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A Successful Start of P2P Project
September 11, 2007, Volume 54, No. 3

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FY ’07 marked the successful introduction of the Procure-to-Pay (P2P) project, a multi-year initiative to streamline the University’s business and financial processes, and to provide clear guidance and instruction to the Penn community. As a direct result, the University was able to improve payment to suppliers within 30 day terms, and a “spend analysis” at the School and Center level has helped realize first-year savings of $1.2 million. In short, the increased process transparency has allowed for greater focus on purchasing efficiency and new cost containment opportunities across the University.

The P2P team’s primary FY ’08 goal is to raise supplier payment within 30 days to 80%, and to proactively reduce the overall number of process exceptions. In addition to relying on key performance metrics to improve P2P processes at Schools and Centers, the “spend analysis” initiative will expand to include all purchasing activities, such as P.O., purchasing/fleet card, C-form and travel.

New Purchasing Card Management System

As part of the P2P project, an updated purchasing card program along with the new purchasing card management system, PaymentNet, was implemented in July 2007 to provide a self-service, web-based method to allow University cardholders and their School and Center management to better track and manage purchasing card activity online. This initiative is the culmination of the combined efforts of the University’s Purchasing Services, Division of Finance, Information Systems & Computing, and representatives from Schools and Centers. For more information about Penn’s purchasing card program, please visit the Purchasing web site at www.purchasing.upenn.edu/buytools/. The P2P team will add the purchasing card process overview to the P2P website by the end of September, and similar process outlines for the C-form and T&E reimbursement methods of purchasing will follow thereafter. Throughout the year, Schools and Centers will continue to share their P2P success stories in an effort to promote best practices across the University.

Check the P2P website for new developments and training opportunities. In the interim, send us an e-mail with any questions or suggestions about the P2P initiative to p2p-1@lists.upenn.edu.

–Ralph Maier, Chief Procurement Officer
–Tom Slavinski, Associate Comptroller

By the Numbers: P2P Success Story

The Office of the Provost is one of the top performing Schools and Centers for FY ’07. Trevor Lewis, executive director of administrative affairs, credits Julie Shuttleworth (P2P champion) and Bill Turner and their team, for the overall performance improvements. “Julie and Bill have been instrumental in ensuring that all staff members and constituents are aware of, and adhere to, the University’s P2P policies and procedures by routinely reviewing purchasing activities and continually communicating P2P project messages and reminders out to the field.”

The benefits of improved performance “are felt immediately,” according to Mr. Lewis. “Relationships with suppliers are stronger because they are being paid on time. This in turn promises better pricing for our requisitioners. Ultimately this translates into greater budget flexibility. Many of our requisitioners operate with small budgets and low volume (e.g. student purchasers), making pricing the key lever in managing their finances.”

Mr. Lewis further credits active participation and support from the P2P team for building awareness of best practices at all levels of his organization, and for helping the Office of the Provost substantially improve its performance.

For more information on the P2P Project, see www.upenn.edu/p2p/p2p_project.

Almanac - September 11, 2007, Volume 54, No. 3