July 12, 2010

SmartCART Online Purchasing Tool Up and Running

When administrators in Procurement and Distribution Services and Information Technology Services implemented the new SmartCART online e-procurement tool last month, they anticipated $470,000 in purchases over the course of 30 days.

Instead, they’ve experienced more than double that amount of purchases through SmartCART traffic from campus end-users.

“We’re very happy about it. We are recognizing the benefits of the tool that we’d hoped for," said Melinda Boykin, interim director of Procurement and Distribution Services.

SmartCART (Convenient Advanced Requisitioning Tool) is an online software tool designed to consolidate the ordering process. Benefits include one-stop-shopping, greater visibility into spending habits, capitalization on ERP investment, and university-wide cost savings and process efficiencies, Boykin said. The program also supports the university’s strategic goals.

“Customers used to go to individual supplier sites with separate logins for each site. Now, all you need is your PeopleSoft login and password and virtual shopping begins. They can add products from multiple vendors, put everything into one cart and pull the cart into PeopleSoft,” Boykin explained.

Nine vendors are currently part of Case Western Reserve’s SmartCART platform, a number that is expected to grow to nearly 40 by next year. Commodities that are accessible through the SmartCART tool include office supplies, lab supplies and equipment, and computers, just to name a few. Upcoming supplier implementations are Sigma Aldrich, CDW-G, Aramark, TLC Springs, Invitrogen, GovConnection, and many more.

“This is a living, breathing tool that’s constantly growing and adapting to campus needs,” said Mandy Carte, manager of customer care and operations in Procurement and Distribution Services.

More than 120 universities nationwide use this program. Case Western Reserve’s platform was specifically designed to work with the university’s PeopleSoft Financial system.

Boykin and Carte both said a major component of the system is the ease of ordering supplies and visibility.

“We have greater visibility of what we’re buying. It helps to gain leverage when we go to vendors to negotiate pricing and establish greater values for the university” Boykin said.

So far, the only major reported issue with the system has been shipping addresses recorded in the system, an area Boykin said is being updated on a regular basis.

More than 600 campus members have benefitted from SmartCart training sessions, and online training is now available for campus users who need help getting started.

Procurement and Distribution Services plans to offer a survey sometime this year to gauge how the system is working.

Learn more about SmartCART .

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, July 12, 2010 10:03 AM | News Topics: Faculty, Staff, Technology

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