Fall 2020 Newsletter

SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS EXPECTED AS STAPLES TAKES OVER AS U-M’S NEW STRATEGIC SUPPLIER FOR OFFICE SUPPLIES

After an in-depth evaluation process, Procurement Services awarded U-M’s strategic supplier contract for office supplies to Staples, effective November 1, 2020. A cross-functional team composed of representatives from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses as well as Michigan Medicine and the Office of Campus Sustainability, selected Staples, with a special focus on pricing and customer service. A webinar on the new Staples contract is scheduled later this month.

Based on previous spending trends at U-M, the new contract with Staples could save the university approximately $2 million each year. The new arrangement with Staples replaced a contract that U-M had with Office Depot. Read entire article.


SEALED-BID AUCTIONS ALLOW PROPERTY DISPOSITION TO CONTINUE PUBLIC SALES

Property Disposition reopened in May and began accepting shipments of equipment and materials no longer needed by units across the university. Sales of the merchandise to the general public, however, remained closed. 

As the warehouses filled up with merchandise, the Property Disposition team became concerned about selling it and accepting more shipments to warehouses that were already packed. The solution? The weekly sealed bid auction (which was re-engineered to comply with Covid-19 guidelines--the public can no longer inspect bid items and winners must make an appointment to pick up their items)!

With the help of two groups within Procurement Services, the Property Control and Audit & Compliance teams, Property Disposition was able to make the sealed bid process run smoothly and efficiently. Every aspect of how bid lots were prepared and presented was improved. As a result, a record number of items was put up for bid.

"There is an incredible level of talent among the team members from the other areas in Procurement Services and their ability to collaborate with our dedicated employees here in Property Disposition ensured that everyone contributed to an outstanding final product," said Dante Vasquez, warehouse senior supervisor.

“Their efforts made it much easier for our retail customers to make purchases and, as a result, opened up space in our warehouses to accommodate deliveries from U-M units seeking to sell the equipment they no longer use or need.”

To date, Property Disposition has sold a variety of items and equipment--from basketball hoops from Crisler Arena to medical equipment and much needed computers, desks, and office chairs. Some items, including dinosaur costumes the U-M marching band used during a Jurassic Park-themed halftime show, must be tested to ensure they operate as intended before they can be sold. 

In the coming weeks, the teams will help Property Disposition launch its new eCommerce platform, which will accelerate sales and create additional capacity for accepting shipments of unneeded equipment and materials from U-M units.


CONCUR & TRAVEL NEWS

New Concur User Interface coming in 2021
Concur is upgrading its user interface (UI) to the NextGen UI, which focuses on three key areas:
  • Usability: the updated UI is designed to be more intuitive
  • Efficiency: optimized task flows and the interface is more intuitive to save time
  • Accessibility: developed taking an inclusive approach to design and engineering

Procurement Services is in the beginning stages of the implementation project and more details will be shared as they become available.

Create Expense Line With Picture of Receipt Using ExpenseIt

Concur offers many pieces of functionality to improve the customer experience and increase efficiency. 

One example is the ExpenseIt functionality, which creates an expense line when taking a picture of a receipt with Concur Mobile. In order to take advantage of this functionality, Concur requires verification of your U-M email address. Watch this how-to video created by the Shared Services Center for instructions on verifying your email address.

Unused Delta Tickets--Potential Refunds for COVID Related Cancellations

Conlin Travel has been assisting the university in obtaining refunds for Delta airline tickets that were booked through the U-M travel program. Conlin Travel is also working on refunds for airfare purchased directly through Delta if a U-M PCard was used.

If an employee has an unused ticket for airfare that has already been reimbursed and the unused ticket is now eligible for a refund from Delta, Procurement Services has communicated with the department manager prior to requesting the refund. The department manager will be responsible to ensure the employee repays the university once the employee receives the refund.

Current Guidelines for Hosting Events

The university is still following the April 2020 guidance from President Mark S. Schlissel to minimize or eliminate expenses related to hosting, food, and beverages. For more details on guidelines and communications, visit the Office of the President's website

As the website notes, "all non-essential expenditures are to be suspended, and new financial commitments are to be avoided until further notice for all three campuses and Michigan Medicine. Examples of expenses that should be minimized or eliminated include, but are not limited to, the following:  Hosting, food, and beverages."

PCard Maintenance Forms
As a reminder, U-M PCards must be suspended for employees who take a leave of absence. Please submit a PCard Maintenance Form to travelexpense@umich.edu to temporarily suspend the account. When employees return to work, a new form must be submitted to reinstate a PCard.

WINDOW TREATMENT REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT SERVICES ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR DIRECT PURCHASE

University departments can directly purchase window treatment repair and replacement services through the UManage Facilities Services program.

Contracts to provide window treatment services through the UManage program have been awarded to Creative Windows and Lake Orion Window Treatments. For details on how to purchase window treatment services under the UManage program, visit the Procurement Services website.

For additional assistance regarding window treatment services, please contact the AEC Interior Design department at 734-764-3414 or Facilities Procurement at procurement-facilities@umich.edu.

 About the UManage program (from the UManage Facilities Services guidelines):

“The UManage Facilities Services program was established as a joint effort between Business and Finance and the academic units to serve the needs of customers across campus. The program, which focuses on facilities-related services, is designed to give users additional supplier choices and management tools while remaining in compliance with university policies and building and safety regulations.”

To learn more about the services available through the UManage program, see the guidelines document or email the UManage Team at UManageTeam@umich.edu.


U-M’S INTERNAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE NOW EASIER TO FIND!

A recent update on the Procurement Services website has made finding an Internal Service Provider (ISP) much easier. Search for a complete list of ISPs on the Find Products & Services page by checking the ISP filter and clicking the Search box. Or you can look for suppliers with a yellow block M next to their name. 


FIRST ONLINE VEHICLE AUCTION A HUGE SUCCESS!

Property Disposition, in conjunction with Braun & Helmer Auction Service, hosted U-M's first-ever online-only vehicle/equipment auction. 

The auction was held in late August and resulted in 72 vehicles--including trucks, vans, and passenger cars--as well as a Bobcat Toolcat, street sweeper, and two forklifts being sold for over $1.1 million!

Be sure to visit the Property Disposition website for details about the next online auction, which is slated to begin on December 3 and wrap up December 10.  


VIRTUAL STRATEGIC SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHTS - COMING SOON!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular strategic supplier shows that are typically held annually throughout the year were canceled.

While the shows can’t be held in person, Procurement Services has decided to hold “virtual shows” that will give U-M employees the opportunity to learn more about the university’s strategic suppliers. 

The shows are scheduled to take place every other Thursday beginning in January and will be hosted by contract administrators and procurement agents. 

Each show will highlight a different commodity--feel free to attend one or all! The shows will enable you to find out more about our suppliers and how they support the university. In addition, you’ll learn how to place orders and be provided with contact information for each supplier. And there will be a dedicated time for questions. 

Stay tuned for more information!


 

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PROCUREMENT SERVICES?

Don’t forget to join the Procurement Services page on U-M’s Workplace! This page shares a variety of content including new contracts, highlights of existing contracts, tips and tricks, employee spotlights, and upcoming Procurement Services events.  

If you haven’t heard of Workplace, we encourage you to check it out! Creating an account is easy and we hope to see you on Workplace soon!


REMINDER: SUPPLIERS ARE REQUIRED TO USE RESPONSIBLUE COVID-19 SCREENING CHECK

If your department has suppliers coming to U-M property, be sure to remind them about the ResponsiBLUE screening process. More information on ResponsiBLUE.