California State University System leveraging systemwide spend
California’s State University System (CSU), the largest senior system of higher education in the United States, has successfully completed the first phase of ambitious plans to leverage systemwide spend to deliver savings on goods and services. CSU engaged Spikes Cavell Analytic Inc. to collect, cleanse, classify, enrich and collate raw spend data extracted from the accounts payable system used by the 23 campuses and the Chancellor’s Office to manage the institution’s finances.
With the data transformation phase complete and $3 million in early cooperative savings identified, Spikes Cavell has now begun to deploy its online spend and contract analytics tools. The procurement functions at each of the campuses use the tools to analyze their spend on goods and services to rapidly identify where further savings can be delivered.
In the public and private sectors, spend, contract and pricing data is often incomplete, inappropriately classified for procurement purposes and distributed across financial management and purchasing systems that are only partially integrated, according to Spike Cavell Analytics. This “data deficit” renders the analysis and management of spend difficult, time consuming, expensive and unreliable. The company’s data transformation methodology and online analytical tools were developed to address this challenge.
“It was a tough year to start this project, as we were in the middle of transitioning to a revised financial system as well as a new procurement card provider,” said Tom Roberts, director of contract services and procurement for the California State University Office of the Chancellor. “We ended up delivering as many as four datasets each per campus.” Despite the challenges, Spikes Cavell completed the project two weeks ahead of schedule. CSU is already zeroing in on initial opportunities for collaboration and savings.