Spring 2021 Newsletter

A NEW LOOK TO PROCUREMENT SERVICES NEWS!

You may have noticed the past couple of newsletters have had a completely different look and feel. The new design is intended to provide readers with easy-to-read and relevant purchasing information that enables them to support the missions of the university. The email summarizes the newsletter content while the full articles, which are located on the Procurement Services website, can be viewed by clicking on the article title or summary. As our newsletter subscriber list continues to grow, your feedback is very important to us, and we want to know what you think about the new design. You can let us know by emailing procurement.services@umich.edu.  We hope you like the changes!


CHECK OUT THE NEW DOWNLOADABLE LIST OF U-M’S STRATEGIC SUPPLIERS! 

Procurement Services recently launched an easier way to view a list of U-M's strategic suppliers. A strategic supplier typically has a multi-year contract with U-M and offers a number of advantages to the university community, including discounts on a wide variety of products and services, a commitment to exemplary customer service, multiple ways to execute purchases, and several other benefits such as extended warranties and customization options on certain items.

When you go to Search U-M's Strategic Suppliers to Find Products & Services, you will notice a link to view (and download) the alphabetical list under the Search button. This will open up an Excel spreadsheet where you can filter by supplier type, category, as well as commodity. We hope you find this to be a helpful reference tool and we welcome your feedback!


TEMPORARY SHIP-TO-HOME EXCEPTION PROCESS EXTENDED 

Due to the fact that many university buildings remain closed and several units continue to work remotely, the temporary exception process for shipping items to non-university addresses, which expired on April 30, has been extended through the end of August. Download the latest version of the ship-to-home exception memo.


CDW-G ENHANCED PROCESSES FOR SHIP-TO-HOME ORDERS AND APPLE PRODUCTS 

Two important service enhancements that will make purchasing products from CDW-G—a U-M strategic supplier that offers over 100,000 technology related products from 1,000+ vendors— much faster and easier. CDW-G offers, among other things, quick and secure deliveries, streamlined billing and product returns, and outstanding warranty service. In addition, the company has a strong focus on green products, which helps support U-M’s sustainability initiative and provides exceptional customer service to the university community. 

One CDW-G enhancement—effective immediately—centers on ship-to-home orders while the other—effective May 17, 2021—focuses on the process to order Apple products. For complete details on both enhancements, see the May 3 communication that was sent to all active M-marketsite users.


PCM OFFERS QUALITY COMMERCIAL PRINTING AND MAILING SOLUTIONS FOR U-M DEPARTMENTS

With three new high-speed digital black and white presses capable of printing 180 pages per minute (ppm) and two new digital color presses capable of printing 100 ppm, Print/Copy/Mail (PCM) offers exceptional print quality and job turnaround time. The presses are also equipped to collate, punch, score, fold, staple, and even produce fully completed booklets in-line, so PCM can quickly turn your pdf or print file into a finished product--sometimes within minutes!

“We offer extensive printing and copying options for almost any project and have a wide variety of color paper available as well,” explained Roger Meyers, printing supervisor at PCM.  “We also offer variable data print and mail matching in both full color and black and white along with complete mail inserting, addressing, and postal services and we are the proud provider of the University Private Watermark stationery.”

PCM understands the quality of your print project is equally as important as your budget in these challenging times. Surprisingly the price of a project can vary between suppliers from just a small amount to hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of dollars. PCM consistently receives positive feedback from first-time customers on how its competitive pricing saved them money. The goal of the PCM staff is to make sure their customers get the best value on their print, copy, and mail projects. 

In addition to its printing services, PCM also offers mail service. Having remained onsite and operational throughout the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, PCM has been able to help with the various issues faced by many university staff who have been working remotely, as well as on-site, by offering daily campus mail and courier delivery to the entire Ann Arbor campus, multiple delivery options to offsite facilities, and weekly delivery of projects to the Flint and Dearborn campuses. PCM also offers courier and other delivery options to university employees currently working remotely, priority mail and overnight mailing of print proofs and completed orders, as well as pickup options at its facility on North Campus.

Feel free to contact PCM if you would like to join the growing list of satisfied customers who have experienced the difference between working with a partner rather than just a printer!


CONCUR & TRAVEL NEWS

Kudos to Conlin Travel!

Conlin Travel, U-M’s strategic travel partner for university travel, has been instrumental in obtaining airfare refunds caused by the flight cancellations in 2020. Last year, Conlin Travel approached Procurement Services with a proposal to assist in recovering funds for unused tickets purchased within the university’s Travel Program.  

After evaluating the offer, Procurement Services opted to partner with Conlin Travel to look into airfare purchased within the travel program. As the research continued, Conlin Travel also agreed to pursue airfare purchased by PCard directly from the airline (outside of the travel program). 

As of March 2021, Conlin Travel has obtained nearly $1 million in refunds for the university and continues to look for further opportunities on our behalf. Conlin Travel consistently demonstrates a commitment to U-M by offering excellent customer service and travel expertise.  

Unused Air Tickets

As mentioned above, Conlin Travel has been very effective in assisting the university with airfare refunds. Not all unused tickets meet the guidelines for a refund, but most should be available for future travel. 

Reservations booked within the university’s Travel Program, either booked online in Concur or direct with a Conlin Travel agent, may be available for exchange or transfer to another traveler. These tickets will be monitored by Conlin Travel and Procurement Services.

Reservations not booked online in Concur or with a Conlin Travel agent are considered “out-of-program.”  Neither Conlin Travel nor Procurement Services have oversight for “out-of-program” reservations.  In the case of “out-of-program” reservations, the unit should be managing unused tickets. “Out-of-program” tickets purchased via:

  • PCard should be paid for by the employee if the unused ticket is to be used for personal travel.  If the unused ticket remains the property of the university, the ticket should be monitored to ensure it is used for business travel.

  • Personal funds should not be reimbursed if personal travel is an option.  If the unused ticket remains the property of the university, the ticket should be monitored to ensure it is used for business travel.

  • Personal funds that have already been reimbursed should be repaid to the university if the ticket can be used for personal travel.  If the unused ticket remains the property of the university, the ticket should be monitored to ensure it is used for business travel.

As a reminder, using the university’s Travel Program provides a number of benefits such as 24/7 support provided by Conlin Travel, the university’s dedicated travel agency, which includes oversight of unused tickets.


VIRTUAL SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHTS WELL RECEIVED!

With an average audience of 175+ employees from across U-M, the virtual Supplier Spotlights presented by Procurement Services continue to grow. This innovative approach to connecting U-M’s purchasing community to suppliers was developed to replace the in-person Strategic Supplier Product and Service Shows that haven’t been possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. The spotlights typically feature companies and organizations that are Strategic Suppliers for U-M.

“The Supplier Spotlights give attendees an opportunity to learn more about a number of products and services, how we can help with purchasing, and ask our team questions. The questions—and answers— are compiled after the event concludes and emailed to attendees as a reference tool,” said Yuri Vertkin, a service delivery analyst in Procurement Services, who hosts the spotlights.  

Check out the videos and related materials from the virtual Supplier Spotlights

The next Supplier Spotlight—on Nichols Paper and Supply Company (U-M’s Strategic Supplier for janitorial supplies)—will be held on Thursday, May 20  from 11 a.m. to noon. If you’d like to receive an invitation to attend future spotlights, please contact Yuri or Jean Hazzard, a business analyst senior in Procurement Services. Also, be sure to follow Procurement Services on U-M’s Workplace for the latest information on the virtual supplier spotlights!


DID YOU KNOW? CLOSE VS. CANCEL PO

There’s a difference between canceling and closing a purchase order (PO). When completing the PO Request Form, be sure to know the difference:

  • The Cancel PO Process is used when an order needs to be canceled after a PO has been dispatched or if the supplier has rejected the PO. Before the PO can be canceled, you must first confirm with the supplier that the order has not been filled and it’s been deleted from the supplier’s system. PLEASE NOTE: A PO cannot be canceled if it has a receipt or a voucher against it and cannot be re-opened.

  • The Close PO Process occurs at the end of the purchasing life cycle, after payment has been made to the supplier. POs normally close automatically with the PO Reconciliation Process that runs weekly.  If a PO has not been closed and all payments have been made, you can submit a request to manually close the PO.  The Close PO Process resets the budget header and restores the PO balance back to the department’s budget.  PLEASE NOTE: A PO can be closed if there are receipts or vouchers against it and can be re-opened.


DO YOU NEED A SMALL BUSINESS SUBCONTRACTING PLAN?

Per federal regulations, a small business subcontracting plan is required for federal contracts and subcontracts that exceed $750,000 over the course of the contract. Procurement Services frequently receives requests to create small business plans from both research administrators (RA) and principal investigators (PI). As a reminder, to expedite the request, please be sure to send the request to research_liaision@umich.edu and include the following information:

  • Name of PI
  • Name of RA
  • Solicitation number
  • Name of the project
  • Start and end date of the project
  • Budget justification
  • If it’s a continuous project or there are option years
  • Final budget
  • List of supplies and whom they are purchasing from
  • Plan due date 

Although turnaround time is typically quicker, please allow up to 10 business days for the plan to be completed. More information on small business subcontracting plans.


KEEP YOUR INVENTORY ACCURATE:                                       WARRANTY SWAP HOW TO

An even warranty swap occurs when a piece of capital equipment (tagged asset) malfunctions or is in need of repairs that are covered under the warranty.  See the infographic for step-by-step instructions on how to ensure the process goes smoothly. For further assistance, contact Property Control at property.control@umich.edu.


NEW SERVICE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED

Earlier this year, Procurement Services announced it would be implementing TeamDynamix (TDX). TDX officially launched on March 1 and enables us to significantly enhance our service with a more efficient and practical way of managing requests, such as automated notifications, quicker coordination across teams, and transparency with customers. We are excited to take advantage of everything TDX offers!


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

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


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!