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Indiana University Purchasing Newsletter

In This Issue

February 2010
Volume 6, Issue 1

All Campuses 

Purchasing Organization

In early January, President McRobbie and Vice President Theobald announced that purchasing operations would centralize into one unit. With the assistance from campus administrations, we have successfully metamorphosed disparate campus staffs into one organization. The historical structure was to duplicate commodity responsibilities on each campus.

The new structure consolidates responsibilities for commodities within teams of staff. The intent of this commodity focus is to provide very deep knowledge of commodities and their industries within a team of people. This should ultimately result in better data tracking for reports and analyses and, consequently, better contracts.

You will also begin to see new tools to assist you in closing the feedback loop to purchasing on supplier performance, on-line contract generation, on-demand training, and spend analysis tools for departments. Throughout this time of change, our mission is to continue to serve our faculty, staff and students without disruption and with a respect for each campus's unique culture.

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Using University Contracts

By Lorelei Meeker

We are all acutely aware of the financial stress on the University. Each of us plays a role in stretching the University's reduced funds as far as possible so that the core mission of Indiana University is protected.

Historically, we have attempted to provide contracts for goods or services through B2B or through EPIC and hoped that the faculty and staff would be attracted to the agreements because of pricing, service, warranty and ease of use. An additional departmental benefit to using the University contracts was that fiscal officers were able to monitor budgetary commitments and the university is protected by contract language.

Unfortunately, faculty and staff have grown accustomed to the ease of p-card transactions or the use of personal credit cards and then seeking reimbursements. Using these methods of purchasing can weaken our position in contracting when employees do not purchase on our contracts...it effectively reduces our volume on the contracted goods or services.

Hence, we are instituting a policy that will be in effect from February 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 that will require the use of existing University contracts for the procurement of goods and services. We will monitor APOs, P-Cards and DVs for compliance. Exceptions may be made if necessary, appropriate and approved in advance by Purchasing.

Continue reading “Using University Contracts” »
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Finding Contracts in EPIC

By Tim Rice

Establishing contracts for frequently ordered products is not a new concept for Purchasing, but communicating the agreements to the University community has often been difficult. The newly approved “University Procurement Contracts” policy is providing Purchasing with the opportunity to introduce processes that will help make everyone aware of the contracts that we work so hard to establish.

The Office of Procurement Services “Contracts” section of the website provides a list of contracts and the contract details. This site should be used to familiarize yourself with the contracts that exist. Since Purchasing will be establishing new contracts you are encouraged to visit this site frequently. Knowing that the contract exist is a good first step; however, it is most important that you begin to use these contracts in EPIC. Doing so ensures compliance of the “University Procurement Contracts” policy. Listed below are the steps to properly select a vendor‘s contract:

  1. When choosing a vendor on a requisition select the available contracts button button to find the vendor. If the vendor is found select the “Return this Contract” next to the vendor. Selecting the vendor returns you to the requisition screen with the vendor‘s name, address, phone number and contract ID filled in. Also the APO Spending Limit on the Item tab will be adjusted to the limited that has been established by Purchasing. The limits on contracts are typically much higher than the normal APO limit. If the vendor is not found then select the “Return Without Changing Values” link in the upper right hand corner of the page.
  2. If the vendor was not found in step #1 above, then select the search for vendor button button to find the vendor.

We should make the greatest use possible of university contracts; they offer preferential pricing, enhanced support and additional savings through vendor-paid shipping in many cases. If you have any comments regarding university contracts, suggestions for improvements or recommendations for new contracts, please contact Purchasing so we can make our contracts the best they can be.

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“But I Can Save $12”

Many requisitions come to Purchasing for products that are available from a contracted source, but are written to a non-contract vendor with a note “this is $12 less than the contract price”. Is this actually a savings?

Probably not because there are many cost factors beyond the unit price of the product that must be considered. The total cost of acquisition includes:

  • Time spent searching for the product and vendor. You need to consider the comparable hourly rate for your services.
  • Time spent entering a new vendor if necessary. Purchasing can spend considerable time following up with a company that does not immediately provide the required company information. (This additional step increases the amount of time that you have to wait on your order to be processed.)
  • Electronic B2B transactions are much less expensive for the university to process than a standard PO. This can add as much as $50+ to the transaction cost.
  • Contracted vendors frequently absorb freight charges. A $20 item can have a $20 shipping charge from a non-contract supplier.
  • Contracts provide enhanced support and usually at no additional cost to IU. Additional benefits might include replacements for damaged products shipped at no charge, technical support, installation support, etc. A non-contracted vendor usually charges for these services.

In the long run, you and the university are better served by using the university's contracts. Purchasing realizes that there is always potential for improvement, though, and we invite your suggestions on making our contracts the best they can be.

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Cannon IV Trade-In Promotion

By Michelle Dugger

Cannon IV, our Shop Contracts supplier for Hewlett Packard brand printers, is offering an updated trade-in promotion on printers. They are now offering a larger trade in discount ($50 more) if a NON-HP Brand printer is traded.

All other aspects of the program remain the same:

  • The Trade In printers can be any brand, inkjet or laser jet, working or non-working.
  • Cannon IV will provide the trade in rebate right up front and the netted down price is reflected on the EPIC Shop Contracts site.
  • Upon receipt of a Trade In order, Cannon IV's Customer Support team will call and ask for the details of the printer that you are trading in (Model #, Serial #, location).
  • Cannon IV will pick up the trade in printer at a time that is convenient for you (approximately 2 weeks after the new printer has been delivered).
  • Cannon IV will be responsible for shipping the printers back to HP for appropriate recycling of the old devices.

There are special part numbers in the Cannon IV EPIC Shop Contracts site for each printer to reflect that you will be trading in. If you need help in determining which part number to choose please contact Wes Stayton at Cannon IV; Phone: 800-825-7779 Email: wes.stayton@cannon4.com

To see a promotional flyer which includes a list of printers and the after trade-in prices, please look in the ‘Current Promotions’ section of the Cannon IV Contracts Page: http://www.indiana.edu/~purchase/contracts/computer/cannon.shtml

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REMINDER ABOUT GRATUITIES

By Karin Coopersmith

Please remember that it is unacceptable to accept any type of gratuity. Gifts, paid invitations, entertainment, travel, room or housing, meals, transportation, and other such activity provided to an employee may damage the reputation of the University. Activity of this nature may subvert the employee's judgment or create the perception that the employee, or the employee's family, is receiving personal gain by virtue of his or her position at the University and the relationship with a supplier. This would include free lunches by catering organizations to promote their services and products.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please reference http://www.indiana.edu/~purchase/policies/3_4.shtml or do not hesitate to contact our office for clarification.

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Agreement finalized for PGP Whole Disk Encryption

By Nathan Smith

Indiana University and PGP have entered into an Enterprise Software License Agreement for PGP whole disk encryption software.

The software agreement covers all Indiana University Campuses and Affiliates.

PGP Whole Disk Encryption will provide Indiana University with comprehensive, platform-independent, and high performance full disk encryption for all data (user files, swap files, system files, hidden files, etc.) on desktops and laptops. The encrypted data is protected from unauthorized access, providing strong security for intellectual property, customer data, partner data and brand. The software can be installed on most Windows and Apple OS platforms.

Continue reading “Agreement finalized for PGP Whole Disk Encryption” »
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“Copy to New” Function in EPIC Vulnerability

By Cindy Hughes

The "copy to new" function in EPIC requisitions is a time saving feature. However there is a potential drawback when using this functionality; the vendor information may be out-of-date. To ensure the most up-to-date information about a vendor exists on your newly created requisition you should always search for and return the vendor before routing. This additional step refreshes the vendor's name, address and fax number.

A good example of why this extra step should be taken is -- A+ Service Solutions recently updated their fax number. If the "copy to new" was used on a requisition were A+ Service Solutions was the suggested vendor and the vendor data was not reloaded from the search then the new PO would still reference the old fax number. This out-of-date information would delay the delivery of the PO to the vendor.

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Changes to the Administrative Systems EPIC Portal

By Brian Becker

The Administrative Systems EPIC portal found in OneStart has been changed to a single link. This link leads to the full array of actions and options available in EPIC. The benefits of this consolidation allow Purchasing to update and distribute information from one location.

EPIC gateway
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Office of Procurement Services

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