Optimizing Procurement by Leveraging Existing Agreements

The collaborative work of SHI International Corp (SHI) with Kern Community College District (KCCD) has served as a prime example of simplified tracking and communications between colleges and suppliers. Since 2014, SHI and KCCD have worked to build trust, awareness, and understanding to streamline procurement. Prior to utilizing SHI’s full catalog of products and services, KCCD purchased directly from about 10 different technology vendors, resulting in increased responsibilities for procurement teams due to specific contract terms and requirements for each vendor. By 2018, successful collaboration had established SHI’s reliability and encouraged KCCD to consolidate its existing technology purchases and expand its partnership with SHI. 

Eddie Alvarado, Director of IT Infrastructure, KCCD, noted that: “Working more closely with SHI has brought value in terms of piggy-back contract options/flexibility and SHI getting to know what types of questions we ask (our needs) for different types of purchasing (maintenance, consulting, hardware, software).”

In addition to consolidating purchasing, SHI also streamlined the tracking of renewals. SHI’s Account Executive, Erin Lupo, and her team set up a Microsoft (MS) Teams site where KCCD and SHI could effectively collaborate. Although it’s not one of SHI’s standard methods for tracking or communicating with customers, the platform enables SHI to perform the footwork required for providing invoices, quotes, renewal tracking, and status updates (for electronic delivery of software keys). The MS Teams site offers full transparency — with the added benefit of incurring no additional costs by utilizing existing technology.

According to Alvarado, “[T]he main benefit [of setting up an MS Teams site] is staying organized around key documents. Having a single location for files to collaborate on has saved us from the old way of sharing files via email.”

Alvarado has expressed appreciation for SHI’s flexibility in dealing with some of KCCD’s more complex procurement requirements, such as placing orders without a PO or a software license not aligning with KCCD’s fiscal year start and end dates. By expanding their partnership with SHI, KCCD paves the way for other California community colleges to explore their existing relationships with resellers and potentially gain more from leveraging existing agreements to consolidate purchases. 

Alvarado has shared how much KCCD appreciates working with SHI. “Other colleges look to KCCD for updates and sharing on our [Amazon Web Services] AWS Cloud journey and operations which SHI is a key part of.”

Looking to the future, KCCD anticipates learning more about SHI’s other core competencies and expanding the SHI offerings KCCD already uses, such as cloud billing, cloud consulting, cloud cost optimization, and maintenance contract renewals.

If you are interested in learning more about leveraging the FoundationCCC’s agreement with SHI, please contact cbcontracts@foundationccc.org

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