Sep 30 2022

How ServiceNow Can Help with eProcurement in Higher Ed

ServiceNow’s Procurement Service Management feature helps standardize procurement operations throughout an enterprise. In higher ed, that means departments and employees have a centralized hub for creating purchase requests.

One of the biggest challenges facing higher education IT departments is time.

Thanks to increased responsibilities handed to IT departments since the start of the pandemic and staffing shortages exacerbated by the Great Resignation, colleges and universities have never been more incentivized to create efficiencies that save their IT staff time and energy and can help prevent burnout.

One place where higher education institutions have found a way to save time is their procurement management systems.

Traditional procurement systems start with a faculty or staff member creating a request for a product and that request working its way through a series of checkpoints, including within the IT department, where every request is monitored and either approved or denied. This can mean layers of red tape and multiple approvals, sometimes for a request as simple as a $20 keyboard.

However, a new type of procurement management system is on the rise that automates device procurement outside the IT department altogether. That’s the solution available from CDW and ServiceNow. Here’s how it can make a major difference in higher education.

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What Does ServiceNow eProcurement Mean for Higher Ed?

Through ServiceNow, a higher education institution can build an enterprise resource management system that establishes a preapproved catalog of products available to staff and faculty — and, maybe more importantly, it can create and manage user identities to determine who can request or purchase which items.

In tandem with ServiceNow’s procurement environment, users can peruse their customized catalogs by searching the available products sorted by price, brand and more. The preapproved list of products eliminates the approval process from the IT workflow, and additional integrations such as zero-touch deployment can further reduce the burden on IT staff by automating the imaging and shipping processes.

Integrations with ServiceNow can also get more granular, which is especially beneficial in higher education, where rules may differ based on where on campus a request is coming from. For example, a professor in the English department might have access to a different lineup of projectors than someone in the math department, depending on each school’s procurement choices and needs. ServiceNow can filter available options based on the user.

LEARN MORE: 4 ways to avoid supply chain delays in 2022.

ServiceNow can also help with inventory management, whether items are being stored on campus or offsite with a partner like CDW. ServiceNow will automatically track inventory on every item and generate a purchase order to replenish stock if supplies get low.

One more unique feature offered by ServiceNow is the device cycle refresh, which can be used alongside IT asset management or zero-touch deployment. The device cycle refresh tells users when they are eligible for an upgrade and unlocks the available devices for them in the procurement system.

IT asset management, meanwhile, means that a partner like CDW can tag all inventory and share that data with the university.

To learn more about ServiceNow, CDW’s procurement services and other tools that can take the pressure off — and save time for — your IT department, a CDW higher education expert is available to answer your questions.

UP NEXT: How ServiceNow streamlines operations across campus.

This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.

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