Disciplining University Spend

Strategies and Best Practices for Achieving Savings from On-Contract Purchasing

Topics: Strategic Sourcing, Procurement, Administration and Finance, Shared Services, Administrative Service Delivery Models, Outsourcing, Cost Savings

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By reading this study, members will learn:

  • How do we correct key friction points with faculty and other internal customers?
  • What innovative approaches do universities take to drive contract compliance among entrepreneurial faculty?
  • Short of corporate-style mandates, how can we discourage off-contract purchasing?
  • What are the lessons and limitations of private sector sourcing and negotiation strategies for higher education?
  • How can we create mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers?

Executive Summary

Recent efficiency and effectiveness audits of university cost structures indicate that the decentralized nature of universities combined with other structural aspects of the university (shared governance model, decentralized budget authority, outdated state laws, etc.) combine to create a difficult operating environment for university purchasing staff. As universities seek to become more efficient, working with faculty and purchasing departments to reduce outside spend has become a critical priority.


Top Lessons from the Study