College Planning & Management

MAR 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Business ARTWORK © BRIAN ISHAM MANAGING HIGHER ED Spend and Save Universities with multiple campuses are moving to centralized purchasing. BY SHER R IE NEGR EA F OR DECADES, THE SEVEN campuses administered by Indiana University each had purchasing offices that would buy office equipment, lab supplies, and other products for their faculty and staff. But in 2010, that process changed when the university system consolidated its procurement into one office. Since then, Indiana University has saved $162M in contracting costs, plus an additional $17.3M from transitioning to electronic invoicing and purchase orders. "We've really been able to do a much better job of benchmarking, looking at our savings across the institution, and leveraging the use of our contracts across all the campuses," says Jill M. Schunk, associate vice president in the Office of Procurement at Indiana University. As large university systems face tightening budgets, they are restructuring their purchasing operations by consolidating them and leveraging their spending to lower costs. While some university systems such as Indiana have moved to a com- plete centralization of purchasing, others have developed other models that allow individual campuses some autonomy over spending decisions. "Leveraging system-wide spending to achieve optimum value is a major change in higher education," says William Cooper, associate vice president and chief procurement officer for the University of California Office of the President. "Procurement has not been an area where there has been a consolidated and streamlined approach. The sourcing decisions were made out on MARCH 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 43

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