Summer 2022 Newsletter

SHIPPING TO NON-UNIVERSITY ADDRESSES POLICY EXCEPTION

The guidance on unit-level approval of shipping exceptions–resulting from the impact of COVID-19–for delivery of items to non-UM addresses has been updated. Download the latest version of the shipping to non-university addresses exception memo.

 

 


VEHICLE AUCTION TAKING PLACE AUGUST 18

Property Disposition will be holding an online vehicle auction beginning Thursday, August 18 at 9 a.m. The last day to place a bid will be Thursday, August 25, by 7 p.m. Visit the auctioneer's website for more information, including photos of the vehicles up for auction.

 


NEW PROCUREMENT SERVICES WEBSITE COMING!

A completely new Procurement Services website will launch this fall. Among other things, the new website will offer many upgrades that will make purchasing at U-M even more convenient for you, including:

  • A completely new design

  • Easier and more intuitive navigation

  • Enhanced searching capabilities

  • New content 

The new website was developed—in large part—based on input from the U-M community and our suppliers. We received nearly 700 responses to a survey about the website and your feedback was incredibly helpful to the project. Stay tuned for more details in coming months, including advance notice of the launch date for the website!


TWO NEW MASTER AGREEMENTS FOR TRANSLATION SERVICES

Procurement Services has negotiated master agreements with two translation service suppliers to provide written translation (eight languages and others upon request), consecutive oral interpreting, American Sign Language (ASL), Communication Access Real-Time Transcription (CART) and other language services to U-M.

The two suppliers are University Translators and EPIC Translations. Services can be ordered and paid for on their websites using a PCard without any prior approvals.

Use of any other translation service provider will need prior approval from Procurement Services before services can be ordered and paid for with the PCard.


CONCUR UI UPGRADE

Procurement Services implemented a new Concur user interface (NextGen UI) for expense reporting on August 1, 2022. 

NextGen UI for Concur Expense provides an intuitive, integrated, efficient experience for end-users. The change focuses on three key areas:

  • Usability: The updated UI is designed to be more intuitive
  • Efficiency: Optimized task flows with an intuitive interface saves time
  • Accessibility: The new UI was developed taking an inclusive approach to design and engineering

The new user interface impacts end-users and delegates who create and submit expense reports. For training materials and more information, visit the Concur System Improvements page.


INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Procurement Services has an annual internship program for college students that enables them to spend a few months learning about the responsibilities of a procurement agent.

The program offers interns first-hand experience with the buying process from start to finish. The internship responsibilities include taking part in meetings with both suppliers and U-M departments as well as assisting procurement agents in bidding efforts, contract creation, and everything in between.

During the program, interns may have an opportunity to work closely with different procurement agents on their assigned buying team. This exposes the interns to a wide variety of contracts and gives the procurement staff training and supervisory experience.

"We give our interns meaningful and relevant work so they can learn and gain real-life experience in the field. Our goal is for them to have something meaningful to add to their resume when they are done,” said Todd Coon, a supervisor in Procurement Services, who leads the internship program. 

Another benefit of the internship program is the opportunity to network and land a job. The Procurement Services Department, for example, has a history of hiring interns into full-time positions upon completion of their internship and graduation.

The internship program typically receives around 200 to 250 applicants every year from U-M and Eastern Michigan University. The program is not limited to these two schools and applicants from other universities are encouraged to apply. 

For more information about the internship program, please contact us at procurement.services@umich.edu
 

A few words from some of our current interns:

"What I've enjoyed the most is the camaraderie amongst the team and their willingness to teach. I'm grateful to work with people that go out of their way to invest in my success. I suppose I should add how enjoyable it is to work from home. My last place of employment required face-to-face with customers and everything seemed to be a five-alarm fire, I much prefer this new arrangement.”

Bennett Gillam, Print and Professional Services Team 

 

"I have enjoyed being able to learn something new every day. Everyone in Procurement Services has been incredibly helpful and gracious with their time. I have been given so many opportunities to learn. I have been able to sit in on vendor meetings, learn about the UPS campus ship process and how to read, comprehend, and make edits to all different types of contracts, among so many other things. I have gotten to know many wonderful people here in Procurement Services as well as in the different departments around campus. I’m looking forward to learning and growing more in the future here.”

James Provenzano, General Goods and Services Team

 

"The openness that each individual in the department has shown me to help ease the introduction process, as well as the willingness to teach, has been the most enjoyable in my experience thus far. This department definitely works as a well-oiled machine, where everyone does their part and seeks to help others where they can. I look forward to continuing to help this team work efficiently and effectively with each project!”

Micah Higa, Technology Team


PROCUREMENT SERVICES SUPPORTING FORCES FOR GOODMST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra) - Geografia - InfoEscola

This summer, Procurement Services assisted the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in executing a contract with Movimento Dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (Landless Workers Movement).  

A team of graduate students under the direction of Associate Professor Ana Paula Pimentel Walker traveled to Brazil during a severe housing crisis to assist partnered organizations in their mission to help low-income communities establish sustainable living practices.

This trip is just one part of a multi-year project the team has undertaken to create educational materials on sustainable housing and environmental law, generate awareness for the program, and assist partners in implementing proposed plans. One major source of funding for this project came from the Dow Sustainability Teams Award.

Contracts play an important role in U-M partnerships with outside organizations. Not only do agreements clearly define the legal duties of all parties involved, but outlining the responsibilities of the participating parties also allows for better collaboration.

Procurement Services is proud to support U-M students in the impactful things they are doing for our community and the world around us. Positive collaboration between our departments and with our suppliers and partnered organizations can result in amazing things.

A special “thank you” to Procurement Agent, Zdenka Bartscht, and Procurement Services intern, Bennett Gillam, for their hard work on the contract.

If you’d like to learn more about the project, visit the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Self-Management Law, Now website.


ELECTRONIC AUCTIONS COMING SOON TO DISPO DIRECT

Property Disposition is excited to announce that it’s expanding Dispo Direct's—the department’s e-commerce website—capabilities to include online auctions. When Dispo Direct launched earlier this year, it exclusively sold single items at fixed prices. With the new online auction platform—known asDispo Direct Bids—customers can bid on collections of items in an online auction format.  

"Dispo Direct has been a great sales platform for us,” said Warehouse Manager Hillary Schreiber. “Our campus and general public customers tell us they like viewing and purchasing our inventory online, but wished they could view our bulk lots as well.”  

Dispo Direct Bids, which is expected to launch in early 2023, directly addresses this issue and will allow Property Disposition to sell bundles of items at prices determined by customer bidding. Dispo Direct Bids will be just as easy to use as Dispo Direct. Customers will need to create accounts on the site before being able to place a bid and will still be able to pay for their awarded auctions via credit card or Paypal. U-M departments will be eligible to pay for items listed on Dispo Direct Bids with a shortcode.  

Property Disposition currently utilizes a sealed-bid auction process managed via email. It expects to move all those items to Dispo Direct Bids once the auction site is complete.  

Vehicle auctions will not be included in Dispo Direct Bids and Property Disposition will continue to partner with third-party auction firms when selling surplus cars, trucks, and buses. Look for Dispo Direct Bids to launch by early next year.


TECH TOOLS POLICY REMINDER - FY 2023 STIPEND AMOUNT CHANGE FOR BI-WEEKLY PAY PERIODS493,993 Reminder Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Cell phones and other portable electronic resources (commonly referred to as "tech tools") are necessary for certain university employees to perform their business responsibilities. The Tech Tools Policy provides units with the flexibility to provide cell phones and other portable electronic resources to employees when there is a legitimate business need, while complying with current tax rules and regulations. 

Under the Tech Tools Policy, departments may choose to provide employees with stipends to compensate for business use of personal cell phones, up to a maximum of $600 per year. For bi-weekly employees, the usual maximum per-pay period stipend is $23.07, based on the usual 26 pay periods in a year. 

In FY 2023, however, there are 27 bi-weekly pay periods instead of 26. Units must adjust the amount of employees' bi-weekly stipends with Payroll for FY 2023 to not exceed the maximum annual stipend of $600. This affects employees paid bi-weekly only, not staff paid monthly (the maximum monthly stipend remains $50/month). 

Units must ensure that the total annual stipend per employee does not exceed $600 per fiscal year. For more information on the Tech Tools Policy, please visit this webpage.


BUYER'S CORNER


DID YOU KNOW? PRINTING A COPY OF A PURCHASE ORDER (PO)

You can print a confirming copy of a PO. You may obtain a copy of the PO in M-Pathways, by clicking the “View Printable Version” that is available on the Maintain Purchase Order page. For more details, view Step-by-Step Process in My LINC.

 

 


COMING THIS FALL

Procurement Services has several projects currently underway and will be sharing many updates in the coming months. Stay tuned for more information on the following initiatives: 

  • RFID Tagging Project Update

  • Small Business Plan Process

  • Supplier Diversity Program 

  • Space Analysis Survey 

  • Recent SPG changes regarding accessibility

  • Dispo Direct enhancements


NEW FACES ONBOARD IN PROCUREMENT SERVICES

Procurement Services is excited to introduce our newest team members!

Jamie Bird, procurement agent associate, joined the Print and Professional Services Team in March. Jamie came to us from Michigan Medicine Pathology where she worked as a Clinical Subjects Coordinator for a SARS CoV-2 study. Jamie is a graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in Communications.

Kelly Grider, business process analyst, joined the Service Delivery Team in June. Kelly comes to us from the Shared Services Center where she worked on process improvement & customer relationship efforts. Kelly graduated in 2013 from Michigan State University with a BA in Hospitality Business and in 2020 from The University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire with an MBA.

Andree Gustav, procurement agent associate, joined the Technology Team in July. Andree comes to us from the Department of Human Genetics at the U-M Medical School where Andree worked as a purchasing agent. Andree graduated from the University of Detroit with a professional degree in Architecture and from Washtenaw Community College with a certificate in Supply Chain Operations. 

Anushalie Dias Weerasinha, procurement agent intermediate, joined the Technology Team in July. Anushalie comes to us from Michigan Medicine Supply Chain Services. Anushalie graduated from Concordia College with a BA in Psychology and earned a JD from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Anushalie was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November 2018.

Gillian Hartley, procurement agent intermediate, joined the Technology Team in July. Gillian previously worked as an intern for the General Goods and Services Team and comes to us from Hylant Insurance Group in Ann Arbor. Gillian graduated from U-M with a BBA.


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

Don’t forget to join the Procurement Services channel on Slack! This channel 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 Slack, we encourage you to check it out! Creating an account is easy and we hope to see you on Slack soon!