Conquering a Mountain of Paperwork with JAGGAER Solutions
Nestled in the heart of western Montana’s stunning natural landscape, the University of Montana is a place where top-tier students, educators and researchers from across the country and around the globe come and thrive. University of Montana is located in Missoula, Montana’s second-largest city. Roughly 15,000 students attend University of Montana and its affiliate campuses in Helena, Butte, and Dillon, where they receive a world-class education in a broad range of subjects that include the trades, liberal arts, graduate and postdoctoral study, and professional training.
Manual procurement processes. Manual accounts payable processes. The tracking of seemingly endless paperwork. By no means are these rare issues for many of today’s higher education institutions. And so it was for the University of Montana.
Under their old system, limited visibility coupled with no centralized management of purchasing processes created many challenges. Among them, the manual use of requisitions and purchase orders was cumbersome and taxing on a small workforce. End users often found it frustrating to understand where in the procurement process their order stood and often were unsure of when their goods or services would be delivered and paid.
As Ian Robbins, Director of Procurement Services at the University of Montana states, “We had so many manual processes and needed to take out those non-value added steps in order to bring efficiency and transparency to the process.”
The procurement team looked at better ways to bring greater visibility, control and efficiencies into their day-to-day processes, while freeing up departments to focus more on their core responsibilities.
Like many universities and other organizations, the University of Montana has been taxed with doing more with less. Using JAGGAER solutions to automate their manual, paperbased processes was key in making procurement a value-added function across the entire organization. Years after implementing JAGGAER, the team continues to bring greater value via GrizMart, the university’s branded procurement site powered by JAGGAER.
The use of catalogs, eProcurement and Invoicing have all enhanced the procurement processes at the university.
Catalogs have helped reign in maverick spending and direct users to preferred suppliers. Automation has enabled the purchase order process to be adopted more effectively, giving greater control and visibility to procurement.
By enabling automation workflows, the University of Montana team efficiently manages a higher workload and now only resolves the “exceptions to the rules” manually.
In fact, the university’s eProcurement spend and eCatalog spend both continue to increase, demonstrating that the GrizMart community continues to adopt and utilize the solutions more and more. The benefits are clear. Easier to use processes, greater spend control and nearly $3 million in savings (and counting) in just over 3 years.
“Being able to come to work each day with the challenge of making things better and improving it for our end users who use GrizMart is what motivates me,” explains Director of Procurement Services, Ian Robbins.
Bottom Line Results
- 200 percent increase in spend through eCatalogs between 2012 and 2014
- 445 percent increase in the number of orders through electronic cataloging program between 2012 and 2014
- $3 million in three years
- Improved customer service for system users
The future for GrizMart users and the university as a whole remains very bright. With continued gains in efficiency, the procurement team isn’t resting on their laurels. They are looking at new ways to improve customer service for end users while transforming into a more strategic oriented team that can drive sourcing-related savings through supplier management, leveraging and negotiations.
The University of Montana procurement team continues to advance up the procurement maturity curve and as they do, the university will see even greater benefits. Having now gained control of their tactical procurement processes, this team can increase their visibility into spending data and spending practices leading to stronger negotiating positions and greater supplier and volume leveraging. All of which means the university can save more money and stretch budgets farther—critical in today’s competitive academic markets.