The university’s 34 schools and centers were leaders in providing world-class education and research: the time had come to attain this same world-class status in managing the university’s $1 billion annual procurement spend. Existing processes – inconsistent, outdated, and often manual – were resulting in limited reporting and visibility, incomplete records, and dissatisfaction with the supplier and end user experience.
The university’s procurement office sought to vastly improve its purchasing operations by transitioning all 34 schools and centers from their individual vendor management systems onto a single university-wide software platform. Administrative leaders within the university were wary of the change, fearing that the transition would create extra work for their staff without adding determinate value. The university engaged Navigate to complete an impact study to ensure alignment and buy-in from the university’s schools and centers, to lead project and change management, and to oversee program governance.
Requirements and design sessions followed, with Navigate working collaboratively with internal teams to design training and communications around the new solution, and to project manage the implementation alongside the software vendor’s integration team. Key findings from the impact study informed core elements of the change management strategy, including the creation of a change agent network comprised of 60 university employees representing the university’s many schools and centers. This group proved pivotal in ensuring a smooth transition to the new platform and continued to actively champion the initiative long after the initial go-live.
The outcome was an unmitigated success, resulting in a better experience for employees and vendors. With the transition to the new platform, hundreds of thousands of process steps were eliminated annually. The need for corrective action by administrators to fix errors and answer support calls declined sharply. End users gained much-needed visibility into key processes, and suppliers now had access to self-service portals, enabling schools to deliver on their missions of delivering world-class education and research more efficiently. The remarkable level of engagement across 34 schools and centers earned the core team a prestigious award from the university, and the team’s innovative change management approach is being used as a model for further transformation initiatives: A+ results for outstanding work!