The University of Sydney

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The University of Sydney (UoS) is a research- intensive university in the top tier tertiary education sector and is the oldest University in Australia, being founded in 1850. Strategic Plan aspirations are 1,5,40, which is to be recognised as number one in Australia, ranked in the top five in the Asia-Pacific and ranked in the top 40 universities in the world. Student enrolments are over 47,000 and the UoS employees over 6,700 staff [i].

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Procurement Services (PS) was established as a Greenfield unit within the UoS in 2006 and works in partnership with the University and external suppliers to achieve efficiencies, cost reductions and value added services, as well as fair value for money in procurement. The range of goods and services UoS procures includes but is not limited to: Infrastructure, Services, Technology and Commodities and the total UoS spend in 2008 was $1.1 Billion. It is the PS vision to “create value through best practise procurement solutions dedicated to supporting the University’s research and teaching, and enhancing the student experience” (i-doc 1), which is centred on supporting the overall University. In actuality, the main objective that the COO & now CFO require PS to deliver is a cost savings of $24M +, every year. PS offers products and services to customers including: self help tools and templates, procurement advice, end to end tendering services, category management and contract implementation[ii]. Procurement is a relatively new profession in Australia. Indeed, the professional body for Procurement professionals, CIPSA, has only been in existence for the last 5 years within Australia [iii]. Prior to the PS group’s existence at the UoS, purchasing needs were managed by the department requiring the good or service in a completely decentralised system. As there is a lack of awareness about the profession & even the word “procurement” in Australia, the PS group has had a selling orientation to marketing for the majority of customers, as evidenced by a “road show” where PS promoted what they felt was valuable- early involvement of PS staff in customer’s projects, whereas the majority of customers just wanted someone to rush in at the end and help them get the job done (i-doc 2). However, PS has used more of a marketing orientation with some customers, including the COO, by delivering what he valued which was $23M in savings in 2009 (i-doc 3). PS also has a societal orientation to marketing for all internal and external customers as evidenced by PS’s delivery of a transparent procurement process for the overall good of the University, government and society. The PS brand is not well known internally and therefore has not been used in the marketing strategy to –date. Feedback from some 30 target customers has indicated that most don’t know what Procurement is. 14 out of 22 customers over the age of 55 also indicated that Procurement used to have a meaning to do with prostitution (i- survey),

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