University of Michigan Tries e-Procurement

As research spending rises, school taps solution to expand strategic vendor program

Research Triangle Park, NC  January 30, 2003  The University of Michigan has signed a multiyear license agreement to use an e-procurement solution from SciQuest as part of the school's efforts to expand its strategic vendor program.

The agreement will transition the university's strategic vendor contracts from its current internally developed Web-based catalog application to SciQuest's HigherMarkets solution. SciQuest provides technology, services and domain expertise to optimize procurement and materials management for the life sciences, industrial research and higher education markets.

The agreement provides for the enablement of current University of Michigan contract suppliers as part of its prime vendor program, in addition to providing researchers and staff with access to a network of pre-enabled scientific suppliers with content hosted and maintained by SciQuest.

Located in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan has about 38,000 students and 3,700 regular faculty. The school consistently ranks as one the top three research universities in the nation in terms of research and development spending, with 2002 expenditures increasing 10.8 percent to reach an all-time high of $656 million largely on the strength of record-breaking growth in research activity for the university's medical school and its life sciences initiatives.

"We are experiencing a significant increase in transaction volume from the medical school and other campus departments that purchase scientific materials and were searching for a solution that delivers both a solid platform for gaining efficiencies in our e-procurement processes as well as a catalog of scientific and commodity suppliers," said Phil Abruzzi, director of purchasing, stores and auxiliary services for the university.

HigherMarkets is a Web-based e-procurement solution designed to meet the needs of colleges and universities seeking to enhance the procurement process on campus and reduce costs. The HigherMarkets solution manages the procurement process from requisitioning to payment processing. The solution also providers for supplier enablement and content management, as well as integration with financial applications and other enterprise systems that affect purchasing.

"We are looking forward to a rapid deployment of the HigherMarkets e-procurement solution and an immediate, significant return on our investment in this technology," Abruzzi said.