Procurement update from Susannah Gobbi, Chief Procurement Officer

January 28, 2022

Did you know that Procurement is in the middle of a Transformation?  In 2020, Procurement started on a path to transform how procurement is achieved at Yale.  Our goal is to help the community work with Procurement and have an easy, simple, and user-friendly way to get sourcing, buying, and paying completed as well as clarify how the procurement process works. One of our first major steps was integrating the AP team into Procurement and defining our wing-to-wing processes of Procurement:  Source to Buy to Pay. 

Another key step in our transformation journey has been restructuring the Purchasing team into a Strategic Sourcing, Buying, and Facilities Purchasing team. We have also created a new Procurement Operations team which will support all of Procurement. With this new structure, Chris Bartolotta will continue as the Associate Director of Facilities Purchasing, Claudine Alexandre has recently been promoted as Associate Director of the Buying team, and Juyeon Ohara and Deanna Sciacca have joined as the first official Buyers on the newly created Buying team. Finally, rounding out the Procurement leadership team, Joseph Kerley has joined as the Director of Strategic Sourcing and most recently Paula Tadeu-Pokluda as Director of Procurement Operations. 

A key milestone that has been achieved is the shift from department management sourcing to category management sourcing. This impacts how the sourcing leaders are aligned to ensure support across the University and enables the team to take a more proactive and strategic approach. Examples of categories here at Yale include software, consulting, lab/medical supplies, temporary labor, etc. Category management is important to Yale because it extends beyond the simple purchasing of goods/services, it guides the University toward enhanced supplier relationship development, advanced negotiations, strategy development, and increased benefits to the University. Furthermore, category management yields robust sourcing strategies through a university-wide analysis and optimization of internal and external factors impacting how goods/services are sourced.

We are also very proud of the recent launch of our new Intake Portal. The Intake Portal was designed to strengthen connections between the Yale community and the Purchasing team to drive simplicity and clarity into the engagement process with purchasing and suppliers, improve procurement support, and enable guidance over a procurement request lifecycle. In this portal, a customer can request help to source a good/service from a supplier, request help on a negotiation, ask a policy question, request help with a supplier issue, request spend and supplier data analysis, get a contract signed, or submit purchase orders for closure. Feedback from our customers has been very positive. They must like it as we have seen a 55% increase in transactions levels since introducing the new portal!

It is an exciting time to be part of the Procurement team and I am very proud of the team and their achievements so far in our transformation journey. I am confident that we are poised to continue forward with our plan, yet shift as needed to address the priorities of Yale.

Susannah Gobbi
Chief Procurement Officer