Procurement Initiative Designs “Quick Wins” To Save Up To $1 Million Annually

SMU Faculty and Staff,

Through Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C), we have been involved with several initiatives to decrease SMU’s procurement costs and increase resources for our campus mission. In addition to reducing costs, our Procurement Initiative goals are to decrease administrative workload, focus on sustainability, and improve quality of services. As the first stage of this process, we have identified and designed some “Quick Wins” to save up to $1 million per year by controlling spending on office supplies, personal printers, and other categories. Each of these areas will be addressed in the coming months through a combination of voluntary campus involvement, improved service, and policy adjustments.

Office Supplies

Currently, 30% of the total amount SMU spends on office supplies is through higher-cost, non-preferred vendors whose products are sold at retail price. The University can save significant amounts of money by purchasing these same items at discounted, contract prices through a preferred vendor. For this reason, beginning April 1, 2015, all office supplies must be purchased through Staples Advantage by designated departmental contacts. More detailed instructions and information on ordering supplies will be sent to the entire campus community after spring break.


Across the SMU campus, there are approximately 1,100 personal desktop printers in use. The toner for these printers is relatively expensive, resulting in costs-per-page that are 2 to 4 times greater than those for SMU’s network printers, despite delivering a lower print quality. Going forward, SMU has elected to increase the accessibility of the network printers across campus, and discontinue payment for personal printer toner. This initiative is projected to provide $150-200k a year in savings without hindering special printing needs or compromising printing security.

In order to realize these savings, ImageNet Consulting will start to map existing printers across campus beginning March 9, 2015. A rolling transition process will start in April, once the full printing needs of each department/unit are documented to ensure complete coverage.  ImageNet Consulting will begin providing discounted toner cartridges, hardware repair services and printer equipment installations beginning in April.

Immediate Action

Some of the duplicative or less essential costs across campus are a result of a lack of awareness of available alternatives. SMU employees may be unintentionally raising SMU costs by:

  • Using personal desktop printers
  • Paying for off-campus printing services (Kinko’s, Alphagraphics, etc.)
  • Ordering personal news subscriptions that are already available through the Central University Library website

As part of the OE2C initiative, we encourage SMU employees to take action on their own to reduce these costs as soon as possible by reading about them here:

Printer Turn-In

As described above, removing SMU support for personal printers will result in projected savings of approximately $200k a year. Over the next several months, SMU will transition to a network printer model by improving and expanding network printer coverage. In the meantime, you can make an immediate impact on savings by volunteering to turn in your personal desktop printer, and switching to network printing.

Simply send an email to with the subject line “Printer Turn-In.” They will run a test to assure that you have access to the network printers, then come to your office to collect your desktop printer.

On-Campus Printing

Using Ricoh for performing special print jobs can save 25-60% compared to Alphagraphics, Kinko’s or other off-campus printing services. In addition, printing jobs performed by Ricoh are delivered right to your desk, require no reimbursement filing, and offer ordering through a simple online portal right from your computer. Go to right now to learn more.


SMU spends more than $30k each year on duplicated news subscriptions, not to mention the environmental impact of the paper consumed. A new portal has been created on the libraries page to provide free and easy access to many of the most utilized publications on campus, including The Dallas Morning News, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Update 3/24:  Due to a dispute between the Dallas Morning News and Newsbank, the company that provides their on-line content, the DMN is not available on-line through our library. We will keep you up to date on this evolving situation.

To access the newspaper links, make sure you are signed in to your SMU account and visit this site.

Thank you for your continued support of the OE2C initiative. We know it is a challenging and complex undertaking, but one that will greatly strengthen the economic vitality of SMU, significantly support our academic mission and enhance our growing stature as an outstanding academic institution.


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By Nick Rallo