Internship in the USA, April 2013.
Participation in the 92nd annual conference of the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP).
Several representatives of the Public Procurement Institute (Andrey Khramkin, Olga Vorobyova, Pavel Kornilov, and Anna Ermakova) attended the 92nd annual conference of the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) that took place in Orlando, Florida on April 7-10, 2013.
The Association brings together hundreds of members from major US universities. More than 500 people attended the conference. Plenary sessions, round-table discussions, individual consultations took place during the event. Supply chain diversification, contract negotiations, interaction of a university procurement department with other university teams, single-sourcing, and other issues were among the conference topics, and all of them were relevant to the Russian practice.
The list of speakers included representatives from schools in California, New York state, Kentucky, Colorado, Virginia, Texas, Iowa, Chicago, Boston, Technical College of Indiana, and many others.
The key idea of the conference, brought up by many speakers, was that universities often buy similar products and thus would benefit from combining their efforts within the purchasing process. The new idea for our team was that it is possible not only to form inter-school teams to conduct bids and select suppliers, but it also makes sense to combine efforts on early stages of the procurement process (when planning the demand), as well as during the contract implementation stage. E.g., it makes sense not only to purchase IT and laboratory equipment together, but also to own and use it jointly. As we understood, our American colleagues did not see as an obstacle any accounting or legislation complications that could arise from this approach.
The conference chose «The Magic of Collaboration & Partnership» as its motto, and fully lived up to it. More details about the Association and its events can be found at http://www.naepnet.org.