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Unimarket checks the solution and support boxes for Loyola University Maryland.

An eProcurement success story

When Loyola University Maryland was competitively evaluating new eProcurement solution providers, Unimarket impressed — and it has continued to do so ever since.

Founded in 1852, the Jesuit Catholic university inspires its 5,000+ students to learn, lead and serve in a diverse and changing world. Moreover, Loyola’s campus is ranked among the best and most beautiful in America.

In 2017, Nancy Wright, now Director of Procurement Services, was tasked with transitioning the university to eProcurement. The software selected at the time seemed a good fit, but minor issues soon became major roadblocks. So when that contract was set to expire, the university decided it was time to look for a new solution – and that’s when its journey with Unimarket began.

eProcurement problems

Nancy is a strong advocate for eProcurement software, but over the years she has discovered that not all systems are created equal.

When Nancy joined Loyola, the university had recently selected an eProcurement solution. She says that while it had the basic functionality one would expect, it wasn’t a good fit for the university’s complex procurement needs.

Many straightforward processes, like adding a new budget account, were convoluted and the system became bogged down. It would often crash, making processing high volumes of transactions time consuming and difficult.

This was especially true for Nancy who at the time was a one-person procurement department dealing with a mounting backlog of issues.

Nancy says that suppliers also found the system difficult to navigate, which was made even more challenging by customer support that was sometimes lacking. “It was difficult for suppliers to log in and submit quotes so they would email me directly and I’d enter it into the system manually. Purchases were supposed to be an easy part of the day, but they were anything but that.”

Taking the next step in eProcurement

When the university’s contract with its existing eProcurement solution provider was in its final year, Loyola took the opportunity to see what other eProcurement solutions could offer.

Loyola issued an RFP and received three proposals, including one from Unimarket. From the “very detailed, comprehensive, and thoughtful” RFP response, the evaluation committee could tell that Unimarket was in a league of its own. That was backed by an impressive demo showcasing Unimarket’s experience in higher education. Moreover, she says Unimarket offered much more competitive pricing.

Watch the video testimonial

Implementation was flawless. I feel like we got the A-team – I always knew the next steps and what was needed in advance.

Nancy Wright

Director of Procurement Services at Loyola University Maryland.

“Unimarket was the only offeror to address our specifications and how its eProcurement solution would work for us. The committee was pleased that a plan for training was included and that the software could be customized to fit our procurement workflow.

“Every time the committee had a question, Unimarket responded promptly. We liked how they welcomed questions and were interested in learning more about us.”

The university had identified its new eProcurement solution.

Implementation: Finding a way through Covid

Loyola was ready to implement its new eProcurement solution when Covid-19 changed everything.

New social distancing and remote working requirements meant Unimarket guided the Loyola team through the implementation remotely. Nancy says Unimarket was streamlined, organized, and communication was clear.

“Implementation was flawless. I feel like we got the A-team – I always knew the next steps and what was needed in advance. When there were any issues, Unimarket directed its resources to address them promptly.”

Automation, time savings, and simplicity

Now using Unimarket’s eProcurement solution, Loyola has been able to automate the entire procurement process, from purchasing to managing supplier invoices. Nancy also finds it much easier to keep up with reporting demands.

“Our management team requires various reports every month or every quarter. Producing those with Unimarket couldn’t be easier, freeing up time to work on building Loyola’s catalog-driven marketplace, writing policies and procedures, and dealing with bulk and non-catalog orders – all important tasks I didn’t have much time for beforehand.”

And what does Nancy like most about Unimarket? The time savings. In the past, simple tasks like adding a new user could take 10 minutes on average. Now she can do it in less than a minute. Time-saving wins like that, along with zero system downtime, add up and Nancy estimates she now has an hour back each day to focus on more important work.

The university’s buyers and suppliers love Unimarket too, says Nancy.

“The system is simple and easy to use, yet extremely sophisticated. If a buyer encounters a problem, I can click on that user, switch into their account, see what happened, and show them how to resolve it. It’s incredibly efficient.”

Customer support that continues to impress

Nancy says that from the start, Unimarket has set the customer service bar high and never failed. On the rare occasion she does contact Unimarket’s support team, she always receives a response within a couple of hours.

“I think about this every day, and I’m extremely grateful. Unimarket doesn’t have to impress us anymore, but it continues to be very impressive. Anything I can do to make purchasing easier for our buyers to get the best value is worth pursuing, and Unimarket has made that possible.”

Download the success story (PDF)

When Loyola University Maryland was competitively evaluating new eProcurement solution providers, Unimarket impressed — and it has continued to do so ever since.

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