eCat is MIT's web-based electronic order to invoicing system for buying directly from MIT’s most commonly used vendors. eCat is integrated with the SAP system allowing for the automatic creation of requisitions and purchase orders.
Access to eCat requires MIT web certificates, the same certificates you use with MIT's other secure web services, such as Atlas. To get or renew certificates, go to Web Certificates at MIT.
To access the eCat system, you must use a web browser compatible with MIT certificates. For a list of recommended and supported browsers, go to Web Browsers at MIT.
Authorization to spend
Authorization to order through eCat, commonly referred to as 'spend and commit' authorizations, is granted to you by your department. We highly recommend that you check with your department's financial administrator or administrative officer to determine if you have been granted authorizations. Alternatively, you may check your own authorizations by going to the Web Interface to the Roles Database and selecting the link "My authorizations" (requires certificates).
How eCat works
- The site has approximately 60 different vendor catalogs
- There are two types of catalogs: Punch-out or Hosted
- Punch-out catalogs are direct vendor website portals integrated with eCat
- Hosted catalogs are vendor catalogs hosted on eCat
- Prices in some vendors' catalogs reflect discounts to MIT
- Shoppers select items from the vendor's catalog to create a cart
- Completed carts from a vendor's catalog are electronically sent to SAP
- SAP creates a requisition and routes it for approval
- Requisition approval is granted by a department administrator within SAP
- After approval, SAP automatically creates a purchase order and assigns a purchase order number
- The purchase order number is electronically returned to eCat
- eCat will send an electronic purchase order to the vendor for fulfillment
- eCat vendors send electronic invoices when items are shipped. Accounts Payable presumes receipt of goods or services by the DLC and pays the vendor within 1-2 days of receiving the invoice. For more information go to the Accounts Payable Electronic Invoicing site.
- Access the new Shopper Role Pilot which provides an alternative buying experience.
Limits and restrictions
MIT’s policies and procedures state that any purchase exceeding $10,000 requires a selection of source and price reasonableness explanation unless the purchase is being made from a partner/preferred vendor. Restrictions on purchasing certain items also apply. For further details and a list of partner and preferred vendors, please refer to the MIT Procurement Department's SmartBuy