P200: Strategic Procurement

SCM Helps Berkeley Launch New Service Awards Program


UCB service awardsService and retirement awards have long been a tradition at University of California campuses. These gifts have ranged from simple pins to elaborate glass pieces to the less-sublime, but more practical crockpot.

Looking to recognize faculty and staff in a way that reflected their loyalty and service as well as the greatness of the institution, UC Berkeley’s Jeannine Raymond, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resources (HR), began an effort two years ago to revamp the campus awards program. Raymond had a concept and reached out to Supply Chain Management, Laurina Ashby, to find a supplier that would be willing to create a custom design within Berkeley’s budget.

“UC Berkeley used to provide service awards and retirement gifts through a company that offered a predetermined set of gifts from a catalog. The gifts weren’t that personal and we wanted to change that experience for the employees,” said Ashby, Procurement Supervisor and Senior Buyer. “We wanted something unique, that hadn’t been done before.”

Launched in January, the service award features a highly polished, clear glass disc engraved with the UC Berkeley seal and the recipient’s years of service (starting at 10 years and with a new, slightly smaller disc for every five years of service). The award was designed to stand alone as a recognition gift and can be collected and stacked to create a tower.

The new program will save Berkeley almost $59,000 annually and $176,550 over three years. The packaging and distribution, previously handled by UC Berkeley employees, is now controlled by the supplier, saving a little over 300 HR staff hours each year. Berkeley HR provides a list of monthly recipients and the supplier handles the rest.

Ashby cited the supplier for their commitment to the overall project and customer service. “We met weekly to review what we needed to accomplish from the beginning of the process to shipment to the recipient. We wanted to ensure that the launch of these awards didn’t have any issues that would affect how the recipient felt about the gift. It needed to be a flawless process,” said Ashby. The company even went as far as buying the special printer to create the embossed card on their own dime (valued at $40,000).

Reflecting on the project, Ashby said she especially enjoyed going through the entire process and actually seeing it come to fruition. “Sometimes these ideas are really great,” she said, “but they don’t actually go through. This project had everyone’s commitment.”

“We’re a renowned University and now our service awards are renowned.”UCB service awards 2

– Carol J. Tady, UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco