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UC Office of Procurement wins 2014 innovation award for P200

Supernova award

Chief Procurement Officer Bill Cooper (far right) accepted the SuperNova Award for UC Procurement’s aggressive P200 Strategic Procurement Program, which leverages UC’s systemwide buying power and delivered $132 million in savings last year.

The UC Office of Procurement on Nov. 3 received a 2014 SuperNova Award from Constellation Research, a San Francisco–based technology company that recognizes businesses for implementing innovative technologies.

The award, in the category of Technology Optimization and Innovation, was accepted by Chief Procurement Officer Bill Cooper for UC Procurement’s aggressive P200 Strategic Procurement Program, which leverages UC’s systemwide talent, technology and buying power and last year successfully delivered $132 million in savings.

Cooper would be the first to tell you that the award belongs not to him but to the entire systemwide UC Procurement operation, which includes 21 UCOP-based staff and a total of 230 purchasing professionals across the system. The program’s decision-making body is the UC Procurement Leadership Council, comprised of the campus procurement heads and Cooper. The council meets weekly, and each campus has one vote on the adoption or rejection of any initiative or activity that will have systemwide impact.

“It’s our shared governance model that has allowed us to make this a truly effective collaboration,” Cooper said. “Each campus’s requirements are represented in every decision we make. So the focus is on achieving the total system benefit, but not at the sacrifice of any campus’s specific needs. This ensures that we have commitment and support for the agreed-upon action, which allows us to accomplish so much more.”

The P200 program successfully pooled resources across the UC system, implemented new systemwide sourcing agreements and instituted technologies that allow sourcing specialists to locate high-quality, low-cost products and vendors as well as generate detailed spending reports and analytics.

“This represents a significant transformation in the way we do business,” Cooper said, adding that the P200 moniker will eventually drop off the project, and the new operating model will represent how procurement is carried out on a day-to-day basis UC-wide. “The award was given to companies of all different types, not just in higher education, so it really validates both our vision and strategic approach.”

The awards were established in 2011 and are described as “the first and only awards to celebrate the leaders and teams who have overcome the odds to successfully apply emerging and disruptive technologies.” The judges, comprised of industry thought leaders, chose the finalists, and winners were then selected through a public vote.

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