Sponsor's Message - Spring 2019

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time...

Bill Cooper

Bishop Desmond Tutu once said: “There’s only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.” He was referring to the best strategy for tackling a daunting or even impossible-seeming goal – a steady step-by-step approach.

SupplyChain500 is our elephantine goal. Thinking about the whole elephant can feel overwhelming: Continue to improve our procurement model and extend it across the UC Supply Chain to deliver $500 million in annual benefit to support our mission of teaching, research and public service. Whew, that’s a tall order!

Large change initiatives like this have multiple moving parts, competing priorities, funding challenges, many frontiers of action, and various measures of success. But, when you break it down into manageable “bites,” it feels more realistic and relatable.

That’s why we’re dedicating most of this newsletter to spotlighting the projects by which SC500 is being implemented “bite-by-bite” across the supply chain and the UC system. You’ve likely even experienced one or more of these projects firsthand, like: CalUsource or uBuy implementation, or the Procure-to-Pay program, etc.

Until recently, we’ve moved this initiative forward using current budget resources, but now we’re in an exciting new stage that enables us to bite off a little more. On December 21, 2018, we received approval for the ‘SupplyChain500 Major Projects & Initiatives’ (MPI) proposal. Initial implementation funding has come from different sources, but eventually will be supported by revenue from the LAMP project.

Dedicated funding for SupplyChain500 means we can move forward more quickly and comprehensively to accomplish larger goals, like jumpstarting systemwide revenue generation, mobilizing enhanced strategic sourcing, and investigating supplier management options.

In addition, campus efforts continue to turn heads – the perfect example being UC Davis gaining national recognition for their rapid supply chain transformation at the recent NAEP Annual Meeting. In upcoming newsletters, we’ll feature snapshots of these campus efforts so you can see how their makeovers contribute to conquering the elephant.

Setting and working towards a huge goal is just like eating an elephant. Bite by bite, you make possible what at first seemed impossible.