Rockhurst University


Higher Education


Procurement Transformation

New Efficiencies & Bottom Line Savings

Rockhurst University is a Catholic, Jesuit University serving 3,000 students in the business and cultural heart of Kansas City. As one of 28 Jesuit universities and colleges in the U.S., Rockhurst is part of the largest network of independent higher education institutions in the nation. Their CFO, Gerald Moench, was exploring ways to improve performance and save money in their sourcing and procurement activities.

In an ongoing effort to efficiently and effectively manage resources, the University engaged Vendor Centric to assist senior management in identifying and implementing opportunities to improve its sourcing strategies and activities. The objectives of the project were to:

  • Ensure the University was maximizing its buying power in targeted areas of operations, and effectively leveraging vendor relationships to lower both hard and soft costs
  • Validate that vendor contracts were fairly priced and their associated risks were identified and mitigated
  • Evaluate opportunities to streamline the procure-to-pay process to drive efficiencies, improve data visibility and reduce the administrative costs of buying goods and paying vendors

In partnership with the Rockhurst project team we identified 12 expense categories to analyze including office & janitorial supplies, technology, printing, promotional products, energy and merchant processing services. We also evaluated opportunities to automate the procure-to-pay process, including strategies for expanding the use of commercial and virtual credit cards.

Given the number of categories under review, it made sense to take a phased approach to the process. This enabled us to go at a pace that was not overwhelming for staff, and also properly research and explore alternatives before settling on the best strategy for each category. Our process included:

  • Normalizing and analyzing spend across disparate data sources
  • Talking to University stakeholders to better understand needs and requirements
  • Proposing new strategies for sourcing the categories under review
  • Negotiating new contract terms and pricing
  • Supporting staff with the onboarding of new vendors

In Phase 1 we were able to implement several enhancements to Rockhurst’s current sourcing strategy and procure-to-pay processes that included:

  • Consolidating vendors under a single contract for office, janitorial and break room supplies
  • Establishing rebate tiers that grow with purchasing volume
  • Recovering credits from an improved energy rate structure
  • Implementing a commercial and virtual credit card program for more efficiently paying vendors
  • Automating expense reporting to streamline processes and provide better visibility into unpaid expenses

These initiatives, combined with those planned for Phase 2, are anticipated to produce bottom
line savings of $100,000+ annually.

They will also eliminate a variety of soft costs related to invoice approval, payment processing, expense reporting and vendor management

The expected efficiencies and cost savings from our completed and planned initiatives will improve the university’s bottom line over the next several years.

Gerald Moench, CFO,
Rockhurst University

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