UC San Diego introduces Re:Event

Due to the cumbersome nature and constant changes associated with the processing of all types of event-related transactions, UC San Diego’s Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions (IPPS) has been determined to find innovative solutions that work for its campus. This sparked an IPPS strategic initiative, Re:Event.

The team managing Re:Event, led by Ana Portlock of Business and Financial Services, immediately began engaging with anyone in IPPS involved with event-related transactions. This yielded great ideas, but the ultimate goal was to genuinely connect with and listen to the needs of campus.

The Re:Event team reached out to the organization behind UC San Diego’s IdeaWave, which is a crowdsourcing platform that allows the entire campus community to submit and build on ideas, collaborate, and vote. The ‘Optimizing Process and Technology for Event-Related Transactions’ campaign kicked off early last year, with the hope of making the campus experience around planning, paying, and receiving services, as well as reconciling expenses, more accessible, efficient, and cost-effective.

The IdeaWave contributions were tremendous and provided Re:Event with tangible actions. First up was the catering request process, which has been in a constant state of evolution for the last several years. Catering requests had begun as emails sent to a shared inbox, but had recently transitioned to an electronic environment that required two different systems to manage the request and payment processes.

Campus overwhelmingly voiced a need for a more streamlined process. Following several rounds of campus focus groups and meetings with IPPS subject matter experts, the Re:Event team announced a proposed new catering process that would efficiently bring the catering request and payment process into SciQuest, eliminating several of the original steps. The team held open houses for campus and IPPS, inviting design suggestions, and testing opportunities to enhance the solution.

The Re:Event team also worked with the professional buyer who reviews catering requisitions, Maggie Grey, and posted an RFQ for catering services. Suppliers who participated in the RFQ were invited to attend information sessions to learn more and ultimately all of the suppliers who participated won an agreement. These suppliers were brought into Transcepta for eInvoicing and agreed to UC San Diego’s preferred payment options and terms. They are also now offering discounts for their services to the campus. Additionally, by utilizing some of the services through the UC provider, Insurance Tracking Services (ITS), the team created a new supplier flag in SciQuest to indicate that the supplier’s insurance on file is valid and up-to-date. This has eliminated the need to stop each requisition for insurance review.

Finally, to bring the entire process into SciQuest required a solution for the IRS compliance review and approval. The team created new entertainment approval roles in the campus roles management tool and created workflow to route invoices for review.

The new process, which has resulted in time and cost savings, was incredibly well-received when it was officially released at the start of this year. In addition to the technical enhancements, several guidance pages were published on the campus intranet site that highlight the new process and agreement supplier offerings broken down by food type. The team is offering post-launch sessions to provide demos and gather feedback to make further adjustments to the process. They will also be hosting a second wave of RFQs. The next phase of Re:Event has already begun and the campus is excited. Re:Event truly represents a collaborative process that has been developed through a partnership between IPPS and its campus clients.