Case Study

Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA Operates More Efficiently Thanks to an 80-90% Time Reduction in Procurement Tasks

Set against the backdrop of the picturesque San Gabriel Mountains, Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) in Walnut, CA, attracts a wide array of students from across the region, and beyond.

With its sprawling green spaces, state-of-the-art facilities, and comprehensive range of programs, Mt. SAC’s commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment is evident in its vibrant student life, extensive extracurricular activities, and robust support services.

The school is ranked in the top 10 community colleges in the state for successfully transferring students to prestigious UC schools and private colleges. But Mt. SAC doesn’t just stand out for its academics.

It also leads the state in its push to modernize how procurement is done. Across all the community colleges in California, Mt. SAC is out in front when it comes to leveraging modern technology to make the procurement process more equitable, easier, and more collaborative for vendors and staff.

Key to its modernization efforts is the implementation of OpenGov Procurement, part of the OpenGov Cloud, which has been crucial for reducing manual busywork through automation and purpose-built systems.

“We used to use Word documents and email communication to get everyone at the college to identify their needs, and that can take months to complete. Now, we can get the same work done in just two to three days.”
– Angelic Davis, Director of Purchasing Services, Mt. SAC

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Population

Agency Type
Higher Education

Annual Budget
USD 229,000,000.00

Role
Procurement

Region
West

Solution
Procurement

Customer Results

Time Savings

Moving From Reactive to Strategic

Increased Focus on DBE

Significant Budget Savings

Challenge

Procurement at Mt. SAC was rife with time-consuming tasks. Although the College had implemented a digital solution for the procurement process, there was still a lot of room for improvement in automating the procurement function. Document creation and sharing still presented a challenge, as the College did not have designated templates for all types of solicitations, and this often led to a need to reinvent for each solicitation, as well as constant version control issues, which in turn would require more time to unravel. Also, the college contains 29 departments, creating additional layers of complexity in the procurement process.
Solution

Angelic Davis, Director of Purchasing Services at Mt. SAC, has led the charge to take procurement fully digital.

The transition to OpenGov Procurement has contributed to reducing her staff’s overall workload by 80-90%, helping her streamline solicitation development and improve collaboration with stakeholders in the college’s departments, and other parts of its administration.

“Procurement is now a strategic function at the college, and that’s because we have more time than before,” says Davis. “We’re able to use that time to do things like increase our efforts in DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion], social justice, and sustainability, which are big priorities for the college, as well as increase savings by making people more aware of existing pre-negotiated contracts.”

Results

Time Savings

Mt. SAC reduced its workload for solicitation development and related tasks by 80-90% using OpenGov Procurement, moving them from a process that took several weeks to one that takes just 2-3 days. The time savings come from having a system purpose-built to develop solicitations, allowing Davis to provide answers in a step-by-step sequence, producing solicitations built for her automatically in the OpenGov system. “Being able to enter template information and then have it available is also a huge time saver for us,” says Davis. “Before, we had to reinvent the wheel each time, with a procurement specialist and staff manually going through and making changes, passing it back and forth via email. OpenGov removes all these steps, making it fast and easy to get the work done.”

Moving from a Reactive to a Strategic Function

With the significant reduction of time spent on manual tasks, Davis and her team have been able to shift their procurement work from being a reactive, tactical function to being a strategic one. “My goal was to reduce the tedious, day-to-day work that can tie up so much of the time of a procurement professional, because I knew we had so much strategic value to add to our work. Every financial transaction goes through our department. So how can we improve? Where can we save, and how can we buy better? Now, we have the time to work on answering those questions.”

Increased Focus on DBE

Now that Davis and her team have more time, they’re able to focus on strategic priorities at the college, including DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) and DEI. “Increasing our efforts on DEI and DBE is a huge goal for the college. And it’s not just for students. We also want to be inclusive of all constituents in the community, and that includes extending our DEI considerations to our vendors, too.”

Significant Budget Savings

Having more time also means Davis can help the college save money. These savings come in two ways. One way is by letting staff know about pre-negotiated contracts, and making sure they’re using vendors who have these contracts in place. Over the course of a year, having everyone use these contracts instead of doing their own individual purchasing can mean huge savings for the college. The other way Davis is helping the college save is by continuing to secure pre-negotiated contracts. It’s time-consuming to find the right vendor and get the best price, and now she has the time to invest in these efforts. The outcome is an even faster procurement process for everyone: When a staff member uses a pre-negotiated contract, purchasing is smoother and faster than it would be otherwise.

OpenGov Procurement is a key piece of a larger, digital procurement ecosystem that Angelic Davis has helped create for Mt. SAC. As part of her work, the college is implementing a full procure-to-pay system, which includes an online marketplace where staff can click on vendor icons and shop directly from their websites, adding items to a cart as you do on a platform like Amazon. For any vendor who has a pre-negotiated contract, that lower price will be automatically reflected in any purchase made within the system.

What’s Next

As part of Davis’ DEI work, she has already started a supplier diversity program. Next month, she plans to host a reverse vendor trade show for the first time at the college, an initiative that aims to cultivate greater diversity in the vendor pool.

And her department is just getting started. With the time saved from using OpenGov Procurement, Davis and her team will be creating and executing new strategic initiatives, continuing the push to maintain Mt. SAC’s procurement leadership among community colleges throughout California.

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