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One of the main features of SmartBuy Plus is the ability to shop from online catalogs. There are several benefits from using the online catalogs:

  • You can shop from the catalogs without needing a separate log-in/account to the vendor’s online store.
  • The catalog vendors have been pre-selected as vendors that provide discounted pricing to Clark. Shoppers can use these catalogs knowing that they are getting preferred pricing and do not need to spend additional time shopping around for the best deals.
  • The pricing in the online catalogs reflects discounts offered to Clark.
  • Ordering from the catalogs is generally quick and easy – it saves time compared to ordering outside the catalogs using a non-catalog PO.

Catalog Types

There are three types of catalogs:

Punchout Catalogs

Most of the SmartBuy Plus catalogs fall into this category. Punchout Catalogs are integrated with the vendor’s own web-based catalog/shopping system. When shopping from a Punchout Catalog, the user is sent to the vendor’s website to add the desired items to their shopping cart. When the user has finished shopping, their shopping cart is then brought back into SmartBuy Plus to complete the ordering process.


  • Links to vendor’s current catalog so all pricing and catalog items are current.
  • Vendor’s catalogs generally reflect product availability – will let you know if it’s in stock.


  • You can only search for products within the vendor’s own website. There is not currently a process to allow searching multiple punchout catalogs for the best pricing.
  • You cannot quickly re-order items from punchout-catalogs. You must go back into the catalog and find the item again to re-order it.

Hosted Catalog

A Hosted Catalog is similar to an online version of a vendor’s printed catalog. Hosted catalogs contain product data and details, along with pricing information for each item. When a product search is performed, the products in all of the hosted catalogs are searched. Shopping from Hosted Catalogs occurs within SmartBuy Plus. Vendors provide periodic updates to the catalogs by uploading data. There are currently only a handful of hosted catalogs available.

Contract Catalog

A Contract Catalog is very similar to a Hosted Catalog and operates the same way. The difference is that a Contract Catalog is only for a limited number of items and the catalog is maintained by Clark (instead of being maintained by the vendor).


  • You can quickly search multiple catalogs and compare pricing.
  • All shopping is done within SmartBuy Plus, making it quick and easy.
  • You can quickly re-order products by copying previous orders to your shopping cart.


  • There is no way to know the current availability of an item (in-stock, back-ordered, discontinued, etc.)
  • Reliance on the vendor to keep file up to date. Catalog and pricing can get out of date if vendor does not maintain it on a regular basis.
Contact Information

Purchasing Office

Office Location
  • Purchasing Manager
    Clark University
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

  • 1-508-421-7385
Office Hours
  • Monday – Friday
    8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.