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Policies & Procedures: Acceptance, Damages and Returns

Tulane University

Departmental Inspection and Acceptance of Material

Depending on the department’s location and the delivery address specified at the time of order, shipped material may be routed through Materials Management (at 8333 Maple Street or 333 South Liberty Street), or delivered directly by the vendor, or the vendor’s carrier.  Regardless of the delivery method, departments should protect their interests by immediately inspecting the condition of the shipment and verifying contents against shipping documents.  If discrepancies exist, follow the procedures below for material purchased by purchase order.  For discrepancies on orders made with a purchase card, see the procedures at the Tulane University Purchase Card site.

Overages, Shortages, and Damages

Upon receipt of materials, departments should check immediately the contents of shipments for conformity with the packing slips and their outstanding requisitions. If there is a shortage or overage, or a damaged or incorrect item, contact the appropriate receiving office at 865-5279 (Uptown) or 588-5108 (Downtown) immediately.  No shipments are to be rejected, except through Materials Management, which assumes complete responsibility for all adjustments with vendors and claims against carriers. Retain all documents and packing materials if there is damage or shortage to support damage or loss claims.

Return Goods

Departments are asked not to return goods directly to vendors but through the Materials Management Department.  Adherence to this procedure will permit Materials Management to properly document return goods transactions and assure departments that credits to appropriate accounts will be posted.  Vendors are coping with higher labor costs and overhead.  As a result, many have placed stringent restrictions and penalties on customers who request credit for return of items ordered in error.  In many cases there may be a restocking charge.  Therefore, if a department needs to return an item purchased on a purchase order, the following procedure should be followed.

Notify Materials Management of the item(s) to be returned.  Segregate and protect the disputed shipment.  Retain all original packing.  Approval / disapproval, RMA number and other return information will be obtained by Materials Management. Departments should prepare a copy of the appropriate Return Goods Report form with all pertinent return information, secure a copy on the package, call 865-5279 (Uptown) or 988-5108 (Downtown) to have the item(s) to be returned picked up.  See Materials Management forms website for the Uptown form. Call 988-5108 for a copy of the Downtown form. 

Revised:  May 29, 2007

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