Procurement Modernization-together we made a difference!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

When Financial Operations started the initial review of our P2P (Procure to Pay) processes in 2016, we knew collaboration with people involved in financial transactions all over campus was essential.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of these teams and the broader UBC community, we have achieved significant success in our journey to modernize procurement. We’d like to take this opportunity to provide an update on some of the positive impacts to faculty, staff, students and our suppliers to date as we “simplify and make easier for faculty and staff to buy and pay for goods and services”.

From reducing turnaround times for purchase orders and employee expense reimbursements to creating a vendor website and paying invoices faster, these results affect almost everyone working at UBC or interacting with us – and it is also helping us prepare for the implementation of Workday. While we have made significant progress, we still recognize there is room for improvement. We are committed to a continuous improvement process.

What has been done so far to simplify buying and paying for goods and services?

Process and Service Delivery Improvements

  • Improved standard UBC payment terms from 45 days to 30 days.
  • Reduced backlogs and implemented process improvements to reduce turnaround times by more than 50%.
  • Implemented Auto Purchase Order (PO) close and changed the limit required for competitive tender from $50k to $75k.
  • Reduced multiple paper-based purchase requisition forms to one electronic form with online approval.
  • Implemented a new vendor website to provide information on doing business with UBC.
  • Adjusted the final invoice tolerance limit for POs from $250 to $1,000 (excluding shipping and brokerage).
  • Agreed upon the proposed new service delivery model (SDM) with our UBC Finance Leads.

Improved Service Levels

Phase out of Amex Cards

  • There has been a 21% decrease in the # of AMEX cards and an 82% increase in the # of UBC Visa cards.
  • Online Payment Tool (OPT) transactions as a % of total AP transactions have increased from 4% in 2016 to 12% in 2018.
  • Remember, reimbursement for expenses is 24-48 hours following approval in OPT!

Technology Improvements

  • Enhanced Online Payment Tool (OPT) performance, usability, training and support for Travel & Expense.
  • Rolled out OPT to additional users – pilots in progress or planned for Sauder and the faculties of Education, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dentistry, Applied Science, Medicine.
  • Increased payments by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from 47% in 2016 to 61% in 2018.

As the university prepares for the implementation of Workday in the next two years, Financial Operations is also laying an important foundation by streamlining and automating wherever possible.  We have now commenced our final phase of the Procurement Modernization project, which includes implementing the new Service Delivery Model (SDM), and we will continue to provide updates as we progress through the project.

In the meantime, if you want more information, visit the Procurement Modernization page or if you have questions or feedback, contact Trish Pekeles.  We are here to listen to you and provide you with regular updates.