Summer 2015 Newsletter

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


New website is now live!

Procurement Services launched its new website in June. The new website was developed by Michigan Creative, the university's internal marketing communications agency, and incorporates feedback from both our customer and supplier communities. It features a completely new look and feel, easier navigation, enhanced searching capabilities, new content, and a variety of other features to make purchasing easier and faster. A link to the new website and a number of other helpful procurement-related links such as M-Marketsite and Concur is now available on Wolverine Access (under the Faculty & Staff tab in the Finance section). 

Read the entire Record article.

Take a tour of the new Procurement Services website.


Thanks for partnering with us in FY 2015!

Watch this short video from Procurement Services that acknowledges the university community for its partnership in FY 2015. We really appreciate you letting us work with you on your purchasing efforts as we collectively work to keep U-M one of the best universities in the country. Thanks again for your ongoing support and we look forward to working with you in FY 2016 and beyond!


Savings Victors Program awards First Recipient

Thomas Frasier, a university employee since 2010, recently received the first-ever Savings Victor award from Procurement Services. The award, which will be given out quarterly, acknowledges purchasers from the university community who use procurement resources such as strategic contracts to contain costs and maximize resources on behalf of their units. At the time Thomas received his Savings Victor award, he was a purchasing supervisor in Student Life. He is now a Purchasing Manager at University of Michigan Health System.

Working closely with Procurement Services, Thomas developed a training program to ensure that the Student Life employees were trained every year on the use of M-Marketsite—U-M’s online catalog for goods and services—and that they were very familiar with the many benefits of using the university’s strategic contracts, as well as the competitive bid process. “Thomas’ efforts to make sure that employees in Student Life knew how to use M-marketsite and our strategic contracts made a difference in terms of cost savings,” said John Bogi, the contract administrator who nominated him for the award.

As a recipient of the Savings Victors award, Thomas received a commemorative paperweight and a $25 gift card to Meijer. “I was pleasantly surprised to receive the Savings Victors award. It is an honor to be recognized by the Procurement Services team members for partnering with them to support Student Life operations.  The collaborative efforts to educate Student Life staff to the variety of purchasing methods available at the university, provided savings opportunities that otherwise may have not been realized.”  


Vendor spotlight: Culligan

Procurement Services recently awarded a strategic contract for drinking water, including bottled water, point-of-use dispensers, and water treatment/filtration products to Culligan of Ann Arbor/DetroitThe negotiated prices are set for three years and the university expects to save more than $100,000 over the length of the contract.

Major highlights of the contract include:
  • Free installation
  • Free use of equipment, including water filters
  • No bottle deposit fees

The process of transitioning from the previous supplier to Culligan has largely been completed. Thank you for your continued patience during this transition process. If, however, your unit has not yet been contacted by Culligan, you may reach out to Mike O’Dell, the service manager at Culligan, at (248) 804-7934 or modell@hallswater.com. Or contact Gabe Benitez, procurement agent, at (734) 615-5961 or gbenitez@umich.edu.

More information on Culligan.


Employee Spotlight: Becky Dunlavy

Meet Becky Dunlavy, who joined the university in August 1998 as a procurement agent. Over the years, she has held various positions in Procurement Services and currently is the supervisor of the General Goods and Services Team. 

Prior to coming to U-M, Becky was a contracting officer at the Huron-Manistee National Forests in Cadillac, MI, where she was in charge of purchasing all goods and services necessary to maintain the forests as a destination for nature lovers. In addition, to preparing requests for proposals and other typical purchasing activities, Becky was frequently able to get out into the field while working for the Forest Service.

"I floated down a river with a fisheries biologist and a contractor who were checking to see if the fish cribs were placed correctly and attracting fish," said Becky." And I also helped our foresters mark timber to sell to area loggers. A potentially life-threatening part of my job occurred when I went out west to some camps where I purchased supplies for fire fighters trying to save the forests from wildfires!" 

In her current role, Becky and her seven-person team bid and award agreements for a variety of commodities, including office supplies, logistic services, temporary staffing, travel-related services, and event planning. In addition, the General Goods and Services team plays a key role in helping units feed our students, employees, patients, and visitors by bidding and awarding agreements for food and food service operations!  It also buys cars, buses, and assists Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH) with its waste management agreements and the Athletics Department in purchasing equipment and uniforms.

“If a purchasing request doesn’t fit with one of the other commodity teams, then my team handles it. We do our best to assist our customers with some very interesting and unique requirements and we learn something new about the university every day,” Becky said.

Becky, who is from Dexter, raised three children in the northwoods of Wisconsin and did a four-year stint at the Huron-Manistee National Forests before coming back home to join the university.  She now lives on the Portage-Zukey chain of lakes north of Dexter, where she enjoys kayaking and all the wildlife, except raccoons (daily deck cleaning isn't fun!). Boot camp, yoga, D360, and hiking round out her exercise program and lately, she’s been enjoying her recently acquired 1979 Corvette. When she's not outdoors or exercising, Becky takes frequent trips to Wisconsin to visit her sons and their families and is fortunate to have a daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren in Dexter. 

Becky can be reached at dunlavy@umich.edu or (734) 764-6403.


Concur news

Efforts continue to make Concur even better

In addition to the traveler resources and mobile apps launched by Procurement Services earlier this year, the department has been working on more enhancements to make expense report creation and cash advance handling even easier. The following enhancements were rolled out on August 25:

  • Business Purpose Categories:

End users are now able to easily select a business purpose category from a number of options available on a drop-down menu. Each category includes details on other information that is required to meet the university’s requirements.

  • Delegates Can Track Expense Lines:

This new drop-down feature, which is optional, allows expense delegates to note which expense lines are ready for review (field requirements, receipt attached, etc.).  With this enhancement, delegates can track expenses that need more details as they “build” expense reports throughout the month. In addition, a new U-M Detailed Report now includes a delegate-reviewed field.

  • Cash Advance Documentation and Recall:

​Requesters can attach documentation such as a list of expected expenses to their cash advance requests. This enhancement allows approvers and administrators to expedite reviews of cash advance requests. Requesters can now also recall cash advance requests, similar to how expense reports can be recalled.

More information on these enhancements is available on our website and Concur’s homepage.

Procurement Services is also evaluating another mobile app, ExpenseIt, which creates expense lines based on pictures of receipts captured by mobile devices. This app will further supplement the mobile offerings currently available to employees. Currently, travelers can use the Concur mobile app to create/track expense reports as well as upload receipts to receipts store while the TripIt app acts as a travel organizer that monitors flights, seats, fares and points so travelers are always in the know, on the go.

A pilot is currently underway for this new mobile app, and depending on the success of pilot, the app may be made available for employee use in late fall.


supplier show for event planning

In October, Procurement Services will introduce its preferred travel vendors at the annual Event Planning Supplier Show held at NCRC.  Suppliers expected to participate include Conlin Travel, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, various ground transportation suppliers, along with some local hotels.  Watch for details on the Events page of our website as they become available. 


New “employees” at golf course

If you recently played a round of golf at or passed by the Radrick Farms Golf Course you may have noticed an interesting herd of guests. Back in June, the course rented a herd of goats to eradicate a variety  of  invasive plant species—including poison ivy— that had overrun the wooded areas of the course. Instead of using machinery or chemicals, employees at the golf course decided to think outside the box when it came to grounds maintenance.

Before reaching out to Procurement Services for assistance, the superintendent at Radrick Farms, Dan Mausolf, conducted all the necessary research on different animals and suppliers. Procurement assisted by checking other potential vendors who might supply this service as well as conducting a “fair and reasonable” comparison. Due to exposure of the general public to farm animals and the use of electric fencing, Dan also coordinated with Risk Management and Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH).   

See the Mlive.com article for more on this story (and pictures of the goats hard at work). 

      


GET A CUSTOMIZED ONSITE PRESENTATION

Would you like to meet with Procurement Services to learn more about PCards, Concur, university contracts, or any other topic that might be of interest to your unit? Just contact us at (734) 764-8212 or procurement.services@umich.edu to arrange a visit.  We're happy to come to you and can tailor a presentation to meet your needs!


Did you know?

It's often less expensive to rent a car instead of claiming mileage on your personal vehicle when traveling on university business by automobile. Take a look at the rates available through U-M's contract with National Car Rental or Enterprise Rent-A-Car for some great deals! 


Helpful tips

Creating and managing ePro requisitions (req’s) in M-Pathways

  • If you would like to receive a confirmation receipt from a vendor, use the “Comments” field (on the “Review and Submit” page) to request the vendor to confirm receipt of the PO via email. Remember to provide the email address where the vendor can send the confirmation and check the “Send to Vendor” box.
  • The “Manage Requisitions” page can be used to monitor a req's status including:
    • Open (requisition has been entered and saved but not yet submitted) 
    • Pending (requisition is awaiting approval)
    • Budget Error (requisition needs to be fixed or canceled)
      • It is highly recommended that you do not leave the req’s in budget error status

For step-by-step procedures on how to navigate the “Manage Requisitions” page, see Manage eProcurement Requisitions and Purchase Orders. This document, along with additional helpful resources, can be found on the ePro & PO Tracking Resources page within MyLinc (you will need to log in to access these links). 


Contact Us

Please contact us with your comments, questions, or concerns at (734) 764-8212 or procurement.services@umich.edu. We enjoy hearing from you and welcome your feedback.

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