UPST Projects

To achieve our mission of "Better, Faster, Cheaper", the UPST is collaborating with various partners both within the President's Office and our various campuses on various initiatives. These projects span automation, technology adoption, process improvement, policy harmonization, and a whole lot more.

Expand each of the sections below to read up on ongoing projects!

To view a full list of the most frequently asked questions for the new BuyWays 1.0 release, please visit our Knowledge Base:

BuyWays 1.0 Deployment FAQs

BuyWays Release 1.0: Guided Buying, Change Orders, and NBJ

  • Adopt a risk adjusted approach for services purchases of < $50K by moving it to PO for certain purchase categories
  • Drastically improve and streamline the change order process.
  • Reduce cycle time and simplify ordering/requisition process.
  • Provide enhanced visibility and transparency to improve customer experience.
  • Automate and harmonize NBJ/Exceptions to Competitive Procurement forms and process.

Motto: Ease of Purchasing!

The overall objective of the BuyWays 1.0 project is to drive ease of purchasing for end-users, which includes adopting a risk-adjusted approach to contracts for services purchase <$50K, streamlining the change order process, harmonizing and automating the exceptions to competitive procurement/NBJ form and approval while adopting an overall guided buying approach to how we buy items.

  1. Process Job Aids
  2. Templates
  3. Training Presentations
  4. Training Videos with Topic Timestamps:
    • UMPO/UMassD
      • Guided Buying Process - 21:11 - 57:43
      • No Bid Justification (NBJ) - 57:44 - 01:10:12
      • Change Order Process (Formerly the .99 form) - 01:24:18 - 01:49:34
    • UMB
      • Guided Buying Process - 9:50 - 49:25
      • No Bid Justification (NBJ) - 1:00:26 - 1:21: 28
      • Change Order Process (Formerly the .99 form) - 1:21:45 - 1:36:40

To view a full list of of the most frequently asked questions for the new BuyWays 1.0 release, please visit our Knowledge Base:

BuyWays 1.0 Deployment FAQs

Deployment Information:

  1. How will this project be communicated to campuses ahead of time?
    • Training will be implemented for requisitioners, PIs, and departments. Videos and job aids will also be available.
    • Existing UPST channels (email blasts, website announcements/updates, etc)
  2. Why did we move services with annual expense of <$50K (for certain categories) to a Purchase Order agreement and no longer supported by CFS?
    • The objective is to improve service to campuses by making contract processing more efficient while adopting a risk-adjusted approach to contracting services.
  3. Why are we changing the change order process?
    • The change order process is being automated to ensure that changes to a purchase order (PO) are requested from that existing PO. This ensures that funding check, workflow approvals are aligned with the original requisition. No more use of 0.99 Form/external data entry forms to trigger this process.

Contracting services under $50K with PO rather than a contract for services (CFS)

  1. Why did we move services with an annual expense of <$50K (for certain categories) to a Purchase Order agreement and no longer supported by CFS?
    • The objective is to improve service to campuses by making contract processing more efficient while adopting a risk-adjusted approach to contracting services.
  2. Are there any major changes required for campuses?
    • Yes, for service purchases between $10-$50k, the Purchase Order may serve as the contract for services. To use a Purchase Order as a contract, additional details that would typically be identified in the contract will now need to be included on the Purchase Order by using the guided buying components included in the Services Under $50K form.
  3. Will the Grants team still review the POs for applicability and compliance purposes?
    • All existing Buyways workflows and approvals will remain in place. The PI or their delegated authority will be required.
  4. Is there an increased risk with this implemented change?
    • Yes, the new process may increase risk for services between $10-50k. However, there is very limited legal action for service contracts currently in this services category. Some categories of service that have increased risk have been excluded from this new process. Furthermore, this policy and process is standard across peer institutions.
  5. How will you prevent users from creating a PO for $49,999 and then adding change orders?
    • All employees are responsible for following UMass policy. The PO’s terms and conditions will address this risk with a requirement to create a contract for services if the threshold is exceeded at any point. The $50K is a firm limit.
  6. Will the POs new terms and conditions incorporate federal requirements?
    • Any federal language requirements for CFS will be incorporated into the terms and conditions for the PO.
  7. Will attachments/documentation for each PO be available for audit purposes?
    • Yes, all attachments/documentation submitted by the requester in BuyWays for each PO will remain available for audit purposes. All required receipts will be uploaded to BuyWays.
  8. How will travel, supplies, and other budgeted items that are typically on service contracts be handled on the PO?
    • Travel, supplies, and other budgeted items on service contracts will be handled as separate lines on the PO to ensure flexibility and proper review for compliance purposes.
  9. Will there be one unified policy for all campuses or will there be contracting “sub-policies” (i.e. Amherst’s short-form contract) that are campus-specific?
    • Sub-awards, sub-recipients, and sub-contract cross-campus POs are allowed for tracking encumbrances.
  10. Will the new dollar threshold standards apply to all purchases of goods and services under $50K?
    • The policy change is only specific to services between $10-$50K; you will retain the ability to contract services at any dollar amount. This change in the procurement standards does not impact the requirement for competition over $10K.
  11. How will workflow approval be set up? Will it be campus-specific?
    • Workflow approval will utilize the existing BuyWays workflow set-up.
  12. How will the self-certification process work in accordance with OMB (Office of Management and Budget) guidelines? Will it be the responsibility of the campus to handle the certification process?
    • Self-certification will remain the responsibility of the campus.
    • Amendments to extend will be on the PO
  13. How will existing suppliers/vendors be notified of this change? What is the timeline for those communications?
    • Communication with suppliers will be the responsibility of the requisitioner, however, UPST will provide communication templates around the policy and process.
  14. How will suppliers view the PO terms and conditions?
    • The PO terms and conditions will be available for viewing via a standard web link with supplemental T&Cs.
  15. What if a supplier insists on a CFS agreement or another document (i.e. supplier’s contract template)?
    • The process will remain the same as it is now by completing a contact request, which will require OGC review.
  16. Will the new services PO terms and conditions (Ts&Cs) be fixed or will they vary based on commodity-type, fund-type, etc?
    • T&Cs will initially be fixed.

BuyWays Release 2.0: Streamline Procurement Contracts Process

Objectives:

  • Develop a standardized and streamlined procurement contract process
  • Improve contract data collected in BuyWays Total Contract Manager (TCM) to facilitate Contract, Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), & Supplier Risk functions

Benefits:

  • End to end procurement contract process with integrated workflow
    • Engagement with due diligence partners including but not limited to OGC, HR, Controllers, UITS, Budget, Treasury, Risk Management, etc.
  • Best practice-driven contracting process
    • Increase process transparency & customer visibility
    • Decrease process cycle time
    • Increase policy compliance
    • Reduce supplier risk
  • Expand the ability to proactively address cost management opportunities