Fall 2018 Newsletter

This quarterly newsletter is sent to Procurement Services customers to provide announcements and updates regarding ongoing initiatives and procedures.


On October 1, Property Disposition began offering data destruction and sanitization services to the entire university community.

Units may choose between data destruction, where the device is destroyed, and data sanitization, where data on the device is securely overwritten.  The data destruction service costs $1 per device, saving at least $2 per device compared to other strategic suppliers. The data sanitization service costs $10 per device and is not currently offered through other strategic suppliers.

Both services are listed on the Declaration of Surplus (DOS) form.  Simply check the field for destruction or sanitization at the bottom of the form, and the service will be charged to the shortcode provided.  Units will receive a certificate of completion after all devices are processed.

Dante Vasquez, Property Disposition supervisor, explains that his team is uniquely positioned to play a role in offering these services because, “Property Disposition is the last stop when equipment leaves the university. With the volume of property we receive, the economies of scale allowed us to purchase the equipment needed to provide a cost effective, efficient and secure service to sanitize and/or destroy these items for the university.”

Sanitizing, or securely overwriting all the data on a device, can be a great option for units. It preserves the value of the property, which can be resold to other units or the public, and proceeds returned to the university. However, sometimes drives are non-functioning and proper sanitization procedures are impossible, or they contain data so sensitive that physical destruction is required. With a new hard drive shredder on premises, Property Disposition can address those needs as well.

For additional information about these services, please visit the Property Disposition website.


Property Disposition will be holding a live vehicle auction Saturday, December 8, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds at 10 a.m. See the auctioneer’s website for more information, including photos of the vehicles up for auction. The last auction, which took place in August, resulted in 38 vehicles, two trailers, a construction lift, a snow plow, and other large equipment, being sold for more than $300,000.


Express Checkout is coming soon! 
Concur will be introducing Express Checkout, which will reduce the checkout process from five pages to two: Review and Book and Confirmed. Once implemented, travelers will no longer have to page through multiple screens to complete their air booking. All the pertinent information required to complete the booking will be collected via the new Review and Book page. This improvement may be available as early as December 2018!

The following are the key benefits of Express Checkout:

  • Introduces an efficient new user interface to improve the user experience
  • Shortens the checkout process from five pages to two
  • Provides many usability and design updates
  • Introduces "one-click" to book airfare (if the form of payment is defaulted)
Attention PCard holders--enroll in text messaging for fraud alerts
In spring 2018, Procurement Services shared information about text messaging for fraud alerts.  This means cardholders will have the opportunity to receive “real-time” alerts, similar to those with personal credit card accounts. While enrollment is not mandatory, cardholders are encouraged to enroll to help protect the university against fraudulent charges.
Cardholders received a communication from Procurement Services on November 6, 2018, with enrollment instructions. Cardholders who do not enroll in text alerts will continue to receive communications from JPMorgan’s fraud department via email or phone if suspicious activity is detected.
U-M Travel & Expense 101 Training
U-M Travel & Expense 101 (T&E 101) is here! T&E 101 will focus on travel and expense policy, business processes, system navigation, best practices, and system tips. The Procurement Services’ Audit & Compliance (A&C) team is currently piloting the training, with formal training presentations to begin in late February 2019. Locations and dates of training presentations will be published in the next Procurement Services newsletter.
As always, the A&C team is available for unit-specific training upon request. If interested in an on-site visit, please send your request to procurement.services@umich.edu or contact (734) 764-8212, option 2.
New U-M Travel Program email group
Would you like to receive updates on U-M’s travel program, changes to travel policies or processes, and news from the travel industry?  If so, you can now opt-in to U-M Travel News!


In an effort to ensure proper account codes are used during the acquisition of software licenses, Financial Operations and Procurement Services have updated the descriptions for codes COMSW and GENLI (account numbers 612100 and 614870).

More information on description changes.


Madison Electric Company is a fourth-generation, 104-year-old family-led company, and a strategic supplier of electrical products to the university. Madison Electric began as the Morris Blumberg Company, founded on Woodward Avenue in Detroit in 1914. In 1931, the company changed its name to Madison Electric Company, and in 2005, they became a strategic supplier to the university.

Recognizing that timing is critical when working on building repairs and maintenance, Madison Electric Company operates a secure, on-site inventory crib in a centrally located Facilities and Operations building on Kipke Drive. This inventory supports various Facilities and Operations departments, including maintenance and construction services departments.

Employees from Madison Electric Company, with over 60 years of combined industry and on-campus experience, are dedicated to supporting the university and staffing the on-site inventory crib. Authorized university staff can pick up a lengthy list of items at the counter, including lamps, fuses, cabling, pipes and most other electrical supplies commonly used in the day-to-day support of the university's facilities.

The on-site staff provide exceptional customer service, often traveling across campus to assist university staff as needed. Chuck Braidwood, Madison Electric Company’s on-site account manager for the university says, “We care so much about the university, sometimes we forget we’re Madison. We want to find the best solutions for the university, regardless of whether or not that results in a sale.”

Madison Electric Company offers two great benefits to the university. The first is the on-site inventory crib owned and operated by Madison Electric Company, which saves the university money by not investing in purchasing or maintaining inventory. The second are the rebates offered through DTE Energy’s rebate program. When qualifying energy-saving light bulbs are purchased by the university for a project, the purchase price is automatically discounted by the rebate amount. Madison Electric Company then completes and submits the rebate paperwork to DTE for reimbursement. In 2017, these rebate savings totaled $169,000.

More information on Madison Electric Company.

Photo (top): The Madison Electric inventory crib located in Facilities and Operations building.

Photo (bottom): Madison Electric employees (from left to right), Chuck Braidwood, account manager, Bill Van Buren, branch manager, and Todd Dudderar, sales, bring over 60 years of combined industry experience.


Meet Elizabeth Balten, service delivery manager, who began working in Procurement Services in December 2017. Elizabeth started at the university in 2011 as a project management consultant working on IT rationalization projects, and was later hired by Information Technology Services (ITS) in 2012.

While at ITS, Elizabeth worked as an IT project manager and later led a Customer Service Delivery team, which focused on driving improvements in operations using a structured team-based approach to problem solving.

Prior to coming to U-M, Elizabeth worked for Accenture for seven years helping clients across the U.S. implement strategic change initiatives including enterprise-wide IT system replacements, business process improvements, and organizational redesign efforts.

Elizabeth’s current responsibilities include coordinating a team of leaders from across the university to plan the renewal of U-M’s North Campus student housing facilities.  The Board of Regents charged the group with investigating alternative funding models, which could support the vision of creating a “destination of choice” on North Campus for students and the larger U-M community. 

“What I enjoy most about my current role, and all of my past roles at U-M, is the opportunity to learn something new about the university--whether that’s working with a new piece of software or partnering with a different department to address a new challenge facing the university,” explained Elizabeth.  “U-M really is a like a small city and being part of Procurement Services, you have the opportunity to see so many different facets of it.”

Elizabeth is a Michigan alum, with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the Ross School of Business. She lives on a small farm in Superior Township with her husband Marco, son Oskar, and they are expecting their second child in April. “After work, I spend most of my time outdoors chasing my toddler, who spends most of his time chasing our chickens, ducks, goats, cats, or dog.”  When not maintaining the menagerie, Elizabeth enjoys gardening and practicing yoga.

She can be reached at ebalten@umich.edu or (734) 763-1197.


Space Analysis is the official steward of university space and location data. The department oversees an annual inventory of all university-owned and occupied space and makes location, square footage, and occupancy updates as they occur throughout the year.

The FY 2018 Annual Space Survey began in February and was completed in August. The survey includes the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses, as well as Michigan Medicine.  Nearly 700 U-M departments reported changes and updates occurring in their space, including use, activities, capacity, and ongoing or completed renovations in 1,154 buildings, approximately 27 million assigned square feet, and 121,000 rooms.

Using data from the annual survey, Space Analysis publishes the “Analysis of Facility and Space Data” book each year.  It was distributed to U-M recipients on September 28th, one month earlier than the 2017 data book--a great accomplishment by the Space Analysis team!

A number of departments rely on data obtained from the Annual Space Survey. Dan Horal, of the Cost Reimbursement Office, uses the data to establish indirect cost rates for research, instruction, and other sponsored activities. "The space survey is an important part in the indirect cost recovery formula,” explained Dan. “It allows us to accurately allocate facilities costs to the benefiting functions. This allocation of indirect costs is a significant factor in building a proposal that we can submit to the government to negotiate indirect cost rates."

In FY 2018, $287 million was returned to U-M, based on our negotiated ICR rate. In addition, space data is also used for U-M space utilization planning, Facilities & Operations, as well as state and federal reporting.

Do you have questions about the Annual Space Survey or the data available to support departmental space planning needs?  If so, contact space.analysis@umich.edu for inquiries regarding space on campus or hosp-space@umich.edu for Michigan Medicine space inquiries.


In 2011, the Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment (CSIA) was conducted in order to highlight specific goals and principles aimed at growing a university commitment to environmental stewardship. The results of the assessment led to the creation of the 2025 campus sustainability goals. Programs are designed around three key areas to help drive the university community toward achieving these goals: Culture, Waste, and Energy.

Procurement Services plays a key role in helping the university make progress towards sustainability goals by expanding sustainable offerings from suppliers. The sustainable procurement team has incorporated standard questions in strategic RFPs where suppliers are asked to outline their approach/offerings of green products.

Selin Nurgun, sustainable purchasing coordinator, is also attending meetings where potential strategic suppliers present why they believe they should be awarded a contract. Evaluating strategic suppliers involves many factors, including type of product or service, price, support, warranty, etc. However, an emerging influence in selection criteria is sustainability and a supplier’s ability to provide information about their practices, as well as products or services that support the university’s sustainability goals. The supplier’s sustainability score is based on the information that is provided in the RFP and presented at the meetings.

Another way Procurement Services contributes to sustainability goals is through collaborations with strategic suppliers to make product identification and selection easier for the university community. AVI Foodsystems (AVI) worked with procurement to create a ‘Sustainable Kitchen’ filter accessible through M-marketsite, which includes compostable, fair trade, organic, or bulk products. Read more about AVI’s sustainability initiatives and core values.

“Our objective is to have a successful collaboration with suppliers in order to increase visibility of their products, services, and mission statements that fall in line with the university’s sustainability goals,” explained Selin.