Summer 2016 Newsletter

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


Marcelo Valdivieso has been selected as the university's new director of procurement services. His appointment was effective Monday, August 22. Read the entire article


The M-Pathways Financials system is being upgraded and will be unavailable starting 5 p.m., Thursday, September 15, to 6 a.m. Monday, September 19. Users are encouraged to plan ahead for this outage. Any transactions needing approvals (from Sponsored Programs, Procurement Services, etc.) should be submitted by 5 p.m., Friday, September 9 to allow sufficient time for approvals.

M-marketsite’s ‘Browse Only’ access will be available to shop and assign carts during the M-Pathways upgrade outage. However, access to place orders and work assigned carts will be unavailable during the outage. To ensure orders are processed before the outage, submit your M-marketsite orders by 4 p.m., Thursday, September 15.

During this outage, users may still contact Procurement Services at (734) 764-8212, option 2, or for emergency purchasing needs.

Concur, the university’s travel and expense system, will still be available to book travel and/or submit expense reports. However, no reimbursements will be performed between Friday, September 16 and Monday, September 19. Reimbursements will resume Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

While there are no major changes to the system, the look and feel has been updated in certain areas, particularly when creating ePro and M-marketsite transactions. The overview of changes and a variety of other useful information is available on the ITS upgrade website.


Kam McNabb, a contract administrator at ITS, is the most recent recipient of the quarterly Savings Victors award from Procurement Services. The award 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.

“By acting as a liaison between ITS and Procurement Services, Kam has been extremely helpful facilitating our contracting and sourcing efforts,” said Ted Eisenhut, IT commodity manager, who nominated her for the award. “Beyond making sure departmental specifications and requirements are thorough, complete, and organized, she supports our mission and recognizes the importance of Procurement Services policies and procedures. Kam understands the dynamics of a business contract and the significance of our terms and conditions from the standpoint of protecting both the university and supplier and ensuring that what is ordered is ultimately what is delivered.”

Kam’s role allows Procurement Services employees to have a single point of contact within ITS and she always involves Procurement Services early in the RFx process. The time and effort she puts forth has had a positive impact in Procurement Services in a number of areas, including accuracy and turnaround times.

As a recipient of the Saving Victors award, Kam received a commemorative paperweight and a $25 gift card to Meijer. "This award came as a complete surprise," said Kam. "I am thrilled to be recognized by a group that I respect and enjoy working with so much. Our partnership has not only led to more efficient purchasing but significant savings as well. Thank you!"


Procurement Services has a strategic contract for coffee service with AVI Foodsystems. AVI was founded in 1960 and is the largest family owned and operated food service company in the United States.

The negotiated contract pricing runs through July 2018 and is expected to save the university approximately $75,000. Pricing for coffee and other related items including tea, cups, creamer, juice, water, soda, and snacks can be found on our website.

AVI offers free shipping and, as part of the contract, free installation and use of equipment. University orders are processed and delivered from the company’s distribution center in Jackson, MI.

Employee Spotlight: Jim Bruce

Meet Jim Bruce, construction and MRO commodity manager. Jim joined the university in 2008 after 20 years with Chrysler Corporation and DaimlerChrysler. His career at DaimlerChrysler included a wide variety of purchasing assignments including production lines, machining systems, facilities equipment, and construction services. 

Jim’s work on projects supporting future vehicle programs allowed him to see cars and trucks under development in the design studios that would not be seen on the road for several years. He supported purchasing efforts for everyday cars and trucks as well as low-volume prototype and specialty vehicles used in research.

As the construction and MRO commodity manager for Procurement Services, Jim leads the Facilities Procurement team. The team is responsible for purchasing architectural and engineering services, construction services and material and support services used for the maintenance, repair and operation (MRO) of university-owned buildings. The Facilities Team is located in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction offices and the Plant Facilities buildings near Michigan Stadium. Being located with its customer allows the team to provide a high level of day-to-day procurement support and respond quickly to immediate needs.

Speaking of stadiums, the Facilities Team provides procurement support to the construction, maintenance, and operations of the university’s athletic venues, including university golf courses. Additionally, the Facilities Team provides construction and facility-related support for academic and research projects across the university, such as the construction of the new Biological Science Building and renovation of the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory. The team also supports the facility procurement needs of the Dearborn campus, assists the Flint campus on major projects, and even supports university research stations located well beyond  Ann Arbor, such as a number of artificial fish reefs, located in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers.

“Working in Facilities procurement at Michigan offers new opportunities that that keep us challenged and allows us to learn something new,” said Jim. “Whether it’s selecting a contractor for a major construction project, selling a decommissioned cyclotron, used in nuclear medicine, or the relocation of a rare and valuable collection of research objects, we continue to enjoy sharing in and supporting the activities that Make Blue Go!”

Jim is a Michigan alumni, who studied finance and economics, and lives in Novi. Cycling, skiing, photography, and travel are among the activities Jim enjoys.  Jim can be reached at or (734) 764-2240.


New Chip Cards
JPMorgan Chase, the university's PCard provider, is transitioning the university and other clients to a new software platform. This transition will have no impact on our cardholders. Once this transition is complete, JPMorgan Chase will replace PCards with a chip-enabled card. New cards are expected to be mailed out in March 2017.
Appropriate Use of the PCard
The PCard is intended primarily for travel and hosting-related expenses, with limited procurement on the PCard. When procuring goods and services on behalf of the university, the correct procurement methods are listed below in order of preference:
  1. Internal Service Provider
  2. University Contracts (including M-marketsite suppliers)
  3. ePro requisition
  4. PCard
Additionally, as a reminder, the PCard
  • is not to be used for personal purchases, even when the cardholder repays the university. This is a violation of policy.
  • is not to be shared with anyone. The cardholder is the only person authorized to use the PCard.
  • should not be used to prepay third party reimbursements paid to the traveler (not the university). 

Learn more about the correct way to use your PCard.




Procurement Services delivered Concur reports 
Department managers may receive up to four monthly reports from Procurement Services that include expense report data from Concur. These reports can help you manage your business processes for PCard reconciliation, provide timely submission of travel and business expenses, and supplement data warehouse reports. The available reports include:
  • Outstanding PCard Transaction Report - A list of PCard holders who have outstanding PCard transactions at or past 45 days
  • Expense Exception Analysis Report - Additional details around some exception alerts, such as meal overages
  • Unsubmitted Expense Report - A list of employees who have created, but have not yet submitted, an expense report. This report can help manage late submissions
  • Cash Advance Activity - A list of cash advance requests, amounts, and the status of an advance
Additional information on these reports as well as other reporting resources can be found within Management Reference Guide to Reporting under the Concur Resources section.
Use Concur to Book Your Business Travel!
When you book in Concur, you have direct access to most airlines, including Delta, United, American and Southwest as well as an extensive list of international carriers. Reservations for hotels and cars can also be booked at the same time in Concur, which allows you to book all of your travel need with one stop!

In addition, the university has negotiated rates available from a number of suppliers, including Delta and United, as well as a number of hotel properties.  For a complete list of university travel contracts, search for Travel Services in the “search by commodity” field on the Procurement Services website.

Other benefits of booking university business travel in Concur or with Conlin Travel:

  • 24/7 assistance to travelers before, during, or after your travel from Conlin Travel
  • Unused tickets for flight cancellations are monitored and applied automatically to future flights when applicable
  • Access to Delta Edge Points. Under the university’s Delta contract, the university is provided an allotment of points which Conlin Travel is able to apply toward ticket changes such as:
    • Ability to transfer unused tickets between travelers
    • Ability to apply unused tickets to future flights at reduced fees
  • Priority boarding on Delta under the university’s Delta contract
  • Automated documentation available with e-Receipts and travel itineraries
  • Ability to import itineraries to pre-populate your per diem itinerary
  • Integrated with Concur Mobile and TripIt Pro
  • Allows the university to track spend for future negotiating power

Please join Procurement Services at its Fall Strategic Supplier Show at the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC). This show is open to all employees and students, but you must show your UM ID card at the front desk to get access to the building. See the Events page for specific date and location. This is your opportunity to: 
  • Come meet and talk with manufacturer and sales representatives
  • See and test new products
  • Pick up your 2016 catalogs
  • Receive special "Product Show" prices
  • Find out what contracts are on the horizon
  • Learn more about how Strategic Suppliers can help your department save time and resources!​



Property Disposition held another vehicle auction on August 13 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. Approximately 50 vehicles were sold, along with some miscellaneous equipment, for nearly $400,000. Vehicles sold included minivans, sedans, SUVs, box trucks, passenger buses, and an ambulance. The next auction is being planned for late fall.  Details about the auction will be posted on the Property Disposition home page as soon as they’re finalized. 


Procurement Services, in partnership with several cross-functional teams from across the university, continued its cost containment efforts in FY2016 with the addition of the following strategic contracts and renegotiated agreements:

  • Graphic and Website Design
  • Expedited Shipping Services
  • Managed Printer/Copier Program
  • Coffee Supplies and Services
  • Audio Visual Events Services
  • Document Shredding
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Supplies
  • Water Supplies and Services
  • Food and Office Supplies
  • Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
  • Janitorial Supplies

The projected annual savings from these contracting activities will exceed $7 million. The university has realized more than $70 million in savings since FY 2013 through its strategic sourcing efforts.


The Hospital Accounts Payable (AP) team joined the Shared Services Center (SSC) AP team on August 19, 2016.  The transition is part of a U-M Hospitals and Health Systems’ initiative to increase value and make both clinical and non-clinical areas more efficient. This consolidation of AP areas will provide efficiencies in payment processing and service to university customers and suppliers.