TEAM is a university-wide initiative designed to ensure that our administration supports our core academic mission to the greatest degree possible.
TEAM builds on Tufts’ tradition of managing resources carefully to maintain our financial strength and complements:
- feedback received through our Excellence at Work survey, in which many employees told us that we should reduce red tape and streamline administrative processes, and
- Tufts: The Next 10 Years (T10), the academic strategic planning effort being led by Provost David Harris.
TEAM Update: December 5, 2013
TEAM’s Sourcing & Procurement effort provides an opportunity to operate more effectively, streamline business practices, and reduce costs without sacrificing quality and value. In fact, some savings will be repurposed immediately and used for strategic initiatives, such as the T10 Bridge Professorships.
Tufts has had similar successes in the past. In August 2006, the university launched a Print Partnership Program that concentrated Tufts’ print purchases with approximately 10 vendors rather than roughly 200 vendors. The process engaged a university-wide committee that rigorously reviewed evidence of quality, experience, customer service, and pricing, as well as a vendor’s dedication to diversity, the environment and community service.
According to Diane Devlin, university Purchasing Director, the Print Partnership Program saved approximately $1M in its initial year and continues to draw savings and benefits. By standardizing paper choices, working with our suppliers’ services in a more thoughtful way, and carefully managing these relationships, the Purchasing Office’s contract managers are able to save approximately $120-150K annually in this area.
When schools and departments partner with the Purchasing Office to engage in a competitive bidding process with the university’s full purchasing power, we can thoroughly test what the market has to offer. In some instances, we will be exposed to product or service innovations that may provide new insights into how we can support students, faculty and staff.
Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that Tufts will be able to identify the best values and save significantly, in both dollars and time, by working in partnership to implement policies and practices around Sourcing & Procurement. There is still much to work out. The broader TEAM initiative will be in its implementation planning phase for a few more months.