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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

EVSC partners with USI to reduce office supply costs

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Kathy Funke
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812/465-7050
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The Board of School Trustees of the Evansville Vanderburgh voted to approve a recommendation to make Office Max the sole vendor for office supplies for the EVSC through this school year. This process came about through work with University of Southern Indiana and its contract for office supplies through Office Max.

The EVSC Cooperative Purchasing Organization (CPO), which has more than 70 member organizations benefitting from joint purchasing power, has formed a strategic partnership with the University of Southern Indiana′s Procurement Services. This partnership will work to the benefit of both organizations. When advantageous, the University of Southern Indiana will take the lead with the CPO in the bidding process to further amplify the purchasing power of this alliance. In other cases, the CPO will have the opportunity to "piggy-back" on contracts and quotes that the University has access to through its buying networks. This will also lead to potential shared services and programs.

Earlier this year, the University of Southern Indiana sought competitive proposals for office supplies and service. Office Max was awarded a contract with USI, producing major savings and increased service. The University included a "piggy-back" clause and the EVSC Cooperative Purchasing Organization had the opportunity to accept the same pricing and service. "This will produce major hard dollar savings for EVSC and other CPO member organizations," said Mike Raisor, EVSC executive director for operational excellence. "On copy paper alone, the EVSC estimates savings in excess of $26,000."

There are also savings in the fact that the CPO was able to consolidate both office supplies and copy paper within one vendor. By being able to "piggy-back" off a legally executed request for proposal, the CPO was also able to forego the costly and time consuming bid process for not one, but two commodities. "As we go forward with our agreement to partner with the University of Southern Indiana the EVSC CPO will continue to save the costs associated with and decrease the amount of time to complete buying agreements when USI takes the lead in the bidding process and uses it′s staffing and resources," Raisor added.

"We are pleased to be able to share the office supply negotiation work of our procurement office with EVSC so that they are able to take advantage of cost savings," said Steve Bridges, USI′s assistant vice president for Finance and Administration. "Partnerships such as this are the cornerstone of success in times of financial constraint. Efficiency is critical for us to maintain our reputation as a great value in higher education with the lowest tuition costs of four-year public institutions in Indiana and even in a seven state region. The office supply contract is an example of our efforts in this area and to share it is a win for all parties."



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