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UPlan moving operational excellence forward

Published October 10, 2017

UPlan, one of the largest projects in UB’s operational excellence initiative, has announced two milestones.

On Sept. 8, UB issued a Request for Proposal for a budget, planning and forecasting tool. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 13. On-campus demonstrations by vendors for the selection committee will take place Nov. 13-16.

And during October, UPlan project leaders will continue educating members of the campus community about this initiative through town hall meetings. Departments or groups interested in a presentation are encouraged to contact project leaders through ub-uplan@buffalo.edu.

UPlan will create greater efficiencies during the annual campus resource planning process for UB faculty, staff and administrators through new technology.

“When fully implemented, UPlan will provide a broad base of benefits across the university, such as improving efficiency and accuracy of multi-year financial planning,” says Laurie Barnum, associate vice president, UB Resource Planning.

A key UPlan goal is to make UB an institution where data-informed decisions are supported through a well-integrated and easy-to-use system.

UPlan supports the UB 2020 initiative to pursue opportunities to invest in technology to increase efficiencies and lower costs, Barnum says.

“The UPlan tool is a key milestone in the integration process to bring our annual resource planning (budgeting) process together with our current information systems at UB,” says William J. McDonnell, assistant dean for finance and CFO, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“Right now, many unit business officers have supplemental systems that allow us to forecast expenditures across the broad spectrum of our individual unit operations,” McDonnell says.

“UPlan, with its commitment management tool and other features, will allow us to bring these forecasts together with transactional data in a uniform way across campus to see the full picture of our operations. It will also allow UB’s senior leadership to see unit multi-year forecasts within the context of unit and university available funds,” he adds.

Beth Corry, associate vice president and controller in UB Business Services, notes that changing policies and re-engineering systems are “key to reaching our goal: embracing a culture of continuous service improvement. However, all of us realize people become anxious about change, so we are also focusing on transparency and inclusivity.”  

Additional information on this initiative and on operational excellence at UB may be found on the “Achieving Operational Excellence” webpage and in UBNow.

Any questions may be addressed to ub-uplan@buffalo.edu.