Items are an important part of the purchasing process. All NCAS materials management transactions, including requisitions, usage orders, purchase orders and requests for quotation (RFQ), require a valid item number in order to complete the transaction. Even transactions, such as requisitions, purchase orders and receipts, that are created in E-Procurement must have an NCAS item number in order to pass into NCAS.
The NCAS Item File is maintained centrally by the Office of the State Controller (OSC) with items established to meet the processing and reporting needs of NCAS users. The NCAS materials management systems allow two types of items: Permanent items and Generic items.
Permanent items: Permanent items have specific descriptions and other related data that default whenever the item number is entered into an NCAS transaction. Permanent items are established for goods and/or services that are bought repeatedly, eliminating the need for the user to type the description each time the item is ordered. Permanent items must be set up for all warehouse transactions. Since the implementation of E-Procurement, the only permanent items in NCAS are inventory stock items. NCAS inventory items are identified by a combination catalog number/item number.
Generic items: A generic item represents a class or group of items and therefore has no permanent description. Rather, the item has a generic group description which is overwritten on each transaction line with the actual description of the item being ordered. NCAS generic item numbers all start with the letters "GN" followed by the appropriate five-digit (class-item) NIGP commodity code. All non-inventory transactions, including those initiated in E-Procurement, utilize generic items for each NCAS transaction line.
Every item in the NCAS Item File can be assigned up to 10 Short names on screen IAN, so that the desired item number can be located via an alphabetic search on screen ISN. Alphabetical searches for generic items must always be preceded by the letters "GN" followed by the appropriate alpha search criteria.
All items must be ordered in specific units of measure. Each item in the NCAS Item File is assigned a stockkeeping unit of measure (SKU). The SKU is the smallest unit of measure in which a transaction (issue from inventory, return to vendor, etc.) for the item might be processed. The NCAS requires that requesters use the SKU when creating a requisition, and the unit of measure passed to NCAS via an E-Procurement transaction is considered the SKU. The NCAS allows items to be purchased in a different unit of measure than the assigned SKU. The NCAS system automatically converts the SKU quantity on the requisition to the unit of purchase (UOP) quantity on the purchase order. For transactions passed from E-Procurement to NCAS, the conversion factor must be entered by the user.
Agencies can assign specific buyers to buy certain categories of goods and services via the default item/buyer assignment (DIB). If an item has been assigned to a specific buyer in an agency's Buying Entities, requisitions for that item created in NCAS will be routed to the assigned buyer automatically by the system. For requisitions created in E-Procurement, the DIB for the first line item will determine the buyer of record for the purchase order passed to NCAS. Whenever major revisions are made to the item file (usually for commodity code updates), NCAS agencies must redefine the DIB assignments.