ESM was the best fit for what we wanted to do and within the price range that we could afford.
~ Kevin Stevens
Director of Procurement Services
University in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama implements ESM Purchase with Banner integration
Online videos, integration help pave way for eProcurement solution
When The University of Alabama needed to automate the procure-to-pay process, the major research institution turned to ESM. The University, with more than 37,000 students, fully implemented ESM Purchase. The eprocurement solution automates the entire procurement process; offers an ecommerce shopping experience with the University’s vendors and contracted prices; and provides complete visibility with analytic dashboards and management reports.
“We knew the total amount of spend and that’s about it,” said Kevin Stevens, Director of Procurement Services at the University in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Control Maverick Spend
Alabama’s procurement management team selected ESM because it provided a much needed tool to rein in maverick spend. Procurement also didn’t have the visibility or analytics to understand exactly where and how the University’s staff and faculty were buying.
ESM Purchase can integrate with an organization’s ERP or financial system. At Alabama, the University relies on Banner Finance to manage its finances. Thanks to an integration with Banner, purchase order information can be passed between Banner and ESM, so now both contract and off-contract purchases can be placed through the more user-friendly ESM system.
“We can do all of it with one log-in and password,” Stevens said. “It’s more customer friendly.”
Rollout has been smooth. To train faculty and staff, the Procurement team has created online tutorials and interactive videos. Now, there is no need to set up meetings with every employee to train them to use ESM Purchase. Employees can choose from several options, including videos created for shoppers, approvers and buyers.
“They can do that at their own speed and their own desk,” Stevens said. “We’re not limited by the size of the room or the number of computers available.”
ESM configured the solution to Alabama’s specific needs with our vendors and workflows for each department. That has helped accelerate adoption. “We’ve had very responsive participation, and we expect to have around 800 active users in the system.”
“ESM was the best fit for what we wanted to do,” Stevens said, “and within the price range that we could afford.”