The Supply Chain system most often used is the open-market quotation. The purchasing agent solicits prices by phone or letter and buys the products from whoever has the best price and has historically provided the best quality and service. There are usually no documentation requirements, and the Institute usually depends on the judgment of the buyer to obtain the best deal. Sometimes, if the order is large, the agent sends out specifications and requests a formal price quotation. This procedure is most often used when purchasing classroom or maintenance equipment.

The work environment is usually very pleasant, and the purchasing agent is able to work quite independently as long as he or she maintains good relations and communications with department heads.