Kelly Kozisek - NAEP President
Chief Procurement Officer
Oregon State Universit
Persistence Pays Off
These are exciting times for Procurement at Oregon State University (OSU). We are working with two GPOs to offer a couple of major contracts to other public entities. We are getting close to releasing an RFP for the construction of two Regional Class Research Vessels, representing one of the highest value procurements in OSU history. Oh, yes, and we just got the funding to implement a source-to-settle eProcurement system. That last one is a major milestone, so allow me to share our experience in how persistence can pay off.
Four to five years ago we decided that, to be a best-in-class and strategic organization, Procurement really needed a fundamental component: eProcurement. We started by turning to our NAEP colleagues to find out how they were able to get funding for eProcurement and hear about their experience with implementation, lessons-learned, etc. We learned everything possible about the available systems and actually became knowledgeable about various system capabilities, integration with ERP systems, implementation strategy and support. We addressed questions and apprehension from our stakeholders and constituents. We chipped away to slowly break down the wall of resistance, until something interesting happened. A few people were starting to see this as a good idea! We slowly continued to pursue and gain support until, finally, major stakeholders were asking “Why don’t we have this already?” It took a strong, valid value proposition and persistence to get us to the point where our executive leadership actually charged us with making this happen! A strong business case, consistent communication, and persistence were the key components to gain support to fund the resources required to responsibly implement a system that will improve the way our university sources, acquires, contracts, and spends and pays for goods and services. We’re certainly not on the bleeding edge, but we are thrilled that we’ve gained the confidence and support needed to get this far. Sometimes patience really does pay off and my expectation is that a year from now we’ll be saying, “It was worth the wait!”