Spring 2018 Newsletter

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


Property Disposition will be holding a live vehicle auction this Saturday, May 19, 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 December, resulted in 40 vehicles--as well as a John Deere tractor, ceiling fans, and floor scrubbers--being sold for more than $300,000.


A group of employees from the Medical School’s Biomedical Research Store is the latest recipient of the quarterly Savings Victors award. The team consists of eleven staff employees and a manager.

The store has five locations on campus and provides the university’s research investigators with easy, onsite stocking essential laboratory supplies such as enzymes, reagents, and kits used in molecular and cellular biology, and some protein chemistry. More than 700 items from 11 suppliers are stocked and special orders are generally available the next day.

The store team works closely with the Research Procurement team to secure favorable pricing and terms, which are passed along to the researchers. Recently, the Biomedical Research Store partnered with Research Procurement to begin carrying the same Medline exam gloves approved for use by the hospital and other Michigan Medicine operations.

“The labs are now able to get a very high-quality glove at an exceptional price,” explained Bob Johnson, research procurement supervisor, who nominated the store team for the award. “This partnership resulted in significant savings as well as freeing up valuable lab space that was once used to store cases of gloves. Prior to this option, it was necessary for labs to buy multiple cases/boxes of gloves to attain quality discounts.”

The Biomedical Research Store prides itself in providing excellent customer service and generous discounts to university researchers. As a recipient of the Savings Victors award, each store team employee will receive a commemorative paperweight and a $25 gift card to Meijer.  “We were pleasantly surprised and extremely honored to receive the Savings Victor Award,” said Chris Stilson, store manager. “I am very proud of the work our team does and grateful to have such a wonderful partnership with Procurement Services. Thank you so much!”

Photo: The award recipients, from left to right, are (front row) Kim Carter, Tasha Harrington, Shaina Vera, Andrea Opalecky; (middle row) Chris Stilson, Terri Kirkup, Nicole Petty, Rachel Richardson; (back row) John Wilson, Norm Roth, Britta Krisjanis and Deborah Cheng (not pictured).


Coming soon—Invitation to PCard holders to enroll in text messaging for fraud alerts

Fraudsters, unfortunately, remain diligent in their attempts to obtain credit card information for fraudulent use. Should a PCard account become compromised by fraudsters, the cardholder will now have the opportunity to receive a prompt notification via text if enrolled. This means “real-time” alerts, similar to those with personal credit card accounts.  While enrollment is not mandatory, cardholders are encouraged to do so in an effort to help protect the university against fraudulent charges.

Cardholders will receive a communication from Procurement Services when it is time to enroll.  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.

Attention Concur Mobile users!

Concur is adding ExpenseIt to its Mobile app this summer. Today, when you take a picture of your receipts using the Mobile app, you have the option to save the receipt to your receipt store or create an expense line for the receipt.  When ExpenseIt is integrated with Mobile, you will have the option to export the picture and let ExpenseIt create your expense line.  Stay tuned for more details on ExpenseIt!

Book your airfare in Concur, receive additional benefits

U-M has contracts with Delta and United Airlines that offer discount pricing, business travel partner perks, and potential savings on change fees. The benefits of using Delta, such as priority Zone 1 boarding and discounted pricing, have been shared in past newsletters.

There are also benefits of booking with United Airlines. When business travel is booked in Concur or with a Conlin Travel agent at 1-855-200-8785, U-M’s contract with United Airlines has discounts available based on the fare class. The university also has a business partner agreement with United Airlines, which gives Conlin Travel access to a bank of funds that can be used to reduce reservation change fees for U-M. Conlin may also be able to help reduce change fees in the event the original flight is canceled.


Gordon Food Service (GFS) is completing its first year as the university’s strategic supplier for food and food-related products—a category with a $10 million+ spend. The university is on target to meet the estimated first-year savings of $150,000.  

An increasing number of university customers are taking advantage of GFS Continuing Service Card to purchase products when smaller quantities (a box or package instead of a whole case) are needed to replenish a department’s supply. Departments can use the card, which will bill the shortcode assigned to the department’s GFS account, for purchases or pickup at any GFS store.

GFS is committed to sustainability and in sourcing local products that will count toward the university’s goal of purchasing 20 percent of its food from sustainable or local sources by 2025. It continues to work with the university to identify items that meet its definition of local and/or possess third-party certifications such as Certified Organic, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certified, Fair Trade Certified, etc. By doing so, university customers will immediately know which items meet the university’s food sustainability criteria.

Student Life and Michigan Medicine’s Patient Food and Nutrition representatives continue to work with GFS to enhance the partnership by looking at additional cost savings without sacrificing quality or service.

More information on GFS.


Meet Chuck Sulikowski, general operations manager of auxiliary operations, who began working in Procurement Services last month.

Chuck joined the university in 2013 and worked in ITS where he led its Performance Excellence Department, which focused on improving operations multiple service offerings including, the MiWorkspace managed desktop service, the ITS Service Center, ITS Service Management, and the ITS Depot.   

Some of Chuck’s initiatives focused on improving ITS’ ability to measure the performance of services, improving asset management tracking, incident coordination, managing customer survey feedback, and developing a quality assurance and testing team for service management.

Prior to coming to the university, Chuck worked in a variety of positions at Health Alliance Plan (HAP). He began as a student intern in the Planning and Marketing Support Department, and eventually became department manager. In Planning and Marketing Support, Chuck was responsible for managing HAP’s Request for Proposals (RFP) process, and Requests for Information (RFI) made by the group insurance side of the business.

He also led a number of process improvement initiatives, which resulted in faster turnaround times for RFP and RFI responses. He later went on to manage HAP’s Medical and Business Informatics team, where he helped implement a claims system, a reporting data warehouse, and a corporate reporting suite.          

In his new role, Chuck will be managing the Print-Copy-Mail and Property Disposition teams. Property Disposition is responsible for the sale/disposition of U-M assets. Print-Copy-Mail is responsible for collecting/delivering campus mail, providing print and copy services to the university, among other things.   

“One of the many aspects that I love about working at the University of Michigan is the variety of disciplines and diverse career opportunities,” said Chuck.  “Every opportunity has enabled me to grow, develop, and acquire knowledge that will help pave the way for an exciting and unique career path.”

Chuck received his undergraduate degree from Oakland University. He lives in Oakland County with his wife, daughter, and his two dogs.  “After work I love to play video games, read comic books, listen to podcasts, and take my dogs for walks around town.”

He can be reached at chux@umich.edu or 734-764-6403. 


The Procurement Services 2018 Strategic Supplier Product and Service Shows kicked off at the Michigan League in March with more than 60 exhibitors.

Despite the cold, rainy weather conditions, more than 250 U-M employees attended the show. The shows are a great opportunity for staff to meet with representatives from our Strategic Suppliers, see and test new products, and receive special “Product Show” pricing. Procurement Services representatives were also on hand to answer questions and help attendees learn about how Strategic Supplier Contracts can help them save time and resources.

Some of the more popular supplier tables were Allegra Print Mail Marketing, Fisher Scientific, Gordon Food Service, Office Depot, Print-Copy-Mail, and U-M Conference Management Services.

“The annual shows allow departments to familiarize themselves with our strategic contract suppliers, products, and services,” said Robin Eckel, contract administrator. “And they can do it in an environment that encourages building relationships with Procurement Services and the suppliers.”

A second show was held earlier this month at UM-Dearborn, with nearly 60 suppliers and approximately 120 people attending. There is one more show taking place at UM-Flint on May 30.

Stay tuned for more information on the fall supplier show that is being held in September.

Photo: (from left) Sue Knight, Chip Reese, Heather Peer, Amy Wang, Pat Fischer, and Robin Eckel from Procurement Services pose for a photo at the show.


M-Pathways users can print a copy of a purchase order (PO).

  • Once logged into M-Pathways, select Navigator in the NavBar menu on the upper right- hand side.
  • From there, select Purchasing > Purchase Orders > Add/UpdatePOs.
  • To print a PO, click View Printable Version from the Add/Update POs page.  The PO will open in a PDF with a watermark. 







For an official copy of a PO, contact procurement.services@umich.edu and include the PO number and supplier name.


Since the launch of the sustainable procurement project in 2016, Procurement Services has been working closely with strategic partners to better connect campus with environmentally-friendly options.

One partner, VWR International LLC (VWR), a strategic supplier for research and life science needs, has made sustainability a priority in every aspect of their business – from products to practices, all with a creative approach.  For Earth Day 2018, the company once again joined with the Arbor Day Foundation for its “Celebrate Sustainability” Campaign, which runs through December 15, 2018. With each $1,000 qualifying purchase, VWR will not only plant 10 trees, but will match it for 20 trees in all. For information on how you can participate, please see this Arbor Day Foundation flyer.

VWR’s own sustainably goals align with the university’s standing mission to promote a reuse culture and bring visibility to recycled products and reduced packaging options. Their pledge to reduce waste includes minimal packaging when possible, a transition to molded pulp inserts instead of Styrofoam for packing, and reusing Styrofoam coolers for frozen shipments.  All shipping boxes used in North America are composed of virgin fiber and are SFI-certified (Sustainable Forestry Initiative). In addition, VWR has identified products and/or packaging which are recyclable or reduce waste with a green leaf icon.  

While VWR offers a broad range of recycled products, the company has also partnered with TerraCycle® for the recycling and reuse of many items. For example, disposable garments and plastic waste such as goggles can easily be diverted from landfills by implementing a recycling program within your lab. These products are then ground, melted, and pelletized to create recycled resin, which is used to make park benches, compost decking and drainage pipes. Participating is easy! Collection boxes for each product are available on VWR’s M-Marketsite catalog and include a prepaid UPS shipping label.

For more information on VWR’s sustainability goals and their 2017 Sustainability Report, visit the “About Us” section (found in the footer of the page) in the VWR’s M-Marketsite catalog.

Learn more about sustainability at U-M.