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    Early positive results for electronic procurement system

    Since being rolled out across the university earlier this year, acQuire, the new electronic procurement system for Queen’s, has seen a number of successes.

    First and foremost is increasing user adoption.

    acQuireSince going live in May, user adoption has been high and continues to climb. There are now more than 800 unique users accessing the system each month and the system has processed more than 6,700 orders, with 5,600, or 83 per cent, of the requisitions turned into a purchase order and released to the suppliers in less than 24 hours. Combined, that’s a total of more than $85 million in spending. 

    Those are big numbers and, as a result of acQuire, the university is seeing increased efficiencies in the procure-to-pay process.

    “Using acQuire has turned out to be a refreshingly straightforward process. I think that people will come to appreciate that switching to acQuire was worth the time investment of learning a new system that is far more user-friendly than PeopleSoft,” says Kaede Takami-Brooke, Research Associate, Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit, and an early user of acQuire.

    For Queen’s users there is little change apart from that the system is online rather than the old combination of paper-based and PeopleSoft procurement and payment processes.

    The benefits for users, including researchers and faculty, is a user-friendly point-and-click online ordering and payment, faster processing, increased transparency, and pricing comparison from the catalogue of suppliers.

    By modernizing the procurement system, Queen’s can now gather and analyze more detailed information regarding purchases, and then apply the related insights to maximize the purchasing value for the university.

    “With acQuire we have more information on what is being purchased which will help Strategic Procurement Services negotiate better supplier arrangements and pricing deals,” says Andy Green, Director, Strategic Procurement Services. “What are the repeat items we are spending our dollars on, who are the suppliers, and how do we make sure we are maximizing the returns for the investment.”

    One significant change to the acQuire system starting in January is that suppliers will be responsible for onboarding their profiles through an add-on module called Total Supplier Manager. Through this Queen’s users will see several benefits such as an automated, streamlined process for requesting and adding new suppliers, as well as more accurate and complete supplier information including contact information.  Suppliers will also see a number of benefits such as being able to update their profiles with new information through a self-service portal, see the payment status of their invoices, and more effective and timely communication. Also, through the portal invoices can easily be sent and will leverage all of the useful workflow steps that have already been built into acQuire.

    “From a supplier’s point of view, they can transact with Queen’s more efficiently and leverage the system that’s in place to process invoices,” says Mr. Green. “This also means that Queen’s users will no longer have to act as go-betweens for the suppliers and Strategic Procurement Services.”

    The only visible change to Queen’s users will be a new supplier request form. It is important to note that existing suppliers will be available within acQuire just as they are now. Strategic Procurement Services and the acQuire team will be communicating with all acQuire users and training will be provided to explain to users how the new supplier request form works. Similarly, the acQuire team will be communicating with suppliers to notify them of the new supplier portal and will provide them with the training resources and support they need.

    Further information on acQuire, is available on the Strategic Procurement Services website. Questions about the system can be sent to acquire@queensu.ca.