Inside Rensselaer

Institute To Begin Rolling Out New Procurement Procedures

During the next several months, Rensselaer will make a series of announcements regarding new procure-to-pay related process improvements, implementation of user-friendly technology, and revised policies and procedures that will streamline transaction processing and lower product and service costs. These changes will enable faculty and staff to quickly and easily order required products and services, resulting in more time being devoted to education, research, and administrative activities.

One change that has already taken place is that the Purchasing Department has been renamed Procurement Services to reflect the strategic, service-oriented vision of the organization.

The goal of the team leading the project, the Small Procurement Assessment and Recommendation Team, is to transform the current purchasing and disbursement functions into a best-in-class procure-to-pay process.

The first process change, effective immediately, is elimination of the Institute’s competitive bidding requirement for all purchases from catalog suppliers in the online RPI Marketplace (currently called OSCAR punch-out suppliers), regardless of the order’s total dollar value. It was determined that there would be no value of additional bidding because the competitive solicitation process was already performed by Procurement Services prior to enabling a marketplace contract catalog supplier.

The new RPI Marketplace will be expanded to deliver value and benefits to faculty and staff by:

  • Providing a choice of high-quality suppliers
  • Improving the buying experience for faculty and staff
  • Eliminating non-value activities and reducing order cycle time
  • Driving contract supplier adoption, therefore lowering costs

Procurement Services has also launched a new initiative to identify and enable additional Master Agreement contract suppliers in the RPI Marketplace for a wider array of products and services required by the campus community. Procurement Services will identify these commodities and competitively bid or negotiate Master Agreements that provide the Institute with the least total cost that will ensure that the Institute maximizes the value of every dollar of available funding. In order to increase productivity without added cost or additional resources, Procurement Services also will partner with external collaborative purchasing organizations to identify additional contract savings opportunities.

The goal of the team leading the project, the Small Procurement Assessment and Recommendation Team, is to transform the current purchasing and disbursement functions into a best-in-class procure-to-pay process. It is designed to reduce faculty and staff time and effort, enhance the order creation process, reduce order reprocessing cycle time, generate savings, and streamline the supplier payment process.

The team began its work after the Purchasing Card program was ended last summer, using an Institutewide team, an outside consultant, and best practices used by other higher education organizations.

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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 14, September 23, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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