Strategic Sourcing Update

12/05/2013

Contributed by Jaimie Voorhees

Submitted on behalf of Gerald Hector, Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Ithaca College has embarked on the process of implementing a Strategic Sourcing approach to its purchasing and procurement needs.  This methodology emphasizes purchasing and procurement that is done within a framework of strategic partnerships with vendors/suppliers, along with revised and improved purchasing policy guidelines. The overall goal of this process is to ensure that the College is getting the best price for its purchases and that that they are delivered in a timely manner without sacrificing quality.  It is also intended to improve upon how the College manages its inventory of all procured and stored items.

To achieve this, the College has engaged the services of Enterprise Solution Group (ESG) (www.esgedu.org) to assist us with the implementation of a Strategic Sourcing process for our purchasing and procurement needs. The company’s principals are experts in the field of supply management and procurement, who have all worked in higher education settings.  Their varied backgrounds offer us a unique set of skills sets to complete our transformation here at IC.

Our engagement with ESG started the week of November 4, 2013, when they conducted over 60 interviews with senior leadership, managers and select individuals as part of a purchasing study.  We have the preliminary results from those interviews, which will be presented at the December 10, 2013, Administrative Assembly meeting.  We will also at that meeting discuss next steps in the process. From the study, we know that there are some unique purchasing needs of some departments.  Understanding those needs and making them a part of the final program will be our focus during the spring of 2014. Everyone will be encouraged to participate through further interviews, focus groups, and pilot programs with vendors/suppliers.

In the summer of 2014 we are anticipating a phased roll out of the new process.  We will only be successful with such a roll out if everyone on campus participates. It is in those discussions that we will be engaging the campus in scenario planning and creative thinking around Strategic Sourcing.  Preliminary estimates have put annual savings well above $3 million a year from our current expenditure levels. We believe that this process will not only reduce costs, but will also improve strategic vendor relationships for quality products and the timely delivery of purchased items. The opening of communications around this topic will help ensure our success. We have created a website where we will track your questions, comments, and concerns at www.ithaca.edu/eareview/phases/strategic-sourcing/. We will continue to provide the campus with updates as the process unfolds, and it is our commitment to ensure that you are always “In the Loop.”

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