Strategic Procurement Transformation (SPT) Project

Procurement Banner - Old Main Exterior Shot

The focus of the Strategic Procurement Transformation project is to implement procurement solutions that apply proven supply chain management processes and operations across the University. Implementing these solutions will enable the University to achieve approximately $45 million in annual cost-savings and further leverage SIMBA, the University's new financial management tool. 

The Strategic Procurement Transformation project is implementing the following recommendations, as identified in the external studies done by Huron Consulting and the procurement consulting agency AArete: 

  • Create a centralized procurement model and office that will increase synergy and collaboration over University contracts and purchases.   
  • Implement category managers to build a relationship management standard of practice connecting suppliers to end-users and to negotiate the best possible pricing strategies.  
  • Add specialists in communication, compliance, and data management to better manage and support each category strategy.  
  • The category management approach will route the majority of significant spend dollars through Central Procurement, creating less reliance on Purchasing Cards and Non-PO Invoice Payments (formerly known as SRFCs), which are the least cost-effective measures for purchasing.  

Five working groups have been working to help implement the above recommendations: 

Organizational Alignment Working Group
Has completed their charge with the following accomplishments:

  • Realignment of the procurement office to Finance and Business
  • Creation of  several new positions , including the Chief Procurement Officer position
  • Identification of an organizational structure with category management teams
  • Creation of the Strategic Procurement Leadership Council (SPLC)
  • Development of comprehensive staff training program that leverages Smeal College of Business Executive Programs and HR Talent Management.

Category Management Working Group
With the organizational realignment of Central Procurement, this group has worked to define and develop a category management infrastructure that will create experts responsible for specific procurement categories.  This working group has analyzed nearly $400 million in University spend and has developed seven focused categories and category playbooks that will guide the new organization through the effective procurement of goods and services.   These changes will allow singular points of contact to form long-standing relationships and negotiate for best-in-class contracts based on their expertise.

Policy & Guideline Updates Working Group
This working group is responsible for revising existing and developing new policies and guidelines that modernize the strategic purchasing processes and enable the central procurement office to support the University’s cost savings goals.  Many policies are in the review process and new policies concerning sustainable purchasing and diversity, equity, and inclusion have been developed.

Compliance and Business Intelligence/Analytics Working Group
This working group's primary purpose will be to determine best business practices for analyzing spending data and utilizing business intelligence to make data-driven decisions on strategic vendors and compliance efforts to maximize departmental performance and savings. 

Technology Insertion Working Group
This working group is charged with evaluating technology that will help to drive efficiencies in the procurement office. 


Key Performance Indicators 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the progress, effectiveness, or success of an objective over time.


Percent Spend Off Strategic Supplier Contracts

Target: 35%


Return On Investment of Negotiated Savings

Target: 400%


Non-compliant Spending through Non-PO Invoice Payments

Target: 3.5%


Executive Sponsors

Dr. Justin Schwartz, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President

Dr. Sara Thorndike, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer


Working Sponsor

Duane Elmore, Director of Procurement Services and Chief Procurement Officer


Executive Steering Committee

Jason Bush, Director of Business and Finance at the Fayette and New Kensington Campuses

Joe Doncsecz, Associate Vice President for Finance and Corporate Controller

Jim Dromazos, Chief Financial Officer & Director of Business Services, ARL

Jody Heckman, Academic Budget Director

Virginia Teachey, Associate Vice President for Finance

John Papazoglou, Associate Vice President of Auxillary and Business Services

Richard Roush, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences

Steve Tracey, Executive Director of Center for Supply Chain Research

Lora Weiss, Senior Vice President for Research

Jennifer Stedelin, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer


Project Management Team 

Jeremy Bean, Director of Change Management & Organizational Excellence

Kera Kollman, Financial Officer, College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST)

Amanda Karl, Organizational Change Consultant