Dollars and Sense Newsletter - Fall 2011

Strategic Sourcing Program Update

A significant milestone was reached in June when the annual savings tally for our Strategic Savings program reached over $10 million. The savings come from a wide range of services, supplies and equipment, and we will be continuing to work hard on additional opportunities in the months to come. Click here to review the June 30 Savings Dashboard

Best Practices
In order for colleges and departments to really see the savings on their bottom lines, it is important that everyone involved in purchasing related activities utilize the recommended purchasing processes and contract vendors. Following are key best practices:

IT Hardware
University IT Leaders Alliance and OIT have developed (and continue to maintain) desktop and laptop standards with Dell that not only allow you to receive the best pricing but to also reduce your unit's IT support costs and security risks. The good news is that we consistently surpass the 80% compliance level on the standards we have with Dell. The bad news is that we are still seeing many non-standard desktop and laptops purchased. Everyone should work with their IT Leader and order through UMart (http://www.oit.umn.edu/umart/) to reap both dollar and efficiency savings. You should also work with your IT Leader when it comes to server needs. They can coordinate with OIT who offers flexible programs to meet server needs and greatly reduce your unit's IT investments.

Office and Lab Supplies
In order to achieve savings when purchasing office and lab supplies it is critical to order from UStores (http://www.ustores.umn.edu/ ). They continually negotiate improved pricing and product offerings with over 20 office and lab supply vendors. In 2011 UStores contracted with Innovative Office Supplies and started us on the path of saving $400K annually in the office supply area. Another example is Fisher Scientific, where UStores over the last year has implemented savings valued at over $460K annually with more expected savings next quarter. They have also implemented a "suggested alternate product" function that helps their shoppers save money and to be "green", especially when it comes to remanufactured laser toner cartridge orders (another $250K potential annual savings). Departments also save shipping/handling and paper processing costs when they order from UStores - - it is our most efficient procurement process currently available.

Travel
Travel Services now offers two online travel booking sites (http://travel.umn.edu) through two of our three contract travel agencies. These booking sites, Cliqbook and Compass, provide travelers and travel arrangers not only with the ease and convenience like popular online booking tools but they also provide immediate University contract pricing on hotels, car rentals and Delta airlines. You can also now go direct from the Travel Services website to Delta.com and get University discounted pricing. These tools not only save departments money, they also save travelers and arrangers wasted "shopping" time by connecting you to consistently lowest pricing. Travel Services will continue to negotiate with travel suppliers and be able to automatically link our travelers with new and updated contracted pricing and services through these sites. Our data is indicating that these best practices and savings opportunities are not being utilized to their full potential. Go to http://travel.umn.edu, get registered, and start saving real dollars!

Future Plans
The Strategic Sourcing Program is currently working to implement a new spend analysis reporting tool. We plan to have Fiscal Year 2011 data enriched and available for reporting this fall with subsequent semi-annual refreshes following shortly. The refreshes will allow us to provide more current spend analysis and trends to colleges, departments, buyers and projects.

We have also been leading a University-wide effort to analyze and recommend an EProcurement solution. The vision is to provide an easy-to-use, one-stop shop with expanded products and services to all University shoppers. It should provide improved web-based functionality and more efficient, comprehensive procurement processing. While we definitely recommend using currently available University tools as best practices, we have also heard from the University community that they have shortcomings and we need to be providing more effective tools and processes. This effort is currently analyzing alternates based on inhouse tools and developing a request for proposal for external solution options. If you have questions about Strategic Sourcing, the recommended best practices, our current efforts or ideas for savings, please contact Tim Bray (brayx010@umn.edu or 4-2095) or Linda Woock (l-wooc@umn.edu or 6-8007).

New U-Wide Contracts for A/V

There are new University wide contracts in place for Audio Visual and Video Conferencing Equipment and Service. These contracts were competitively bid for optimum pricing and to meet the needs of the University departments.

U140 is for Audio Visual Equipment and covers a full range of items, including projectors, smart boards, cameras, flat panel monitors and full classroom audio visual systems. We have contracts with the following vendors:

These contracts are valid through December 31, 2016.

U141 is for the purchase and maintenance of Tandberg Video Conferencing Equipment and for the hardware and software maintenance on existing University owned equipment. If you would like help in selecting equipment you can request a consultation from OIT by going to http://www.oit.umn.edu/video-conferencing/.

U141 includes contracts with the following vendors:

These contracts are valid through December 31, 2013.

You can view product lists and pricing for each contract, along with the contact information, at http://uwidecontracts.umn.edu.

Customs Information

If you plan to purchase any equipment from a foreign vendor, you should review the information on the Purchasing Services website regarding customs and importing. There are new regulations regarding importing via ocean freight you will need to be familiar with. The University has a U-wide contract with a customs broker, DB Schenker, and they will be able to help you with the process. Their phone number is 651/367-8816. Their U-wide contract number is U225.1. You can find additional customs information for goods arriving by air and for goods arriving by sea on the Purchasing Services website.

New U-Wide Contracts for Package Delivery

Package delivery contracts have been awarded to Fed Ex and UPS for a variety of delivery services. Both companies have offered significant discounts across the board: next afternoon delivery, two-day delivery, three-day delivery and standard ground shipping in addition to overnight morning delivery and international service. Whether you need an urgent document or an important package delivered in one, two or three business days, you can ship anywhere with confidence. When you don't need the speed of express shipping; use Ground transportation to get cost-effective, on-time reliable delivery.

More information can be found at the U-Wide Contract home page; search for U-Wide contract number U240.

Revised Travel Policy

The revised Administrative Policy: Traveling on University Business is now available in the Policy Library. Some of the changes to the policy include an extended time frame for submitting travel expenses, a new formula for reimbursement for partial day travel, and an alignment of the international allowable lodging rate with the current domestic lodging rate. Departments are encouraged to use sound judgment when it comes to applying the new policy for travel that was planned prior to, but taken after the new policy has gone into effect. For questions regarding the new policy please contact Beth Tapp in Purchasing Services.

Delta Contract

The University met the first year conditions of our contract with Delta and as a result will see some deeper discounts when booking with Delta through any of our three contracted travel agencies, Corporate Travel Services (CTS), Metro Travel & Tours and Travel Leaders, and now through Delta.com. The Delta.com Exclusive Discount Program is only available through the Travel Services website at http://travel.umn.edu/ through Travel Reservations, Delta or on the FAST TRACK list on the Travel Services home page and is available for both business and personal use. This is a great opportunity for travelers who currently book their travel at Delta.com to now receive the University discounts, without an agent fee. Any changes to tickets purchased on the Delta.com link through the Travel Services website must be made directly with Delta. The ability to book airfare on Delta.com will allow Delta to track additional spend from the University and provide better discounts in the future.

Please keep in mind that if you prefer to use Delta.com and want to take advantage of the University discounts that you must use the link found on the Travel Services website. Discounts range from 2% to 10% depending on the location and fare class.

New Travel Agency Contracts

Last spring Purchasing Services conducted a Request for Proposal for U-Wide Contracts for Travel Agencies, Agent Assisted and Online Booking. Three contracts were awarded to Corporate Travel Services (CTS), Metro Travel & Tours and Travel Leaders. Using a contract travel agency provides departments with the ability to book all of their travel needs in one place and take advantage of University discounts. It also provides the University with better tools to track spend and negotiate better discounts.

The University has worked with CTS for over 10 years. Last year we launched Cliqbook, an online booking tool, to University travelers and travel arrangers. This was a very successful launch and today there are over 2000 registered users. Online booking fees start at $9.00 and Agent Assisted fees start at $20.00. You can find more information about CTS and login to Cliqbook at http://travel.umn.edu/, clicking on Travel Reservations and Corporate Travel Services.

Metro Travel & Tours is new to the U-Wide Contract but not to the University. Metro Travel & Tours is a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) and has been able to bill the University directly for all airfare booked for faculty traveling on federal contracts where a Small Business Plan is required. You must communicate this need in advance when booking travel. Under the U-Wide Contract Metro Travel & Tours will now be able to provide assistance for all travel needs that departments may have. Agent Assisted fees start at $20.00. You can find more information about Metro Travel & Tours at http://travel.umn.edu/, clicking on Travel Reservations and Metro Travel & Tours.

Travel Leaders is a full service Travel Agency and also provides travelers with the ability to book travel with Travel Leaders online with their tool, Compass. Online booking fees start at $6.00 and Agent Assisted fees start at $20.00. Travel Leaders, with Travel Services, will be providing training for Compass on September 28, October 4 and October 6. These webinar training sessions will be held at 10 AM. There will also be two training sessions on October 27th at the West Bank Office Building. For more information on the Travel Leaders, Compass training sessions, and a link to the webinar please go the Travel Services website at http://travel.umn.edu/, click on Travel Reservations and Travel Leaders.

New U-Wide Contracts for Temporary Services

Do you need temporary employees? The University now has two vendors who can fill those positions.

Purchasing Services, in partnership with the Office of Human Resources, recently conducted a competitive RFP for the U-Wide Temporary Services contracts. This year, awards were made to two vendors - Kelly Services and Adecco Services. Both vendors closely met the needs of the University based on service delivery, cost and a commitment to excellence.

We have a long and established relationship with Adecco and have already started the process of building an equally beneficial partnership with Kelly Services. This dual-vendor award will be an effective approach to meeting all of your temporary needs.

BENEFITS OF USING THE U-WIDE: There are a number of benefits to using one of the U-Wide temporary vendors to fill your temporary positions.

  1. 1. Through the competitive RFP process, the University has established excellent rates. Temp-to-hire rates have also been pre-negotiated and so there will be no surprises if you decide to hire your temporary.
  2. 2. Contracts with these vendors are in place. If you use any other vendors, you MUST review any contracts with the Office of General Council prior to bringing in a temporary. Frequently by signing a time card, you are agreeing to their terms and conditions. These terms and conditions must be approved by OGC prior to signing.
  3. 3. By using a U-Wide vendor, you can be assured that the appropriate pre-screening and background checks, as required by the University, have been conducted.
Contact information for both vendors can be found at http://uwidecontracts.umn.edu.

KELLY OPEN HOUSE: Kelly Services will be holding a Meet and Greet Open House at Coffman Union, Room 324 on September 27 from 11:00 - 1:00. Please stop by and meet the Kelly team and learn more about this excellent temporary provider.