Initial Project Areas
- We already have a program underway to save money through increased use of the Small Purchase Charge Card (SPCC). That effort also includes simplifying administrative processes for the card and reducing paperwork with on-line reconciliation.
- The consultants suggest that we can negotiate better contracts by pooling purchases across the university. We could save money to reallocate to other needs. We will explore the potential for that kind of coordinated purchasing starting in areas with the most promising savings. First, we will do a deeper dive to confirm the savings estimates and make sure regulations permit the savings. Then, if the estimates are confirmed, we will move on to pursue savings in the top categories.
- As part of the Business Innovation Initiative, William & Mary has worked with many of Virginia's colleges and universities to form and fund a procurement cooperative that will use strategic sourcing to reduce costs for specific items procurred.
2. Optimize IT
- Working with Censeo consultants, a W&M project team will develop a baseline of the University's IT organization, infrastructure and expenditures, including how individuals in central IT and in IT positions distributed across the campus allocate time to different priorities and what systems they use.
- From that baseline, the team will identify opportunities to better align IT with W&M's business process objectives, reduce duplication of IT services, eliminate redundant infrastructure (data centers, hardware, software) and clarify strategic directions for the university.
- Once these opportunities have been identified and analyzed, the project team will develop a detailed work plan for realizing the identified opportunities.
3. Organizational Design
- The consultants noted that, like most universities, W&M has many people who have multiple tasks and many people in management positions with few direct reports.
- Organizational adjustments that address those issues have produced benefits elsewhere, but we do not know whether or not those adjustments would help W&M. Separate pilot studies in two of our larger organizations, Advancement and the School of Business, were done to provide good tests for this concept. The goal was to see if adjustments to our organizational structure and business processes could provide greater focus on our most critical tasks. Since these pilots showed promise, we extended the review (job responsibilities and reporting structure) to other parts of the university, with emphasis on HR, finance and general administrative support, to see whether these organizational adjustments might have broader applicability. We are still working through this broader effort.
4. Managed Print and Copier Services
- The university can dramatically lower paper, toner and energy costs for printing and copying. Costs per page from current contracts are higher than suggested contract rates. The project will first address contracts for copiers and networked printers.
- The consultants identified several opportunities to review business strategies for key auxiliary services. Several of those reviews are already in progress. Project teams will explore the opportunities and challenges in several areas.
- The review noted that savings have already been achieved by realigning maintenance teams to operate more efficiently. We will continue and expand those efforts in maintenance and other facilities groups.
7. University Wide Client Relationship Management (CRM)
- These systems permit coordinated use of data so all organizations can engage an individual, such as a current student, alumnus or donor, as a complete person, rather than each organization gathering the same information multiple times and treating individuals from the perspective of each silo. We already deploy such systems in Admission and in the School of Business. There is a growing need to develop similar capabilities in Advancement, student activities and counseling and athletics. In the Advancement area, there is the promise of significant improvement in engagement and fundraising efforts from using better data. In other areas, the gains would be in reduced data-gathering and greater effectiveness meeting individual needs.
- As these systems expand, we must decide on a procurement and operating strategy to meet the needs of various users, lower annual and start-up costs, and provide for the easy, effective transfer of data across systems. A W&M project team with representation from across campus will evaluate alternatives and develop a University approach to CRM.
- The University has made substantial progress in energy efficiency over the last several years. The consultants identified several projects with high projected returns on investment. Those will be prioritized and considered over time as funds become available.
In addition, we took three immediate steps to make business innovation an integral part of the life of the university.
1. Business Innovation Management Team
- The team led by the Director of Economic Development and Business Innovation has representatives from the Provost's Office and Strategic Initiatives. It will provide business innovation progress reports to the Steering Committee, recommend adjustments and suggest new projects.
- The program management team will work with project owners and project teams to develop project descriptions and workplans, and to track and communicate progress.
2. Budget Model
- As we develop savings through business innovation, we want to track where those savings have been captured and how they affect the overall W&M budget. We want to refine our ability to track the flow of funds through multiple sources to various activities. We worked with the consultants to review the current budget model and data, allocate expenses to units as appropriate, and gain a more transparent picture of revenues and expenses by unit.
3. Space Management
- The review suggested that there are opportunities to use existing space more effectively, perhaps reducing the need for future expansion. We will establish a University space management function to track current use and provide suggestions for adjusting space utilization.
Moving from Assessment to Action
As President Reveley has noted, "We seek to make our university even more effective with better information for decision-making and execution, simpler processes and more responsive systems. This should improve all our lives by reducing bureaucracy, improving transparency, and increasing our ability to focus on core responsibilities." We want your input and encourage you to visit our comment page to offer suggestions.