Building Strategic Procurement Capabilities

In an era of constrained budgets, higher education procurement leaders are seeking sustainable cost savings through more strategic approaches to sourcing goods and services. At the same time, technological innovations offer new opportunities to improve operating efficiencies—further reducing administrative costs while improving vendor and customer satisfaction. But the transition to more strategic, technology-enhanced procurement units has been difficult. Most units have historically been staffed and organized to support transactional activities, like processing requisitions and invoices. Accordingly, they are not staffed to perform more strategic tasks, like spend analytics and competitive contract negotiation and management.

Our Toolkit for Building Strategic Procurement Capabilities is designed to help procurement leaders execute on strategic goals in four focus areas: 1) create staff capacity for analytical work through process improvement, 2) collect and monitor performance metrics to advance strategic goals, 3) create new roles and hire staff with elevated skillsets to expand strategic capabilities, and 4) communicate policies and processes with campus stakeholders to get buy-in for necessary changes.

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