The Business

Penn’s procurement group supports more than 2,000 users from across the University and represents close to $1B in annual spend. While each area is responsible for managing its own procurement requirements, Purchasing Services (about 16 employees) is responsible for helping the University establish procurement and sourcing best practices.

Penn’s Purchasing Services’ vision is to be the leader in higher education procurement, as measured by the value delivered to their community through efficient procurement processes and highly effective sourcing solutions. To achieve this vision, Purchasing Services meets with its stakeholders on a monthly basis.

The Purchasing Services team has always been an early adopter of procurement technology. For several years, the University has used Corcentric Sourcing to electronically publish its RFPs and run sourcing events to more than 850 suppliers.

Expanding the impact, reach, and use of technology is a constant challenge requiring training and change management of stakeholders. RHS’s old process involved extensive meetings, duplicated efforts, and cumbersome manual tasks.

The Experience

Increasing Adoption of Corcentric Sourcing with Training Services

Purchasing Services decided to bring in Corcentric’s professional services for delivering and developing sourcing technology training needed to empower RHS.

To kick-start the training effort, Corcentric developed a train-the-trainer curriculum to be delivered to RHS over the course of a few weeks. Using these training materials, Purchasing Services hosted a number of training sessions to encourage using Corcentric Sourcing within RHS.

At these sessions, Purchasing Services realized that developing a deeper understanding of Corcentric Sourcing would benefit not only RHS but members of the greater Penn Community as well by allowing them to take a more hands-on approach throughout the entire sourcing process.

The Future

Identifying Additional Savings and Gaining Back Valuable Hours

RHS and other University departments involved earlier in the RFP process, Purchasing Services maximizes time by reducing resources required to manually transfer documents into Corcentric Sourcing, identified savings for a long-standing service resulting in annual savings of $70,000 – 25% of the RHS contract value, and increased published RFPs by 30 percent.

Additional benefits to both the Purchasing Services team and internal customers include:

  • Streamlined editing process
  • Improved operational efficiencies
  • Increased cost savings opportunities
  • Improved adoption rate and
    ROI of Corcentric Sourcing at the departmental level

Purchasing Services has also produced a more competitive environment for Penn’s suppliers and service providers, resulting in greater cost savings and improved contract compliance.

“I’ve used a number of well-known sourcing platforms in the industry prior to joining Penn,” says Brent A. Friedman, Strategic Sourcing Manager, IT Commodity at UPenn. “Corcentric Sourcing is the most user and supplier-friendly eSourcing tool I’ve leveraged for my competitive bidding needs.”




Solutions Deployed

  • Sourcing

About the company

Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the world’s premier teaching and research institutions, consistently ranging among the top institutes in NIH funding. Penn is dedicated to providing its students rigourous academic study with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. Its integrated university and health system, combined with a commitment to entrepreneurship, foster innovation.

World HQ

Philadelphia, PA


$6.6B (FY14)


Higher Education



savings of contract value


in spend