University of Leicester

University of Leicester

Managing accountability and transparency in procurement

Managing accountability and transparency in procurement

 

At the heart of the UK, Leicester is a leading university committed to international excellence, world-changing research and high-quality, inspirational teaching.


With more than 4,000 employees, 100 of whom had Purchasing credit cards, the University of Leicester struggled to monitor and manage online purchases on Amazon across their institution. Amazon Business provided the university’s procurement team with a system which would solve these audit and compliance challenges.

 

Staff were buying items from Amazon.co.uk without the procurement team being able to check what they were purchasing and ensuring best-value and compliance. With minimal controls over these online purchases, there was the risk of employees buying inappropriate items on the university’s account.

 

The procurement team found themselves wasting valuable time trying to trace these items, ensuring compliance and auditing was a significant challenge.

 

The existing situation whereby staff each had their own Amazon.co.uk account was not transparent or fully manageable, making it difficult for individual buyers within the university to order from mandated suppliers and in agreed categories. in procurement.

 

The university’s procurement team needed a way of streamlining this process, bringing all Amazon purchases under one consolidated, central account, so that it could be efficiently tracked, managed and audited.

“Being able to see clearly what has been ordered in real time with the system, instead of spending time chasing records at the end of the month allows us to use our time more wisely, making sure the university procurement function is running as smoothly as possible.”

— Anthony Midgley, Category Manager and Procurement Systems Lead, University of Leicester

Introduce a way of meeting compliance and audit requirements when buying from Amazon

 

Amazon Business provided the university’s procurement team with a system which would solve these audit and compliance challenges. This saved valuable time for staff to focus on other strategic initiatives.

 

The team worked with the Education team at Amazon Business, to run training to explain the new process to university colleagues, so they could provide ‘clear guidance’ on the system and its benefits. This meant that employees were prepared for the introduction of the new system, minimising any usage issues which may occur. This was simplified change management process with the support of Amazon.

 

“The rules incorporated in the new approach to using Amazon Business means that people are forced to think harder about mandatory contracts and about procurement rules”

— Anthony Midgley, Category Manager and Procurement Systems Lead, University of Leicester

Efficient purchasing system for transparency and greater control

 

Anthony Midgley, Category Manager and Procurement Systems Lead, praised Amazon Business for providing clarity and efficiency: “Previously there were concerns about time and resources being squandered,” he said. “Being able to see clearly what has been ordered in real time with the system, instead of spending time chasing records at the end of the month allows us to use our time more wisely, making sure the university procurement function is running as smoothly as possible.”

 

Using the Guided Buying function, the procurement team were able to restrict inappropriate purchases, and encourage accountability via prompts before a sale went through. Employees with procurement rights were divided into two categories with different purchasing permissions, and this could be clearly monitored. “The rules incorporated in the new approach to using Amazon Business means that people are forced to think harder about mandatory contracts and about procurement rules” said Anthony. Feedback from the university’s employees has been ‘very positive’.

 

 

 

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