P200: Strategic Procurement

Operating Model / Centers of Excellence

The launch of the Life Sciences and MRO Centers of Excellence came about after an intensive couple of months working with our COE Design Team, the PLC and Accenture.  The original idea for the Centers of Excellence came out of a workshop run by KPMG about a year ago in which the PLC and Controllers thought about different ways to organize system-wide strategic sourcing efforts in order to achieve results more quickly and effectively.  The idea behind the COEs was that small, focused groups of commodity and sourcing specialists working virtually from across the system would be formed and tasked with specific commodities to manage.

Starting in June, the COE design team met weekly to discuss what a COE does and identify two pilot COEs to test out the COE model.  The COE Design Team was made up of UCOP and campus representatives.  Their work was reviewed and approved by the PLC.  Two COEs, for Life Sciences and MRO/Janitorial, started work this week.

During the six month pilot phase, the COEs will begin to work in the new model and to interact with all of the campuses on their category opportunities identified in the Opportunity Assessment.  For campus buyers, there will be no immediate change to the local sourcing efforts in these categories.

The COEs will operate under a set of guiding principles.  Specifically, the COEs will:

  • function as an unified entity that is empowered to make decisions
  • operate under a PLC agreed governance structure
  • be known as a trusted strategic sourcing partner
  • enable collaboration and transparency between all procurement resources
  • be nimble and proactively adapt to workplace and market changes
  • use standardized, streamlined and scalable processes
  • report performance using a common set of metrics
  • improve the quality and value of the service we provide to our clients
  • commit to ongoing improvement to ensure lasting relevance
  • be sized appropriately depending on category spend, complexity, number of impacted campuses, etc.

We will use the pilot period to refine our strategic sourcing process and identify our future collaborative operating model.  If you have questions, reach out to your SPOC or for category specific questions contact our COE leads David Houghton (MRO / Janitorial) or Valerie Vergara (Life Sciences).

This approach to strategic sourcing is new to UC and critical to achieving our system-wide vision of being a high performing strategic partner.  We will continue to provide updates on our progress.