EMPLOYEE FORUM NEWS
Carolina Counts initiatives save money and improve
In the last month, the Employee Forum heard several
presentations on Carolina Counts initiatives geared toward saving time, money
At the July 13 forum meeting, Kevin Seitz, associate vice
chancellor for finance, reviewed new eProcurement initiatives introduced
through Carolina Counts, the University-wide initiative to improve the efficiency
of campus operations based on key recommendations from the 2009 Bain &
The vendor catalog was implemented last November and the
small order process, in January.
Changes implemented in procurement policies have resulted in
shorter wait times and more freedom for people at the unit level to choose
where to buy items if they can find a better deal, Seitz said.
For example, employees who are required to have mobile
communicates devices in their jobs have choices that allow them to get the
devices they want and save the University money in the process.
Under the old policy, these employees received devices and
plans obtained by the University. Under the new policy, employees can receive a
monthly stipend to apply toward the purchase of their own phones and service
plans that they can use for both personal and professional use.
The estimated cost savings to the University is about
$1 million a year, Seitz said.
Carolina Counts has a built-in incentive for units to find
savings by allowing them to keep the money saved and apply it to other needs,
Tools are in place to gather data on purchases as well,
Seitz said. With this data, the University will be able to do an analysis that
would result in consolidating suppliers, which would lead to additional cost
At the Aug. 3 meeting, Bruce Runberg, associate vice
chancellor for facilities planning and construction; Carol Tresolini, associate
provost for academic initiatives; Roberta Kelly, associate University
registrar; and Abbas Piran, engineering director of the Engineering Information
Services Department, reviewed initiatives under way that would use existing
classroom space to help accommodate future enrollment growth.
Runberg said the University’s ability to fully maximize
the use of classroom space is tied to an elaborate software system that Piran
developed called Enhanced SPOTS, or eSPOTS. SPOTS stands for Space Planning and Occupancy Tracking System.
Kelly said the project calls for standardizing class meeting times as well as increasing peak and off-peak
classroom use. Another idea is to use residence hall seminar rooms as
classrooms, she said.
In another matter, Overton said the Employee Forum’s office
budget will see a 20 percent cut for fiscal 2011–12, resulting in the
office at 124 E. Franklin St. being closed on Fridays.
Even in this period of downsizing, Overton said she would
like the forum to spruce up the office that over the years has accumulated its
furniture from the campus surplus store.
“I am proud of what the forum does and people across campus
are proud of it, too, and I want our office to reflect that pride,” she said.