Articles: e-Procurement

03/2014

Picture the amount of paper associated with almost 42,000 travel reports and 300,000 procurement card transactions. That’s how many expense-related documents the University of Colorado’s four campuses generate in a single year.

11/2013

The word “vendor” can bring about questionable connotations especially in higher education. One of the reasons for these sometimes-negative feelings is that vendors often bring change to an organization. And, frankly, change can be hard.

As money and time grow tighter for procurement departments, interest in purchasing groups and their contracts has grown, says Duff Erholtz, manager of membership services, the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), a municipal contracting agency.

If the phrase “everything is negotiable” makes you uneasy, you’re not alone. Even though negotiation is increasingly essential for campus procurement departments, the task is often approached with trepidation.

Encountering resistance to e-procurement platforms isn’t unusual, says Max Leisten, market director for higher education at SciQuest. He offers the following advice to thwart compliance issues:

As the benefits of e-procurement become more widely known, institutions are moving to incorporate these systems into their operations. And why not?

Bill Cooper of Stanford University and Jack D. Zencheck of Yeshiva University (N.Y.), who serve on E&I Cooperative Purchasing's strategic sourcing committee, offer these examples of how their more strategic ideas and actions are paying off for their institutions:

1. Utilize group buying power.

Consider how contracts already negotiated by states, municipalities, and higher education consortia can save your institution money, says Stanley Behnken, purchasing manager at Carroll Community College (Md.).

spotlight

Bill Cooper didn't mince words when Stanford University officials contacted him about coming on board as their director of purchasing.

The South Carolina Higher Education Efficiency and Administrative Policies Act, signed into law on August 3 by Gov. Nikki Haley, is a big step for transparency in South Carolina's public institutions.

If your institution is not among those that have realized the considerable benefits an e-procurement solution offers, we have one question: Why not?

E-procurement saves time, money, labor, and paper, while increasing the service delivered to constituents.