I am writing to provide you with good news regarding the campus’s ongoing work to update the efficiency of its procurement systems.
Beginning this fall, Finance and Administration’s Office of Procurement and Contracting Services will begin implementation of Bobcat Buy, a new toolset which will ultimately enhance the way we procure and pay for the goods and services that further our teaching, research and public service mission. The effort to deploy Bobcat Buy is multiphase in nature and will lead to the replacement of the existing CatBuy system. Bobcat Buy is built on the Jaggaer procurement platform, a global leader in higher education business software and UC’s strategic partner for procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions.
Deploying Bobcat Buy represents the most recent milestone toward achieving the campus’s multiyear vision of modernizing our systems and processes. It also implements one of the six process improvement recommendations developed in 2016 by the Chancellor’s Organizational Efficiencies and Sustainability subcommittee and then refined in 2017 by a cross-disciplinary supply chain team composed of academic and administrative members.
This solution also builds on recommendations from a related effort by the UC Office of the President to develop common and more efficient systems and collaborative processes across the system.
Bobcat Buy will be configured for UC Merced on a robust, industry-standard technology currently used at eight of our sister UC campuses. Once deployed, UC Merced’s system will feature an easy-to-use online marketplace for most purchases, a flexible user interface, robust workflow for approvals, a range of supplier catalogs, and a single point of contact to manage procure-to-pay needs. With Bobcat Buy, UC Merced will realize an improved procurement user experience, notable cost savings and measurable process efficiencies.
As a crucial step in deploying Bobcat Buy, a team of experts will engage with key campus stakeholders to better understand our business processes and needs, and to make recommendations for optimizing the new solution to meet those needs. This work will begin shortly and will include a series of targeted outreach workshops geared toward likely users of the new system.
As UC Merced matures, our goal is to build a scalable systems and solutions foundation that reduces administrative burdens to faculty and staff while providing excellent user and organizational support and value.
I want to thank those of you who have already contributed to this effort and look forward to sharing updates as the process evolves.
Chief Financial Officer