Spending More Wisely to Make a Difference in the Higher Education Sector

24th August 2017

Science Warehouse is an exhibitor at Conference on University Purchasing (COUP) which will take place at Swansea University from the 5th to the 7th September 2017. The Higher Education Purchasing Consortium, Wales (HEPCW) will be hosting the conference, which makes COUP this year’s premier event for anyone who is involved in procurement in the Higher Education sector.

Universities are facing a number of challenges to financial sustainability. These include the impact of Brexit, changes in regulatory control, maintaining student recruitment levels, growth of alternative delivery models, and research funding not covering the full economic costs of projects.

After working with Higher Education organisations for over 17 years, we have helped them to deal with such uncertainties as we look to work with them on saving costs from procurement, which can then be helped to support other areas of the organisation.

In this blog, we discuss the key themes and how we can help procurement functions to support other areas of the organisation.

Spend more wisely to make a difference…

At Science Warehouse, we offer an eMarketplace solution which can help you to gain better control and visibility of your spend so that you are able to keep track of who you spend with and how much you spend

When measuring the effectiveness of your current eMarketplace, consider the following:

1.   Usability

One of the key reasons for introducing an eMarketplace is to make the buying process easier for anyone involved. If a solution is not easy to use, then users will be discouraged and won’t want to work with it. Ensuring that items can easily be found through the ‘Search’ function is the key to helping users quickly find what they are looking for. Does your eMarketplace allow users to simply compare products?

2.   Integration

If your eMarketplace does not connect to other existing systems within your organisation, you are limiting the amount of benefits you are able to realise. Once items have been purchased, you should have a supporting eInvoicing solution which is able to integrate with your eMarketplace to save time when receiving, matching and settling invoices. An integrated eMarketplace can help to automate processes for you and reduce any manual errors that could occur through a manual process.

3.   Supplier Match

Are your existing Suppliers part of your eMarketplace? If the Suppliers you work with are not, this will defeat the object or you will have to maintain ‘buyer managed catalogues’ yourself. An eMarketplace should continue to evolve as new products and functionality will need to be added to ensure the solution continues to meet your needs.

4.   Analysis and Reporting Tools

Having the ability to access up-to-date information instantly gives you more opportunities to optimise spend. If you are not able to extract information from your eMarketplace to make further decisions to improve spend, then you won’t be able to move forward in achieving your goals. You may not know where to start when taking a look at your data, and it can be overwhelming, which is why working with an experienced team can help support you so you can make the right decisions.

5.   Expert Partnership

The first four steps have highlighted how you can measure the effectiveness of your eMarketplace, this step is about considering whether you are currently working with, or will be working with the right partner for your organisation. Ask yourself these questions when evaluating your partner…

Not enough information on your current spend?

Spend data constantly accumulates if nothing is done with it and then the data can become unorganised and inaccessible, making it hard to extract value.

Our spend analysis solution, Spend Science, uncovers hidden value in your spend data, which enables you to better plan your procurement strategy and achieve more cash control. Unlike other spend analytics providers, we use proprietary Artificial Intelligence tools to interrogate, categorise and enrich data so we add value to your data to provide you with something worth viewing.

COUP 2017

Jonathan Betts, Customer Success & Alliances Director and Darren Lythe, Business Development Manager will be attending COUP 2017 and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your current procurement challenges and see how we might be able to help you.

Contact us to book a meeting with us while you are at the event.

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