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With Workday Integration, Unimarket makes e-procurement more seamless.

An eProcurement success story

When Saint Louis University (SLU) chose the Unimarket e-Procurement solution, they valued its ease of use and the customer support Unimarket provided. So, when the university implemented a new ERP system, Unimarket’s native integration with Workday lessened the complexity and made the process more seamless.

With 13,000 students, SLU offers undergraduate and graduate programs along with a law school on its urban campus. The school’s mission is to use its teaching for good, something clearly seen in its volunteering work – students, teachers, and faculty staff volunteer more than 1.6 million service hours every year to more than 500 organizations.

The university has a decentralized procurement model in which the purchasing department supports the various schools and departments to procure their own goods and services and manage their own budgets. For eight years, Unimarket has made that process much more streamlined and compliant.

Manual processes and out-of-system purchases

Before moving to Unimarket, SLU’s primary purchasing methods included pCard purchases and ordering outside of approved channels. Departments could enter purchase orders through its Ellucian Banner ERP system, but without automation, the process could be time-consuming and inefficient.

“Banner didn’t auto-populate purchase orders with line-item and pricing details, which would have helped us reduce errors, improve reporting, and give us better insight to our spend history and patterns,” says Anne Becker, e-Procurement Program Manager at SLU.

The university needed better spend management and oversight to improve compliance and ensure that departments were getting their negotiated pricing. To do this, Anne and her team decided it was time to improve its process by implementing an e-Procurement system.

What makes my job easier is having people I know I can rely on, and that’s why we continue to work with Unimarket.

Anne Becker

e-Procurement Program Manager, St Louis University

Choosing the right solution

The university evaluated three different systems, but it wasn’t long before Unimarket became the front-runner.

“Unimarket’s pricing was very competitive and we liked how intuitive its technology was,” says Anne.

“Another selling point was that it could accommodate blanket orders, which are frequently used by departments at SLU. Its procurement marketplace and great customer and technical support were also highlights.”

The decision to go with Unimarket was made and SLU hasn’t looked back since. Anne’s team now has better management and visibility over spend and suppliers.

Suppliers now manage their own product and price updates, which the SLU procurement team can review before any changes go live. Punchout catalogs provide the university with the important line-item detail it had been missing before the implementation of an e-Procurement solution.

“Unimarket also supports our suppliers and manages part of that relationship, which is really helpful when it comes to punchout catalogs. We don’t really have the resources or the knowledge to build and maintain supplier punchouts, so that is a very real benefit for us,” says Anne.

SLU still enjoys the flexibility of a pCard program, but pCard use is now limited to where it is most appropriate and the number of off-contract purchases has reduced significantly.

New ERP, same Unimarket

When SLU decided to transition to a new ERP, Workday, it debated on using the new system's punchout marketplace. But Anne says that option may have limited the user experience and required technical resources that weren’t available.

“We order from suppliers across many different industries and have over 40 punchout catalogs, many of which are specialized. Unimarket’s procurement marketplace made it easy for us to maintain that shopping experience for our buying community.”

“We didn’t want to limit our punchout offering as it could have resulted in our community  buying products outside the system or internal resources being needed to rebuild the marketplace that we already had in place.

“Unimarket is also so user-friendly and intuitive. We wanted to continue offering our buying community the same shopping experience because it had been so well received in the past.”

We order from suppliers across many different industries and have over 40 punchout catalogs, many of which are specialized. Unimarket’s procurement marketplace made it easy for us to maintain that shopping experience for our buying community.

Anne Becker

e-Procurement Program Manager, St Louis University

SLU chose to build an integration between Workday and Unimarket so that users could continue using Unimarket’s marketplace for shopping in supplier punchouts, while using Workday for requisition completion, approval routing, and receipting.

Because Unimarket’s marketplace was still available, SLU’s buying community and administration retained the benefits that they had pre-Workday, including order and invoice integration, line-item detail on transactions, improved reporting capabilities, and transparency on and access to the university’s preferred pricing.

A service that’s “second to none”

Unimarket worked closely and directly with the SLU’s Workday implementation consultant to integrate the two systems, simplifying the implementation process for SLU.

 “The Unimarket integration was probably one of the most advanced Workday integrations we needed to build, but the service that Unimarket provided was second-to-none and helped make the integration process a bit easier and less daunting,” says Anne.

And while Anne might not need as much support from Unimarket these days, help is never far away.

“What makes my job easier is having people I know I can rely on, and that’s why we continue to work with Unimarket,” she says.

Download the success story (PDF)

When Saint Louis University (SLU) chose the Unimarket e-Procurement solution, they valued its ease of use and the customer support Unimarket provided. So, when the university implemented a new ERP system, Unimarket’s native integration with Workday lessened the complexity and made the process more seamless.

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