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Procurement Services Newsletter: April 2015

Interim Director's Message

Traditionally, the importance of procurement was evaluated by our ability to expeditiously approve purchase requisitions and issue purchase orders to our suppliers. The goal of our job was primarily transactional, with little free time to provide strategic value. With the introduction of CruzBuy in September 2005, the majority of purchase orders are now distributed electronically, with many products delivered the next business day.

Increased efficiencies in the ordering process has resulted in a steady reorganization of the Procurement department over the years, which has allowed us to shift our attention from being transactional focused to providing value beyond just the transaction. With the introduction of a new UC spend analytics tool, our Strategic Sourcing team will be continuously analyzing campus expenditures to identify patterns that warrant a contract for a particular commodity or supplier. Using our spend analytics tool, we anticipate the negotiation of additional agreements that not only provide significant cost savings, but will incorporate terms and conditions that are more beneficial to the University.

As cost savings result from both price negotiations and improved efficiencies, we must continue to keep our eyes open to process improvements that will help make our department more effective and provide a better purchasing experience for our campus clients.

Although the development is certainly still a work in progress, I’m confident that we’re moving in the right direction toward providing greater value to the campus above and beyond the transaction itself.

Paul Schell
Interim Director, UC Santa Cruz Procurement Services

Campus Controller’s Message

Every few days it seems I read or hear about a news story on global warming or climate change, and the fallout we face from it. The Procurement Services Office is doing its part to help minimize the campus’ use of natural resources and reduce the output of carbon into the atmosphere. It partners with campus units to use purchasing practices and strategies that promote sustainability and reduce waste. It also attempts to balance social responsibility concerns. Beyond all this is another key objective - to obtain the best value possible for the campus unit.

Buying this way is best achieved when student, staff and faculty members work with us to let the supplier community know, through our dealings with them and with the buying choices we make, that sustainability, social justice, and good value are related factors influencing every Santa Cruz campus purchasing decision.

You can help out the cause by keeping the following things in mind when you are engaged in procuring a product:
  1. How much of the materials going into producing the product are from recycled or sustainable sources?
  2. Where, how, and by whom, was the product produced?
  3. How is the product packaged and are the packing materials recyclable?
  4. Are the transportation and delivery options available those that result in the lowest carbon output?
I encourage you to seek out Procurement Services for advice on making sustainable, socially responsible purchasing decisions. Together, we can demonstrate to the greater community our applied commitment to the campus’ core values.

Kirk Lew
Campus Controller, UC Santa Cruz Financial Affairs

Procurement Services New Operating Model

In an effort to simplify purchase requisition workflow, and improve processing turn time, we have re-organized our CruzBuy operations into three teams:
  • Goods less than $100K are handled by a team of three Buyers responsible for the primary goods folder.
  • Services less than $100K are handled by a team of three Buyers responsible for the primary services folder.
  • Goods and services greater than $100K are handled by a strategic sourcing team responsible for the strategic sourcing folder.
After a requisition has received department approval, called “Org Approval,” CruzBuy will route a requisition to one of the above teams based on established criteria. Requisitions are processed by the Department in order of receipt. Information about the status of a requisition can be found in the requisition workflow, comments and history section.

Questions concerning Procurement guidelines, Business Contracts review, and CruzBuy processing can be answered by the Procurement Services Help Desk (formerly known as the CruzBuy Helpdesk) by e-mail at or by phone at 831-459-2311, option 4.

Feedback on the new operating model is welcome and can be sent to

Employee Corner - Employee Updates

In April 2015, Procurement Services added a new Strategic Sourcing Associate and two new Senior Buyers to our team. Please join us in congratulating these individuals in their new position.

Lauren May, Senior Buyer, Procurement Services

Lauren May Procurement Services is pleased to announce the hiring of Lauren May as a new Senior Buyer, effective April 6, 2015. Lauren comes to UCSC after 13 years in private industry.

Lauren has experience buying for federally funded research and development organizations supporting Astronomy and Physical Sciences as well as commercial biotech. She brings with her a vast knowledge of procurement law, federal acquisition regulations, price analysis, along with excellent customer service and contract negotiation skills. Please join us in welcoming Lauren.

Liliana Dimitrova, Senior Buyer, Procurement Services

Liliana Dimitrova Procurement Services is pleased to announce the hiring of Liliana Dimitrova as a new Senior Buyer, effective April 1, 2015. Liliana is joining our team after years of service in Physical Plant and McHenry Library.

Liliana has experience conducting department purchasing operations, supplier negotiations, vendor selection and cost savings analysis from her previous roles within the University. She will now continue to provide her experience and expertise in managing a vast variety of services procured by our campus. Please join us in welcoming Liliana.

Nancy Nieblas, Strategic Sourcing Associate, Procurement Services

Nancy Nieblas We are pleased to announce that Nancy Nieblas has been selected as the Procurement Services inaugural Strategic Sourcing Associate. Nancy started her new duties effective April 1, 2015.

Nancy is a 10 year veteran of Procurement Services at UC Santa Cruz. Her extensive background includes knowledge of competitive bid requirements, information technology, staffing services, consultant contracting, supplier negotiations, and more. Strategic Sourcing will continue its work in advancing the UC P200 strategic objectives with our campus community and we know that Nancy is up to the challenge. Please join us in congratulating Nancy on her new career endeavors.

Procurement Services Helpdesk - ITS QuickSupport Assistance

To more effectively assist customers, the Procurement Services Helpdesk has adopted the ITS QuickSupport tool. QuickSupport allows the Helpdesk Administrator to see, but not manipulate, a customer’s computer screen while navigating CruzBuy. By seeing what the customer sees, Procurement Helpdesk can assist CruzBuy users more efficiently, reducing the amount of time to resolve issues and answer questions.

To use QuickSupport, simply double-click on the QuickSupport icon on your desktop. This will bring up your computer ID and a password. Providing this information when asked will allow us to help troubleshoot issues you are experiencing. Since your computer screen will be visible, make sure to close all screens containing personal/confidential information or data you don’t want others to see before initiating QuickSupport. Please note that QuickSupport cannot be used if you work with HIPPA or other restricted data.

If your computer does not have QuickSupport installed, please go to to download the tool. Once you experience the benefits of using QuickSupport for CruzBuy assistance, we are confident you will want to use this tool every time you call the Helpdesk.

CruzBuy Tip: Adding a New CruzBuy Supplier
Procurement Services recommends that CruzBuy requesters do not send the Payee Setup 204 form to new suppliers for on-boarding. When the new supplier Payee Setup 204 form request comes directly from Procurement Services, the supplier will be made available in CruzBuy upon initial setup and will help expedite the requisition processing.

A CruzBuy process is in place when a requester wants to place an order with a new supplier. In the appropriate CruzBuy form for the purchase, click on "enter manually" under the supplier search field. Enter the supplier name, phone number and, under Distribution, check the box next to fax or email and provide a valid fax number or email address to where the purchase order should be sent.

After the requisition is submitted and approved by the unit, the requisition will route to Procurement Services where the new supplier on-boarding process will be managed and the requisition processed. By following these steps, the supplier on-boarding process is streamlined, there is no duplication of effort and the complete and correct CruzBuy information is conveyed for new supplier set-up.

CruzBuy Tip: Form Auto-Return Workaround
If a requisition contains a form that has since been updated, the requisition is auto-returned as a draft cart to the requester. Unfortunately, the system will not automatically update the form for you, but there is a workaround.

From the requisition or the form itself, add the form to one of your Favorites folders. By doing this, the form will automatically update to the most current version, retaining all information common between the two forms. Remove the old form from the requisition and, from the Favorites folder, find the item and add it back to the active cart.

Please note that any required field unique to the new form will need to be filled out. To access instructions for this process and other quick guides, go here.

Procurement Services Metrics

The pie chart below highlights all requisitions processed between July 1, 2014, and February 28, 2015, with turn time breakdowns for Procurement Services staff. Turn times are based on time between final department approval and final Procurement approval.

Pie Chart - Buyer Approved Reqs

The bar graph below shows the total number of requisitions processed by month between July 1, 2014, and February 28, 2015, including those processed by Procurement Services.

Bar Graph - CruzBuy Requisitions

Basic Procurement Guidelines and Reminders

Procurement Services’ purchasing authority is contingent upon strict adherence to various Public Contract Codes, UCOP Business & Finance Bulletins, and campus procurement policies. These guidelines apply to all funds administered through the University, regardless of the source. It is, therefore, important that the campus also understand these guidelines when obtaining products and services to aid in compliance and increase efficiency.

Procurement general guidelines and reminders are summarized below.

After the Fact Requisitions: Requisitions submitted to Purchasing after the order has been placed with the vendor, or after the University has received the products or services are called After the Fact (ATF) orders. ATF orders are considered unauthorized purchases. There are several potential problems associated with ATF orders, such as the receipt of duplicate shipments, violations of legal requirements, the issuance of multiple payments, missed discounts, delays in settlements, lost items, and unidentified invoices. A faculty or staff member who buys products or services without following the proper process potentially assumes personal liability for payment and increases liability to the University.

Authority to Contract: You must have specific authority to obligate the University to pay for goods and services. University departments have been delegated the authority to purchase only those products and services that qualify for the P-Card, or Direct Payment process. All other purchases for goods and services must be made by using CruzBuy, the campus e-procurement tool.

Blanket Orders: Blanket Orders are agreements designed to accommodate key department needs on an on-going basis for a specified period of time. Blankets usually specify a category of products that can be purchased, a not- to-exceed maximum dollar amount for the term of the blanket, and a time period based on the fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th). If you expect to need products from the same non-catalog vendor during the fiscal year and your order qualifies, please submit a requisition for a blanket purchase order using the CruzBuy Blanket Order form. Blanket Purchase Orders cannot exceed $100,000 unless associated with a competitively bid contract. For on-going service requests, use the CruzBuy Services form.

Change Orders: Change orders are modifications made to a purchase order (contract). Change orders are created to increase the total dollar amount to the purchase order by $500.00 or more; change the unit price, quantity, or description or terms on an order; add a new item. Note that FOAPAL changes should be done via a transfer of expense (TOE) after payment is issued. If you need to make changes to a purchase order as outlined above, submit a CruzBuy Change Order form. Change Orders cannot be used to add a UCSC42 catalog number. A UCSC42 catalog number is used to create a step requiring the department to review and approve an invoice prior submission to FAST/AP for payment. The UCSC42 catalog number must be entered on the original requisition only.

Conflict of Interest: University employees may not personally benefit from their official positions or decisions. Any University employee who has, or whose relative has, a financial interest in a business providing a product or service to the University shall make known that interest by completing the Employee/Vendor Disclosure form and shall refrain from participating in the procurement decision making process.

Contract Review: Only Procurement Services staff are authorized to sign contracts or agreements associated with purchase orders. Supplier contracts or agreements should be attached to a CruzBuy requisition for review by Business Contracts, who are familiar with terms and conditions governing the University’s authority and are positioned to determine risk to the University.

Dealing with Vendors: The University's suppliers are a valuable resource of information on goods and services. Although the Procurement office should be your first resource, there will be times when it is recommended that end-users speak directly with selected supplier representatives. Suppliers can often help clarify what products or services will best meet the needs of the end-user. To help end users in dealing with supplier representatives, Procurement suggests the following guidelines:
  • Procurement Services staff can provide information on qualified and responsible suppliers.
  • Contact more than one qualified supplier whenever possible.
  • Give equal information to all suppliers, so each has an equal opportunity to make acceptable recommendations.
  • Do not appear to commit the University by telling a salesperson that he or she has the order. Only a purchase order (contract) issued out of the Procurement Services office can commit the University.
Emergency Orders: Emergency orders are authorized only in the event of life, health, or property threatening situations. They must be processed through Procurement Services during regular business hours. Emergency commitments made by a department outside of normal campus office hours must be communicated to the Procurement Services Director at the earliest opportunity. Such commitments must be for valid emergencies only and must fit the definition described above.

Forms: There are a few forms related to procurement, such as the Independent Contractor Pre-hire Worksheet and the Sole-Source Justification form. We discourage saving Procurement Services forms on your desktop as we update them on a regular basis, so check the Financial Affairs Forms Directory for the most current form version.

Gifts: University employees shall not accept or solicit, directly or indirectly, anything of economic value as a gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, or loan which is, or may appear to be, designed to influence official conduct in any manner. This particularly applies to a person who is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial arrangements with the University (e.g. a supplier who has interests that might be substantially affected by the performance or non-performance of the employee's duty).

Insurance: To protect the University from loss or exposure to loss resulting from any negligence on the part of an under/uninsured vendor who furnishes goods or services to the University, insurance may be required for specific purchases. Buyers are responsible for working with suppliers to obtain certificates of insurance (COI), when appropriate, to mitigate risk.

Pre-planning: Involving Procurement Services in the pre-planning stage for the procurement of services, supplies and equipment cannot be overemphasized. The time required for the Procurement Services office to process a properly prepared and approved requisition varies greatly based on complexity, contract review and volume. Also, when Buyers are notified early in the pre-planning process, they are also positioned to negotiate better pricing or terms with the supplier. Delivery, however, will always depend on the supplier’s inventory and the responsiveness of their suppliers for non-stock items. Please plan accordingly.

Purchase Transactions Above $100,000: Competition is sought through the formal bid process with awards being made to the highest ranked supplier meeting specifications through a formal competitive bid process. Awards shall be determined on the basis of one of three methods: (1) cost alone, (2) on a cost per quality point basis, or (3) best value.

Purchase Transactions below $100,000: Buyers will determine whether competition is desirable to acquire the best price and/or delivery, develop an additional supplier source, confirm total cost of ownership, or other compelling business reasons. It is our standard business practice to work with the department requester to confirm price reasonableness before making a commitment.

Rush Orders: Even with the best planning, unexpected needs arise. Rush orders are products or services needed immediately but are not threats to life, health, or property and will be handled and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Lack of planning does not justify a rush order. . If you have a rush order, follow up with a phone call to the Procurement Services Helpdesk after you submit the CruzBuy requisition.

Splitting: Requisitions for goods and services shall not be divided into separate transactions to avoid the requirement for competition. The failure to combine orders when it should be done in the interest of economy (i.e., multiple purchase requisitions containing same commodity descriptions and same vendors) is circumventing the Public Contract Code on competition and therefore will not be approved. Whenever this occurs, the Buyer will contact the requester with instructions on how to proceed.

Strategically Sourced (SS) Agreements: Agreements have been established for the procurement of goods and services at the University with preferred suppliers. A preferred supplier is one with whom the University has a competitively awarded agreement that includes beneficial price discounts, exchange of information, simplified ordering methods, set delivery arrangements, specialized customer service requirements, and billing and payment terms. The University requires the use of preferred suppliers and actively publicizes the most often used SS agreements within CruzBuy and on the Procurement Services website under Resources.

CruzBuy Reminders

CruzBuy Commenting System: When you receive CruzBuy comments in your e-mail inbox, please do not press “reply” on the emailed comment. Doing so sends the email to the Procurement Services helpdesk rather than the comment sender. To reply to a comment, go into the document associated with the comment (this will be stated in the email) and use the comments section to reply to comment sender.

CruzBuy Training: You can access registration information by contacting the Procurement Services helpdesk at 459-2311 or via e-mail at Procurement Services also maintains a CruzBuy Training web resource.

Procurement Services Sustainability Intern

Marissa Meisterling
My name is Marissa Meisterling and I am the UC Santa Cruz Provost Sustainability Intern for the 2014-2015 academic year.

I am a senior Environmental Studies student here at UCSC with a passion for environmental sustainability and innovative problem-solving. Like many Provost Sustainability Internship (“PSI”) students, I hope to further my professional competencies necessary to become an effective environmental leader.

For those of you that do not know about the program, the Provost Sustainability Internship (PSI) program is a year-long combination course/internship that links students with a UCSC faculty or staff member to work on sustainability projects and research identified by the Campus Sustainability Plan. All of the PSI projects ultimately support the campus sustainability objectives and goal of becoming a zero-waste campus community.

Alongside my program mentor and Strategic Sourcing Manager, Kathleen Rogers, I am currently working on a project to create tools and metrics for measuring the sustainability and supply chain behavior of UCSC’s suppliers. Our focus is to partner with suppliers to develop strategies that promote sustainable procurement practices within the supply chain.

The project hit the ground running in October 2014 and we have made a lot of progress to date. I have developed a Supplier Sustainability Scorecard that benchmarks a supplier’s current sustainability behavior. I am also in the process of developing an individualized Sustainability Opportunity and Action Plan (“SOAP”). The SOAP document is a tool that will help suppliers improve upon the sustainability gaps identified in their scorecard.

By the time my internship comes to an end this June, I hope to have left something meaningful and useful behind.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the project or the work Kathleen and I are doing, please feel free to contact me at

Introducing our Business Contracts Team

The UCSC Business Contracts team within Procurement Services department reviews, drafts and negotiates agreements on behalf of The Regents for the procurement of goods and services. The goal of a Business Contracts review is to ensure the final agreement between the University and the supplier is in compliance with applicable UC policies and laws.

Business Contracts currently consists of two individuals with legal and acquisition experience:

Nikki Vamosi
Nikki Vamosi is the Business Contracts Manager. Nikki started in 2011. She has a J.D. and experience in business law, negotiation and alternative dispute resolution.

Peihua Ku
Peihua Ku is the Business Contracts Administrator. Peihua joined the Procurement Services team in 2013. His background includes acquisition experience in the US Navy and project management expertise at Cisco Systems Inc.

CruzBuy requisitions with quotes requiring signatures and/or terms and conditions from the supplier automatically trigger a Business Contracts review. A Procurement Services Buyer will route the requisition to the CruzBuy Business Contracts folder. It is crucial that a Business Contracts review be performed before a supplier starts to perform their services or delivers their goods.

Contracts are an essential tool for business and lay the foundation to prevent disputes, clarify payment/performance expectations and ensure policy requirements are met. If you have any questions regarding a procurement contract, please feel free to send your questions to

HIPAA Business Associate Agreements

HIPAA is the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The primary goal of the law is to make it easier for people to keep health insurance, protect the confidentiality and security of healthcare information and help the healthcare industry control administrative costs. HIPAA Regulations require the University to have a HIPAA business associate agreement ("HIPAA BAA") in place whenever a supplier provides services to the University involving the use or disclosure of the University's protected health information (“PHI”).

The University has a standard HIPAA BAA form to be used when this is required. The HIPAA BAA needs to be executed prior to beginning of services. Procurement Services relies on the campus to provide a notification when a transaction involves supplier access to PHI. This notification should be entered in a comment on the requisition in CruzBuy.

The Procurement Services Buyer will route all requisitions with PHI notifications to the Business Contracts group, who will work with the supplier to complete a UC HIPAA BAA. Fully executed HIPAA BAAs will be added as an external attachment to the requisition and sent to the supplier with the Purchase Order.

Procurement Services will also send a copy of the fully executed HIPAA BAA to the UCSC Student Health Center for retention and inclusion in to the HIPAA BAA repository.

Procurement Services Benefits Achieved

As part of the system-wide P200 Benefit Bank initiative, UCSC Procurement Services buyers have set a goal to realize $1.4 million in benefit for FY 15. This benefit is achieved in the form of Cost Reduction, Cost Avoidance, Incentives and Revenue Generating Contracts. As of January 2015, UCSC buyers have negotiated savings of $881,197 for our campus. The graph below breaks down the current fiscal year’s cost savings by division/department groupings.

When planning a large dollar/volume purchase, please reach out to Procurement Services at the earliest opportunity. Engaging Buyers early in the process allows them to develop the most ideal cost-saving strategy.

Benefits Chart
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