipulate interim or periodic payments to keep everything balanced. Inevitably, sometimes the project will need re-adjusting midway through the implementation period, and a change PO may be issued to the original contract PO.


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