At its annual conference in April, the National Association of Education Procurement awarded Virginia Tech with its 2008 Award of Excellence in Procurement for the university’s implementation of HokieMart.

This award is presented annually to the nominee who is judged by a panel of peer experts to have made a significant contribution to supporting the mission of their institution.

Last year, the university launched HokieMart, a new electronic procurement business system and uses software created by SciQuest Inc. that fully interfaces with the university's management system. Virginia Tech is among a few higher education institutions that use this type of purchasing system.

In presenting the award, the National Association of Education Procurement recognized “innovative and exemplary procurement practices in higher education that result in significant advantages for the institution, faculty, staff, and students.” Virginia Tech was recognized for a significant increase in supplier diversity; the involvement of users in system design and employment; the use of measurement to monitor impact of the system; an increase in purchasing volume; and an increase in customer satisfaction.

“The successful implementation of HokieMart was a wonderful illustration of effective teamwork, careful planning, and a diligent conversion program,” noted Tom Kaloupek, director of materials management. “In the past year, our first year using HokieMart, the university experienced a 51 percent increase in supplier diversity expenditures and a 17 percent increase in procurement dollar volume. These accomplishments are evidence of increased productivity and more efficient purchasing methods.”

More than 4,000 faculty and staff were trained to use HokieMart last year, and the conversion from a paper-based to an e-based purchasing system was implemented over a period of time so as to avoid disruption and provide the maximum amount of assistance to those making the conversion.

Work continues to improve and refine HokieMart. Among the long term goals is to implement electronic payment with high volume suppliers.

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