How American Councils boosted compliance and transformed procurement operations with a comprehensive program and centralized system.
American Councils for International Education (American Councils) was struggling to keep up with federal procurement requirements while managing procurement operations across 20+ global offices.
By partnering with Vendor Centric, they were able to establish and document policies and procedures to ensure compliance, and implement vendor management software to get their global staff working in the same system. With a structured procurement program, American Councils can now maintain compliance with federal regulations and skillfully manage their vendor relationships.
Compliance and Oversight Challenges in a Fragmented Procurement System
With 450 staff worldwide and foreign offices whose budgets are almost entirely funded by federal awards, American Councils needed to standardize procurement operations and ensure that the entire organization was in compliance with federally mandated procurement regulations.
Being spread across multiple offices also provided a procurement challenge. Since many staff were storing procurement documentation locally, it was difficult for staff in other locations to access data.
American Councils sought the help of Vendor Centric to navigate the new compliance requirements and establish a program to support global procurement operations.
Strategy and Solution
Setting Up a Global Procurement Program That Prioritizes Compliance
Vendor Centric created a comprehensive and practical strategy to help American Councils navigate its procurement challenges and compliance requirements. The solution included:
- Establishing and documenting policies and procedures that comply with federal requirements under the Uniform Guidance.
- Training staff to handle new responsibilities as defined in the updated procurement policies and procedures.
- Streamlining the collection of critical data needed to monitor the compliance of sub-recipients under federal awards.
Meanwhile, Vendor Centric also helped American Councils select and implement a cloud-based vendor management system to establish controls and support policy and procedure compliance across their multiple global offices.
Compliance and Efficiency in a Centralized System
The solutions devised by Vendor Centric have allowed American Councils to remain compliant with the Uniform Guidance federal requirements for procurement, safeguarding the organization from compliance and legal issues. Because staff have been trained in their new duties, they are competent and effective in carrying out procurement procedures.
The implementation of the cloud-based vendor management system has united a procurement program that was previously disjoined. Staff from various locations around the world now have access to the data they need in a centralized and organized system.
Vendor management technology has also resulted in increased efficiency because time-consuming manual tasks have been eliminated. The software also streamlines the risk assessment process and automates due diligence. As a result, American Councils can confidently maintain compliance with federal regulations and mitigate risk when working with vendors.
“Having a solid vendor management program in place means that American Councils can effectively manage vendors around the world, which ultimately will further the reach and impact of their nonprofit organization.”
Tom Rogers, Vendor Centric
About American Councils
The world’s most successful institutions and determined nations work with American Councils for International Education through cultural exchange, language training, and professional development. Since 1974, American Councils’ educational portfolio has grown to include 85 countries important to national security, prosperity, and peace, and more than 89,000 alumni, including national leaders, ministers, members of parliament, ambassadors, and CEOs.
Are you experiencing challenges with keeping your international procurement and vendor management operations running smoothly?
Vendor Centric can help you establish a solid foundation for your vendor management program on which you can scale as you grow. Schedule a call to talk with a consultant today.