By streamlining many of the existing steps involved in the purchasing process we hope to relieve the administrative burden felt by many schools and services allowing more effort to be channelled towards other activities including improving the student experience. Training will begin in due course and with your input we hope to build a system which will be more intuitive than that which is currently in place. It is highly likely that individuals in academic and service units who are currently engaged in the purchasing process will spend less time on this task in future. At this time it is not known how much time will be saved on an individual basis – work has already begun to ascertain the likely potential time savings at individual level so that the implications for job redesign can be identified. For most staff currently involved in purchasing or invoicing the time saved is likely to be modest (because they currently spend only a small portion of their time on those activities now).
The intention of this project is to make our processes more time and cost efficient rather than to take people’s roles away from them. Making processes easier for University staff to follow, will in turn naturally lead to cost savings. However, with all projects of this scale there will be some re-allocation and re-organisation of the work of our teams to ensure the operation is as efficient and dynamic as possible. We will need staff to be open minded and flexible with regards to other duties that they may be asked to take on if the purchasing process becomes a smaller part of their role.
For the majority of staff who are identified as saving a modest amount of time as a result of this project there will be a need to slightly reconfigure their roles to provide them with other activities that will utilise the capacity saved by the P2P project. There will be a smaller number of staff, who currently spend a large amount of their time on these processes, whose job roles will need to change more substantively or where redeployment to the newly created central team may be necessary.
No, it has been identified that the most efficient way to process invoices when the new system is implemented is to do this centrally. With the technology that will be available this will help us to benefit from supplier early payment discounts.
We first need to ascertain the current picture of activity across the University to establish if any staff will need to be redeployed and if so how many. Any process would need to ensure that staff who see a significant impact on their current role as a result of P2P are given a fair opportunity to be considered for the newly created central team. The exact numbers are yet to be determined but we estimate around 7 FTE being required.
Over time the team would reduce to around 6 people however it will need to be larger in the initial stages as the new process is established.
It is not intended nor anticipated that the project will lead to compulsory redundancies. It is anticipated that the project will, overall, save a significant amount of staff time, but this will be spread across a large number of staff, many of whom only spend a comparatively small amount of time on these activities. There will probably be some redeployment necessary; some staff will be needed to staff up the central invoice processing team. To facilitate other redeployments that may be necessary steps are being taken to review potentially suitable vacancies as they arise to try and create a pool of suitable positions available. These steps include a selective pause on some recruitment and filling some positions only on a temporary basis.
First we will ascertain a picture of current activity and your manager is likely to consult you about your current role in the relevant processes. When it is established how much time each person concerned with purchasing is spending on it we will consult with those who are spending a substantial amount of time on these activities to determine what the impact will be on them. It might be that they stay in their current unit and take on additional responsibilities to fill the time that has been saved, or it may be that all the purchasing is centralised into fewer jobs so that they lose that part of their role altogether and take on different responsibilities, or it may be necessary to move to a different unit or service in a different role.