E-Procurement Gathers Speed: E-Procurement Brings the Experience of Amazon.com to the Purchase of Academic Supplies and Equipment-And It's about Time. (Technology)

By Warger, Tom | University Business, October 2002 | Go to article overview

E-Procurement Gathers Speed: E-Procurement Brings the Experience of Amazon.com to the Purchase of Academic Supplies and Equipment-And It's about Time. (Technology)


Warger, Tom, University Business


After some spectacular false starts, e-procurement systems are off and running. In 2001, the collapse of Commonfind (after fewer than six months in operation) and demise of Simplexis (one of the first online purchasing companies to concentrate on higher education, acquired by PublicBuy) raised questions about the viability of massive online purchasing enterprises in the higher education marketplace. But other e-procurement systems products and application service providers have succeeded, and that success forecasts little short of a revolution in how colleges and universities will purchase goods and services in the future.

The dot-com bust and general recession of 2000-2001 gets some of the blame for what went wrong with e-procurement rollouts. Funding for new ventures, and confidence in new technologies fell with the economic downturn. And in some instances, suppliers had not come to the new endeavors with much enthusiasm, fearing that e-procurement was geared primarily to give buyers leverage against sellers. What's more, integrating the new online buying systems with existing campus financials systems proved to be more difficult than predicted. But let's face it: In general, the soft economy has led enterprises of all kinds to sharper questions about the return on investment for new IT ideas--and it's led them to defer adoption of those ideas when the business case is not compelling.

NOT JUST PURCHASING

The best of centralization and decentralization. E-procurement is more than just a new, more efficient way to process purchase requisitions. It combines central management of the policies and procedures for acquisitions with decentralization of actual purchases. Institutions of higher education that have developed their own e-procurement systems gradually, such as the University of Delaware, began with procurement credit cards and later added online catalogs of merchandise from preferred vendors. And at many colleges and universities, p-cards have evolved into "ghost-cards"--credit account authorization identifiers referenced in online transactions. But procurement systems began to take their final shape once purchase transactions could be piped directly through an institution's accounts payable system. From requisition forms to the general ledger, the means now exist to control and monitor purchases to an extent never approached under the former, paper-based processes.

Various purchasing modes. College and university personnel authorized to make purchases typically buy most items by consulting an online catalog, where merchandise and prices have been negotiated in advance by the institution. Expensive or special items are put out for bid and are sometimes acquired through a "reverse auction," where suppliers compete online to offer the lowest price and win the business.

UNPRECEDENTED EFFICIENCIES

Streamlining. Online order forms and approvals replace multipart paper forms in e-procurement systems. Approval for many transactions is automated according to purchasing rules and account balance information, removing the need for time-consuming reviews and authorizations by purchasing-office staff. In fact, the most striking characteristic of e-procurement is the drastic shortening of the cycle time from order to receipt of goods. The Glendale Unified Schools District (California) reports approval times reduced by a factor of 100, times to place the order two or three times faster than by paper, and delivery times shortened from as much as three weeks to one or two days. Rules-based and automated transactions via electronic communications eliminate the delays caused by passing paper documents and waiting for approvals and forwarding by staff.

DEEPER CHANGES

Staff changes. E-procurement brings the experience of Amazon.com to the purchase of academic supplies and equipment. The standard of ease and speed of acquisition has been set for all by the model pioneered in the public experience by Amazon and the dot-coms. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

E-Procurement Gathers Speed: E-Procurement Brings the Experience of Amazon.com to the Purchase of Academic Supplies and Equipment-And It's about Time. (Technology)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.