UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 08 | April
Supply set to meet demand
Goal is to get UBC researchers more bang for every buck
by Bruce Mason staff writer
UBC researchers have successfully competed for hundreds of millions
of dollars in the form of government grants. A university department wants to
help them make the most of every one.
"Supply Management, under the leadership of Dave Rankin, has the
to work with researchers to extract the greatest value from every cent," says
Terry Sumner, vice-president, Administration and Finance.
"The challenge is to convince researchers that it can add value by reducing the
cost of purchases, improving quality and effectively and
efficiently freeing dollars for additional research," he adds.
Four months ago, Rankin seized what he calls a "huge opportunity
and left the private sector to develop people and technology at UBC,
the essential links in managing a supply chain along which $200
in acquisitions moves every year.
"We envision a new leadership role and customer service framework, not only
for goods and services procurement but also travel, freight,
commodity tax and
surplus equipment management," says Rankin. He has changed the name and scope
of the department from Purchasing to Supply Management.
University researchers and suppliers such as Fisher Scientific,
Solutions, Telus and Scotia Bank will pack UBC's Memorial Gym, April
26, for a supply management trade show, Acquisition Solutions 2001.
"The event provides an opportunity for researchers, faculty, staff
and ancillary service groups to engage in a productive dialogue
in one location," he says. "We sold out exhibit space in two weeks."
"Supply Management is getting the university on board Web-based technology
which has not been utilized as effectively in the past. We want to
make international resources available to UBC researchers to optimize
Rankin is focused on maintaining leverage for the best deals with all
university suppliers, including air carriers and hotels.
"We want to add value to the front end but also keep our eye on surplus
disposal," he says. "As rapid advances in technology shorten the life cycle of
products we're challenged to reduce waste by recycling and selling or donating
computers and other equipment."
"My main job is to coach Supply Management staff and make certain
they are enjoying the challenge and opportunity."
Pointing to a picture frame in his modest office he reads aloud a
quote written by former colleagues -- "Have Fun With This!"
He's rushing off to have his head shaved to help raise funds for
B.C.'s Children's Hospital.