Shop@UW to enhance campus purchasing process
Feb. 14, 2013
UW-Madison Business Services will launch a major advancement in the university’s e-commerce system, effective March 4.
The online procurement site, renamed Shop@UW, is intended to enhance university staff’s shopping experience by providing better tools for searching and product comparison. It will allow customers to make more informed procurement decisions while reducing the time it takes to shop for products. The site will be available to all UW System campuses.
Shop@UW is part of Business Services’ increased emphasis on strategic purchasing, which stresses more centralized purchasing of office and research supplies and materials with the potential to achieve greater savings. Shop@UW is similar to e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com that allow users to search items and return results from various suppliers.
New tools also will allow Business Services to rapidly add more suppliers to the marketplace, capture more in-depth data on spending, and negotiate more strategic contracts to achieve savings.
“Adding suppliers to our existing purchasing system is a time-consuming and inefficient process. With Shop@UW, we can streamline this process, while providing our faculty and employees with an easy-to-use shopping experience that increases overall engagement as well as contract compliance,” says Mike Hardiman, UW-Madison director of procurement.
Other benefits include:
- Side-by-side product and price comparison
- Easily found “UW-Madison Preferred” and “green” products
- Ability to search on specific attributes, such as catalog number, manufacturer and unit of measure
- Simple re-ordering using “favorites”
To facilitate an easy transition to Shop@UW, current customers of UW-Madison’s Materials Distribution Services can continue to enter the e-commerce system by using their same MDS account(s), login/password. Customers may continue to reallocate their purchases using the Pre-posting Allocation Tool (PAT).
Beginning Feb. 18, several face-to-face training sessions will be available across campus. Registration is requested.
Detailed online training will also be available before the March 4 launch.