Achieving Operational Excellence

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Administrative Services is committed to identifying, analyzing and improving our existing business processes to create greater efficiencies and cost savings, leading to high levels of service to students, faculty and staff.

Business Process and Systems Improvements

Business process improvement is aimed at identifying the operations or employee skills that could be improved to encourage smoother procedures, more efficient workflow and overall business growth. Several projects are planned or are underway. 

Business Services

Strategic Procurement

Project Description

Implement the Jaggaer (formerly SciQuest) procure-to-pay solution. This solution provides an Amazon-style purchasing experience for the requistioner and will result in:

  • Reduced time in both the procurement and payment processes.
  • Reduced cycle time from requisition to delivery.
  • Immediate feedback to the requisitioner regarding availability and shipment.
  • Improved on-time delivery.
  • Provide requisitioners with the ability to easily track their orders.
  • Provide product and pricing comparisons for the requisitioner.

Target Audience

  • Campus requisitioners
  • Procurement Services buyers
  • Accounts Payable staff

Timeline

Pre-implementation: January 2017 — April 2017 

Implementation of Procure-to-Pay, Spend Analytics, Sourcing Director and Total Contract Manager: April 2017 — December 2017 

Guiding Principles

  • Adapt business processes to permit use of the software without customization.
  • Facilitate strategic sourcing through the use of the improved data reporting.
  • Provide requisitioners with improved capacity to identify sources of supply and comparatively shop.
  • Capitalize on the combined purchasing power of the collective SUNY campuses.
  • Be able to provide requisitioners with user accessible 24/7 support through on-line help and training.
  • Standardize the procurement and payment business processes across SUNY campuses.
  • Demonstrate the solution's applicability across the Western Region campuses for future roll-out across all SUNY campuses.

Project Team

Project leaders:
Mike Maute, Business Services

Project committee:
Marie Colella, Procurement Services
Barb Lorango, Procurement Services
Michelle McCartney, Financial Management
Dan Vivian, Procurement Services
Procurement representatives from Alfred State, Alfred University, Brockport, Buffalo State, Erie Community College, Fredonia, Geneseo, Monroe Community College, Stony Brook, SUNY Administration, and the Research Foundation

E-Travel

Project Description

Implement the Concur Request and Expense system, in conjunction with travel agency The Travel Team's Concur Travel module. This solution provides end users with the option to fully automate their travel and expense process, and will result in: 

  • Reduced time in both the expense reporting and reimbursement processes
  • Ability to capture data no matter how travel is booked
  • Increased efficiency and productivity savings
  • Improved policy compliance
  • Reduced paper and cost
  • Mobile functionality

Target Audience

  • Campus travelers
  • Office administrators
  • Travel business office staff

Timeline

  • Pre-implementation: November 2016 — January 2017
  • Implementation of Request, Travel (travel agency), and Expense modules: January 2017 — August 2017
  • Soft roll-out of Concur to end users: September 2017 — December 2017
  • Loud rollout: January 2018 

In the fall of 2017, Town Hall meetings will be held on the North and South Campuses for staff members interested in learning more about the new system, training and support.

Guiding Principles

  • Adapt business processes to permit use of the software with minimum customization.
  • Simplify the expense reporting process for end users; ease of travel and expense reporting with less effort.
  • Provide improved capacity for data collection and reporting.
  • Provide end users with support through online videos, training and an on-campus/in-house "help center".
  • Standardize the travel request, booking and expense business processes across campus departments.
  • Increase customer satisfaction; reduce frustration of travel booking and expense reporting.

Project Team

Project leader:
Dominic LoTempio, Procurement Services

Project committee:
Donna Czaja, Business Reporting and Systems
Greg Howland, Enterprise Application Services
Kara Kearney-Saylor, Internal Audit
Meg Mitchell, Procurement Services
Tom Okon, Business Reporting and Systems
Gary Pacer, Enterprise Application Services
Carrie Woodrow, Business Compliance & Internal Controls, Business Services
Members from travel agency The Travel Team for the Concur Travel module

SIRI Enhancements

Project Description

Develop a dashboard in SIRI (the university's business intelligence reporting and analysis platform) delivering summarized information to academic chairs on various data pertinent to their department. These data areas include:

  • Financial
  • Human resources
  • Student
  • Research
  • Philanthropy
  • Procurement
  • Space   

Target Audience

The Academic Chair dashboard in SIRI is intended to be used by academic chairs and the assistants to the chair in all academic departments across campus. Assistant and associate deans and business officers in the decanal units will also benefit from these reports and analyses.

Timeline

  • The Academic Chair dashboard has been piloted in the academic departments of the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as their dean's office.
  • This dashboard was also demonstrated to the Unit Business Officers at their February 2016 meeting.
  • The SIRI team is now in the process of making this dashboard available to all academic areas across the campus. 

Guiding Principles

The guiding principle for this project is to deliver the appropriate level of detail to the academic chairs. Too much information will result in confusion and information overload while not enough detail limits the utility to the chair.

Project Team

Project leader:
Thomas Okon, Business Reporting and Systems

Project committee:
Laurie Barnum, Resource Planning
Donna Czaja, Business Reporting and Systems
Joseph Kerr, College of Arts and Sciences
Andrea Wiepert, College of Arts and Sciences

Human Resources

UB EDGE (Learning Management System)

Project Description

UB EDGE (Employees Develop Grow and Engage) is a learning management system, a platform for faculty and staff to administer, document, track, report and deliver learning and performance activities in a central online solution. UB EDGE is a unified system with a user-friendly experience, allowing an individual to easily incorporate learning activities into their performance plans and daily work experience.

Target Audience

All full-time faculty and staff.

Timeline

  • Currently being utilized (went live in May 2016)
  • Next phase to include performance programs and competency library availablity (planned for 2018).

Guiding Principles

  • Facilitate UB to become a learning organization.
  • Promote individual development planning.
  • Connect key competency (knowledge, skills, attributes) development for all employees.
  • Promote supervisory focus on team and individual development.
  • Provide a community for employees to be able to interact with ongoing learning and development.
  • Promote a sense of career growth and management.
  • Track all learning and development experiences for employees.

Project Team

Project leaders:
Kelli Hennessy, Organizational Development & Training

Project committee:
Suzy Shallowhorn, Organizational Development & Training
Kerry Lynch, Organizational Development & Training
Michele Poitras, Organizational Development & Training
Susan Steck, Organizational Development & Training 

Human Resources Business Processes

Project Description

Look to simplify and improve the current ePTF process. The goal is to have HR move away from data entry work (entering information submitted by ePTF and then entering into the SUNY HR System) and having department level transactions in the form of an improved ePTF - follow a workflow with review by HR - and then directly hit the SUNY HR system.  UB will need to work directly with the IT support at SUNY to make sure the new ePTF matches directly field to field when uploaded.

Target Audience

All departments that interact with ePTF transactions connected with all life and work events at UB during the life cycle of employees.

Timeline

Effort of redesign to start March 2017 with the goal of an intended solution to be implemented to begin the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Guiding Principles

Make the process simple, improve the workflow, increase efficiencies for departments and HR and remove the need for paper transactions.

Project Team

Project leader:
Mark Coldren, Human Resources

Project committee:
Amanda Brown, IEU and HR Data Security, Human Resources
Bertha Hill, Customer Services, Human Resources
Dana Moore, Payroll and Appointment Processing, Human Resources
Amy Myszka, Benefits and Wellness & Worklife Balance, Human Resources
Representative individuals from units around campus

Relocation Services

Project Description

  • Build a comprehensive and consistent service to assist new employees coming to UB when they relocate from outside of the area.
  • Engage an external company to manage and facilitate a process for UB (moving, coordination of visits, real estate, travel, etc.).
  • Conducted initial information gathering sessions with organizations that specialize in this service to help us identify what to place in an RFP to go out in Spring of 2017.
  • The goal is for Human Resources to be the coordinator of the program and to provide this as a service that would not require immediate charge back to departments if they stay within parameters of the designed program.

Target Audience

Target audience includes all units that hire individuals from outside the area. The request for proposal (RFP) process and the program design will indicate if there are existing levels for assistance depending upon level of role in the organization.

Timeline

RFP is scheduled for late Spring 2017 with a goal of offering the service beginning 2018.

Guiding Principles

  • Save overall costs.
  • Provide a consistent and high quality service and experience for all new employees recruited to UB.
  • Build a simple and consistent financial process to administer.

Project Team

Project leader:
Linda Deni, Procurement Services

Project committee:
Mark Coldren, Human Resources
Beth Corry, Business Services
Joanne Fletcher, Human Resources
Dan Vivian, Procurement Services

UB Jobs Upgrade

Project Description

Move to the new cloud-based version of UB Jobs (PeopleAdmin). UB Jobs is the applicant tracking and search process system for UB. The system has been long overdue for an upgrade. This new version of UB Jobs will:

  • Have a modern user interface.
  • Offer more options for the search process.
  • Provide an easier and more robust reporting capability.
  • Provide an opportunity for HR to partner with the Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion office to enhance and improve the search process for UB as a key element of UB's Commitment to Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan - as connected to SUNY's overall strategic approach to diversity and inclusion.

Target Audience

Target audience includes all individuals and groups (State, RF, UBF, faculty and staff) that interact and work within recruitment and the search and selection process for talent to join UB.

Timeline

Upgrade to new version to be completed March 2017. New search process changes and improvements to be phased in over 2 years.

Guiding Principles

Improve the search and selection process with a direct focus on connecting to UB's Commitment to Inclusive Excellence Staretgic Plan.

Project Team

Project leader:
Jamie Lynn Bluhm, Worforce Planning & Recruitment, Human Resources

Project committee:
Abby Blakely, Human Resources
Sharon Chimera, Human Resources
Sharon Holdsworth, Human Resources
Delorian Miller, Human Resources
Melanie Phillips, Human Resources
Christina Stroehlein, Human Resources
Brendan Tom, Human Resources

Resource Planning

Enrollment and Resource Planning Committee

Project Description

  • Develop an Academic Instruction Program Model, which will allow UB units to analyze their instructional revenues and costs for each program.
  • Develop an integrated and detailed enrollment and resource planning calendar.
  • Provide enrollment, fee, tuition, financial aid and other data and information that may be required to support the enrollment and resource planning process.
  • Support the forecasting and modeling of enrollment and other revenues such as tuition and fees.
  • Research and identify best practices in regards to enrollment, resource planning and related budget models.
  • Develop integrated enrollment and revenue dictionary.
  • Provide guidance and oversight to the following subcommittees:
    • Special Session Enrollment (summer and winter)
    • HUB Distributed Data Access Group

Target Audience

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Department chairs
  • Unit business officers
  • Central business offices
  • Deans and senior leadership

Timeline

  • Committee was established October 14, 2014
  • Work is on-going

Guiding Principles

University's Annual Resource Planning Process (ARPP) Guiding Principles:

Strategic —- we align incentives with our mission and with strategic behaviors.

Predictability — we build models that provide reliable foundations for planning.

Flexibility — we build planning models that anticipate and are responsive to changes in the economic environment; we incorporate appropriate risk management strategies.

Integration — we consider the university as a whole and make intentional connections between varying types of organizational needs and priorities.

Stewardship — we exercise prudence in managing our resources, diversify revenues to promote resilience, maintain appropriate reserves and reward efficiency and effectiveness.

Project Team

Project leaders:
Laurie Barnum, Resource Planning
Lee H. Melvin, Enrollment Management

Project committee:
Academic unit membership:
Kristin Gniazdowski, School of Pharmacy
Joe Kerr/Nancy Recupero College of Arts and Sciences
Bill Mcdonnell, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Mike Redfern, School of Public Health and Health Professions

Support/operations unit membership:
Craig Abbey, Office of Institutional Analysis
Beth Corry, Business Services
Lynne DePasquale, Office of Institutional Analysis
John Gottardy, Financial Aid
Christina Hernandez, Student Life
Brian O’Connor, Office of Institutional Analysis
Mark Molnar, Office of Institutional Analysis
Tom Okon, Business Reporting and Systems
Gary Pacer, Enterprise Application Services
Steven Shaw, International Admissions

Instructional Facilities Planning Committee

Project Description

The Resource Planning subcommittee is charged with providing financial planning support and investment tracking for the Instructional Facilities Steering Committee. 

Specifically, we will:  

  • Develop a three year budget for classroom/instructional technology projects which is integrated into the university's Annual Resource Planning process.
  • Ensure that the appropriate funding sources are accounted for and provided to support the project in a timely manner.
  • Ensure financial reporting on the project is provided and/or as requested.

Target Audience

Office of the Provost, Office for Vice President of Finance and Administration and senior leadership

Timeline

The Instructional Facilities Budget is developed and approved annually as part of the Central University Budget during the university's Annual Resource Planning Process.

Guiding Principles

University's Annual Resource Planning Process (ARPP) Guiding Principles:

Strategic —- we align incentives with our mission and with strategic behaviors.

Predictability — we build models that provide reliable foundations for planning.

Flexibility — we build planning models that anticipate and are responsive to changes in the economic environment; we incorporate appropriate risk management strategies.

Integration — we consider the university as a whole and make intentional connections between varying types of organizational needs and priorities.

Stewardship — we exercise prudence in managing our resources, diversify revenues to promote resilience, maintain appropriate reserves and reward efficiency and effectiveness.

Project Team

Project leader:
Laurie Barnum, Resource Planning

Project committee:
Cheryl Bailey, Capital Planning
Beth Corry, Business Services
Valerie Dennis, Financial Management
Nancy Kielar, CIO Administrative Operations Office
Larissa Kowalczyk, Academic Affairs
Bill Mcdonnell, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Business Plans for Leased Properties

Project Description

The Real Estate and Resource Planning committee consists of members from Real Estate, Resource Planning, Business Services and Facilities who are collaborating to create business plans for leased properties. The business plans include ten-year forecasts of revenue and expenses for each building.

Establishing a portfolio of business plans for leased properties will allow for a comprehensive evaluation of properties and facilitate the identification of efficiencies, savings and areas in need of investment.

Other areas of improvement achieved by the committee include the development of a property management dashboard in SIRI to streamline reporting for leased properties and a full review of facilities cost rates charged to properties.

Target Audience

Senior leadership

Timeline

The leased properties budget is developed and approved annually and reviewed quarterly as part of the Central University Budget during the university's Annual Resource Planning Process.

Guiding Principles

University's Annual Resource Planning Process (ARPP) Guiding Principles:

Strategic —- we align incentives with our mission and with strategic behaviors.

Predictability — we build models that provide reliable foundations for planning.

Flexibility — we build planning models that anticipate and are responsive to changes in the economic environment; we incorporate appropriate risk management strategies.

Integration — we consider the university as a whole and make intentional connections between varying types of organizational needs and priorities.

Stewardship — we exercise prudence in managing our resources, diversify revenues to promote resilience, maintain appropriate reserves and reward efficiency and effectiveness.

Project Team

Project leader:
Laurie Barnum, Resource Planning

Project committee:
Beth Corry, Business Services
Valerie Dennis, Financial Managment
Mary Luisi, Resource Planning
Carla Persico, Real Estate and Property Management
Tonga Pham, University Facilities
Ron Place, Real Estate and Property Management

U Plan: Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting System

Project Description

Functional:

  • Provide mechanism to integrate annual resource planning process with current university systems and databases.
  • Improve efficiency and accuracy of multi-year financial plan.
  • Replace Internal Financial Plan Tool.
  • Improve forecasting and financial reporting of budget versus actual.
  • Provide UBOs with a commitment management tool internal to their unit only.
  • Support the UB 2020 initiative to pursue opportunities to invest in technology to gain efficiencies and lower costs.    

Technical:

  • Current IFP tool is outdated, failing and in a technology that is not supported by central IT.
  • Need for new functionality and data reporting — not possible in current environment.
  • Build versus buy considerations:
    • Licensing costs versus IT developer costs (including support, maintenance and updates)
    • Time to implement
    • Local versus hosted options

Target Audience

  • Senior leadership
  • Deans
  • Vice provosts
  • Vice presidents
  • Department chairs
  • Assistant to the chairs
  • Faculty and staff

Timeline

Completed:

In Process:         

  • Town hall type meetings beginning October 2017
    •    Departments may request a town hall type meeting for their unit by emailing a request to ub-uplan@buffalo.edu

Next:

  • Vendor demos

Guiding Principles

Senior administrators, faculty and staff should have easy, well-supported electronic access to the data and information necessary to perform and manage their university functions, thereby eliminating the need to create shadow and supplemental systems.

  • For every budget, planning and forecasting-related process, we will:
    • Identify the customers of the process.
    • Work with customers to determine their real needs.
    • Strive to provide them with outstanding customer service.
  • We will treat information as a strategic asset that is:
    • Commonly defined.
    • Electronically captured once at its point of origin.
    • Appropriately shared across the entire institution.
  • We will become an institution that makes data-based decisions through the use of easy-to-use management reporting processes and technologies.
  • We will collaboratively develop common business processes and data across the entire institution, while still supporting the truly unique and compelling needs of our academic and academic support units.
  • Customizations to the new system will be kept to an absolute minimum. Any request for a customization will be subject to a thorough business case review to justify its necessity.
  • We will establish decision due dates to keep our projects on time and on budget. If these due dates are not met, the delayed decision will immediately be escalated and made by the appropriate decision maker. The project will then move on.
  • We will work as a silo-free team to solve the problems of our students, faculty, staff and institution.
  • We will create customer participation opportunities and two-way communications channels to ensure that our project choices meet real user needs.
  • Full participation is expected - non-responsiveness or non-engagement implies agreement.
  • All new information technology purchases related to budget, planning and forecasting must be reviewed and approved by the university VPCIO and VPFA. 

Project Team

Project leaders:
Laurie Barnum, Resource Planning
Beth Corry, Business Services

Project committee:

Technical leads:
Tom Okon, Business Reporting and Systems
Gary Pacer, Enterprise Application Services

Functional leads:
Joe Lewandowski, Resource Planning
Jennifer Pesany, Financial Management

User liaisons:
Katie Beakman, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Nancy Kielar, CIO Administrative Operations Office
Larissa Kowalczyk, Academic Affairs

Communication liaison:
Kathleen Manne, University Communications

Project manager:
Amy Dauber, University Communications

Project support:
Kelly Stich, Business Services

Advisory committee:
Craig Abbey, Office of Institutional Analysis
Erika Bagnoli, Office of the Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement
Michelle Burger, Chemistry
Dr. Jane Brewer, School of Dental Medicine
Mark Coldren, Human Resources
Chris Decker, Endowments and Gift Administration, UBF
Sandy Drabek, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Christina Hernandez, Student Life
Lynne Karlsen, School of Dental Medicine
Kara Kearney-Saylor, Internal Audit
Joe Kerr, College of Arts and Sciences
Michelle McCartney, Financial Management
Bill McDonnell, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Gary Mahon, School of Nursing
Lee H. Melvin, Enrollment Management
Jeff Murphy, School of Dental Medicine
Brian O’Connor, Office of Institutional Analysis
Tonga Pham, University Facilities
Mike Redfern, School of Public Health and Health Professions
Betty Smith, Research and Economic Development
Debbie Street, College of Arts and Sciences
Ken Suski, School of Management
Jill Uebelhoer, School of Dental Medicine
Cheri Weber, Procurement Services
Nate Wills, Division of Athletics

University Facilities

Rehab Process Remapping and Redesign

Project Description

University Facilities is developing a streamlined process to complete rehab and capital projects.  The new methodology will ensure ease of use for clients, use an integrated team approach to project delivery and reduce project cycle time. 

Target Audience

Facilities Planning and Management Officers (FPMO).

Timeline

  • Design completion: end of February 2017
  • Stakeholder input: March — end of April 2017
  • Implementation (soft roll-out): June 2017

Guiding Principles

  • Customer focused — easy for our customers to access and use
  • Efficient — remove redundant and non-value added steps; less bureaucratic requirements
  • Transparent — allows for customer involvement at all steps

Project Team

Project leader:
Tonga Pham, University Facilities

Project committee:
Cheryl Bailey, Capital Planning Group
Bruce Buerger, Facilities Planning and Design
Paul Gareis, Facilities Planning & Design
Kelly Hayes Maclonie, Capital Planning Group
Martin Hohle, Facilities Planning and Design
Scott Ludtka, Facilities Operations
Ron Van Splunder, Facilities Planning and Design

Multi-Year Utilities Planning

Project Description

A team of members from Facilities, Business Services and Resource Planning work together to create a multi-year utilities budget. The rolling 5-year financial plan has helped the university minimize commodity costs, prepare for volatility in energy prices and meet environmental stewardship goals by implementing energy conservation projects. By managing the utilities budget at a central level, fiscal risk is reduced, shortfalls are covered by the university, and surpluses are reinvested in the university.

Target Audience

Senior leadership

Timeline

Utilities budget is developed and approved annually and reviewed quarterly as part of the Central University Budget during the university's Annual Resource Planning Process. 

Guiding Principles

University's Annual Resource Planning Process (ARPP) Guiding Principles:

Strategic —- we align incentives with our mission and with strategic behaviors.

Predictability — we build models that provide reliable foundations for planning.

Flexibility — we build planning models that anticipate and are responsive to changes in the economic environment; we incorporate appropriate risk management strategies.

Integration — we consider the university as a whole and make intentional connections between varying types of organizational needs and priorities.

Stewardship — we exercise prudence in managing our resources, diversify revenues to promote resilience, maintain appropriate reserves and reward efficiency and effectiveness.

The utility budget will:

  • Be integrated into the UB annual budget process
  • Support UB’s environmental stewardship
  • Support UB’s goals and directions
  • Be managed as a business enterprise model

The utility budget:

  • Supports debt service for energy projects
  • Supports specialized energy service contracts
  • Supports the Climate Action Plan

The utility budget is not:

  • A replacement for capital funds
  • A replacement for operating funds

Project Team

Project leaders:
Laurie Barnum, Resource Planning
Beth Corry, Business Services
Tonga Pham, University Facilities

Project committee:
Mike Forster, Facilities Campus Operations
Scott R. Ludtka, Facilities Campus Operations
Mary Luisi, Resource Planning
Michelle McCartney, Financial Management
Debbie Schmigiel, Financial Managment

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