Frequently Asked Questions
General ECAT FAQs
- After submitting an order to SAP, how long before it shows up Find or Display a Requisition in SAPweb?
- Will the order go directly to the vendor when I submit it to SAP?
- I submitted an ECAT requisition and a PO has been assigned, but the vendor does not show the order in their system. What do I do?
- Can I change item or delivery information after I submit the requisition to SAP?
FAQ's for using MIT E-commerce portal eCAT3
- Searching for products
- Comparing products
- Creating a favorites list
- Creating “sub” favorites list
- Punch-out favorite lists
- Organizational favorites
- Placing an order
- Ordering efficiently
- Order limits
- Multiple suppliers in a cart
- Restricted items
- Cart submission
- Contract pricing
- Personal ordering
- Procurement card
Requisition & Purchase Orders
General ECAT FAQs
Q: After submitting an order
to SAP, how long before it shows up Find or Display a Requisition in SAPweb?
The requisition will appear immediately. The PO will be listed within an hour after the requisition is approved and released.
Q: Will the order go directly
to the vendor when I submit it to SAP?
This depends on your release strategy. Your order may need to be approved by someone else in your department. If so, the order will go to the vendor after your approver has released the order. To see the status of your requisition, go to the SAPweb Purchasing page, click on Display Requisition, and enter your requisition number.
Q: Can I change item or delivery
information after I submit the requisition to SAP?
No. If you need to change any information on an order, it is best to cancel the requisition entirely and recreate your order. Otherwise, vendors that match the PO information to their saved shopping carts may not be able to process your order correctly.
Q: What is eCAT3?
eCAT3 is a catalog repository for MIT top suppliers. eCAT3 offers a one stop shop for ordering from eCAT3 enabled vendors. eCAT3 offers a robust search engine that allows you to search across multiple hosted catalogs, compare products and prices, and create shopping carts all using a single interface. In eCAT3 you can easily create orders via a favorites list, catalog #, and product or vendor searches, confirm your order and fill out necessary cost object and GL account information to create your requisition. Purchase orders are created automatically and routed to eCAT3 for disbursement to your vendor. As eCAT3 continues to grow, it will be the recommended method for placing purchase orders to enabled vendors.
Q: I’ve been using SciQuest but now I hear eCAT3, what’s the difference?
eCAT3 is the MIT exclusive name for SciQuest. SciQuest is the company who owns the technology we use to host the portal. We chose eCAT3 because it is built upon the infrastructure of our current ECAT system. eCAT3 is the next generation of e-commerce for MIT.
Q: Who can use eCAT3?
Anyone with a valid certificate and proper approvals to requisition items can use eCAT3.
- Single user sign-on via certificate authentication
- One time entry of user profile
- Guaranteed pricing from contracted suppliers
- Quick and easy order placement
- Robust search capabilities across multiple suppliers
- Cost savings via negotiated contracts and discounts
- Efficient ordering process minimizes transactional volume
For Business Office:
- Elimination of manually keyed invoices
- Reduces purchase order to invoice errors
- Minimizes the paper workflow
Q: What are hosted catalogs?
Hosted catalogs are supplier catalogs that reside on the eCAT3 website. The catalogs contain supplier products with contractual pricing. All hosted catalogs are approved by MIT procurement personnel prior to going into eCAT3.
Q: What are punch out catalogs?
Punch-out catalogs reside on the vendor specific website. The catalogs are maintained by the vendor. Punch-out catalogs function based on vendor website functionality. Punch-out catalogs provide additional information not available in a hosted environment such as real time product availability and shipping status.
Q: Can I go directly to a supplier website to place an order?
Technically you can go to a vendor website to place your order however if you don’t “punch-out” from the eCAT3 portal, you will not receive MIT contract pricing nor will your order be put through the automated workflow for SAP and eCAT3.
Q: Where do I go to access the eCAT3 site?
From the main MIT ECAT page, http://web.mit.edu/ecat/, click the eCAT3 logo; or you can go directly to the eCAT3 home page at http://web.mit.edu/ecat/ecat3/. Click the button, ‘place departmental order’ to begin.
Q: Is there training available for eCAT3?
There are various training methods available for eCAT3. A comprehensive training manual is available on the eCAT3 homepage; http://web.mit.edu/ecat/ecat3/. Training is also offered for groups in your department by sending an email to ECAT3@mit.edu to schedule a convenient time. One-on-one training is also accommodated by request to ECAT3@mit.edu.
Q: Is there any online training available?
A modular video training course is in process and will be available shortly.
Q: Can I have more than one user profile?
No, your profile is based upon your MIT certificate, only one profile per user is allowed.
Q: Why is the default bill to profile Accounts Payable?
Since eCAT3 is the ordering tool for MIT DLC’s the default bill to address is always Accounts Payable at MIT.
Q: Can I change my eCAT3 desktop display colors?
Yes, navigate to your profile at the top of the screen then click on the Personal Settings bar and the Edit button. In the color theme drop down box, select a new color theme and save. You will not see this change until you log out of eCAT3 and then log back in.
Q: My personal information has changed, how can I update it?
In your Profile you are only allowed to change your phone #, all other information is pulled from your Kerberos ID on your MIT certificate and is not editable.
Q: Why am I required to enter building, room # and email address in each shipping profile?
Many users in the community create eCAT3 orders for other people within their department. eCAT3 allows you to create orders and ship directly to someone else. Order acknowledgements/confirmations are emailed to the address identified in the ship to address with the order.
Searching for products
Q: How can I search for products?
From the eCAT3 home page, click Product Search tab, enter search criteria on search bar or choose to search by specific supplier or category, etc.
Q: Can I compare items across suppliers on eCAT3?
eCAT3 offers comparisons on products of hosted suppliers only. After you perform a search, the search results are displayed in a tabular format, allowing for comparisons on key parameters such as product description, vendor, price, unit of measure, etc. The eCAT3 search engine returns the most relevant matches at the top of the list.
Q: How can I search punch-out catalogs?
In order to search a punch-out suppliers catalog you need to punch out to the site and use the search tools available on the vendor website.
Q: Can I compare punch out supplier’s products against others?
No, at this time, comparisons between punch out suppliers is not a feature in eCAT3. Because you are in a specific supplier’s website there is no way to technically compare to products outside of that site.
Creating a favorites list
Q: How do I create a favorites list?
You can create favorite lists for hosted suppliers on the eCAT3 site. Punch-out supplier favorite lists are maintained on the specific vendor website. Create a favorites list by clicking the “add to favorites” button from a cart or product search results.
Q: Can I have multiple favorite lists?
Yes, you can have multiple favorite lists and organize them in a similar fashion to Microsoft folder structure.
Q: Can I delete a favorite’s folder that I no long use?
Yes, you can delete products from a favorites list or delete an entire list. Go to my favorites, edit folder, options – delete desired folder.
Creating “sub” favorites list
Q: Can I put favorite folders inside other favorite folders?
Yes, you can organize your favorites for efficient ordering. You can also create sub folders within your favorite’s folder. This feature is especially helpful for someone who orders for multiple people within a department and wants to keep organized. For further information on creating sub folders go to the training manual at http://web.mit.edu/ecat/ecat3/.
Punch-out favorites list
Q: Can I add a punch out supplier’s products to my favorites list?
Functionality on the eCAT3 site will allow you to add punch out supplier products to your favorites list however best practices dictate that you should maintain a favorite list within each punch out vendor site. Having your favorites list on the punch out vendor site will ensure you receive accurate contractual pricing and accurate product availability.
Q: I checked out from Office Depot but didn’t go back to the SAPweb req. screen, what’s wrong?
In a punch out catalog, the checkout (or submission) process is two steps. You need to ‘checkout’ from the supplier site, review and confirm your order within eCAT3 and submit it.
Q: Can I create a cart and save it for later?
Yes, you can create a cart and save it, it will be saved on your home page under the carts section. Saved carts will remain until you actually place them as an order or delete them.
Q: How many draft carts can I have?
There is no limit on the # of draft carts you can have.
Q: Can I name draft carts?
Yes, you can name your carts for easily identifying them for future use.
Q: How do I know what I am authorized to purchase?
Approval for eCAT3 orders happen in SAP and are based upon your authorization limits as set in the roles database. No formal approval of your order happens on the eCAT3 site.
Q: I placed an order to Invitrogen for $6500 and have not received an acknowledgement yet. What happened?
Invitrogen is not a partner vendor and therefore any order over $5,000 requires selection of source documentation. Your order is being held in the eCAT3 site for the documents required. A purchasing agent will contact you for ‘selection of source’ information and once received your order will be released.
Multiple Items in a cart
Q: I created a cart with multiple products from various suppliers but am getting an error message, what’s wrong?
It is an MIT business rule that only products from one supplier are allowed per cart. You will need to go to your cart and separate items by supplier into different carts. More information on moving items between carts is available in the training manual.
Q: I’m confirming my order and get an error message that says my ship to address is incomplete, what do I do?
Navigate to your profile page, check your email address and that you have a valid building and room # assigned to that ship to address. If incomplete, complete address and save changes. Navigate back to your cart and submit.
Q: Can I buy syringes via eCAT3?
No, eCAT3 limits ordering hazardous and restricted items such as needles, syringes, and radioactive products due to the authorizations needed to place such orders. Please use SAPweb and follow standard guidelines for purchasing these commodities.
Q: Am I getting the best price when I shop using the eCAT3 portal?
All enabled vendors in our eCAT3 portal have contractual pricing agreements in place for MIT. Vendors also provide MIT with additional discounts for orders placed through eCAT3 because of the efficient automated workflow.
Q: Can I change the shipping address on my order?
Yes, you are able to change the ship to address provided you have the address as part of your eCAT3 profile. If the address is not in your profile, go should go to your profile and add the new address. Go back to confirm your order and ‘edit’ the address and select the newly added address from your profile.
Q: Why can’t I enter an off campus ship to address into my order?
Shipping addresses are limited to MIT campus buildings; you cannot ship off campus via eCAT3. If a valid MIT building isn’t in eCAT3, please contact ECAT3@mit.edu. Only eCAT3 administrators can add addresses to the MIT profile.
Q: How can I expedite the shipping of my order?
When you are confirming your order, you can “edit” the shipping method to priority overnight. Note that eCAT3 default shipping method is best carrier best way.
Q: I placed an order via eCAT3 and asked for overnight delivery but didn’t receive my products the next day, what happened?
Standard shipping limitations apply regardless of what you entered for a shipping method. If you placed your order at 10am and change to overnight shipping, you will receive it the next day. If you placed your order at 3pm and ask for overnight shipping, it will ship via overnight but not until the next business day.
Q: Can I return an order I’ve placed through eCAT3?
We cannot process returns via the eCAT3 site. You should continue to follow the normal business procedure set up to return items. If you have questions on a returns procedure please contact the individual supplier.
Q: Can I place orders for personal use through the eCAT3 site?
You are not able to place personal orders via the eCAT3. As we move the existing ECAT vendors into the eCAT3 site, we will create new web pages with links for personal orders.
Q: Why can’t I use my procurement card for ordering in eCAT3?
Although procurement card is an excellent way to procure items, the preferred method to purchase from eCAT3 is via automated workflow though SAP.
Requisitions & Purchase Orders
Q: How do I receive my requisition #?
You will receive your requisition # once the order has been submitted to SAPweb. Upon submission of a cart from eCAT3 you will be brought to the SAPweb requisition page where you need to enter your cost object, GL account and material group code, and submit the requisition.
Q: I have filled in my GL account and cost objects but my order still won’t process, what happened?
You may have invalid cost object or GL account, check your accounts and make changes accordingly.
Q: I placed and order to eCAT3, how can I be sure it went through?
As long as you received your requisition #, your order was placed. If there is any problem, procurement would know and troubleshooting would take place between procurement and eCAT3.
Q: Will I receive a confirmation of my order?
At this time, many vendors do email order acknowledgements, your eCAT3 team is in the process of making this a requirement of any vendor on the eCAT3 site.
Cancelling an order
Q: I made a mistake on an order; can I cancel it in eCAT3?
You cannot cancel an order in the system. Please call the vendor and see if you can cancel the order. If you can cancel the order, please email email@example.com to cancel the purchase order in SAP.
EDI Invoice Process
Q: When will I receive the invoices to approve on orders I placed via eCAT3?
You will not receive invoices to approve on any order processed through the system. Invoices from eCAT3 suppliers are sent to A/P via an automated EDI (electronic data interchange) process, they are matched against the line items on your order and paid automatically. There is no manual intervention or paper to track when you use the eCAT3 system.
Vendors on EDI
Q: Are all vendors in the system enabled for EDI invoicing?
The eCAT3 implementation team is working to enable all existing vendors for EDI invoicing. A requirement for any new vendor to be added to the system is that they comply and meet the MIT standards for electronic commerce which includes the EDI invoice process.