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University adopts e-commerce for purchasing supplies

April 29, 2010
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BROOKINGS, SD — South Dakota State University (SDSU) recently adopted a cosmopolitan way to order their necessary cleaning, maintenance and office supplies: E-commerce, according to the Collegian.
Though the initiative was implemented to streamline processes, some staff who are resistant to change say the new process is too time-consuming and somewhat frustrating, the story stated.
Wes Tschetter, chief financial officer (CFO) for SDSU, said: "The business model we used to use with inventory has changed a lot. We can order directly from the Internet now and that is a much more efficient way of getting the supplies that are needed. The bookstore will carry emergency supplies for campus offices and the print lab will be where paper can be picked up or delivered from. It''s a big change, but we''ll find a new way to let the different offices get what they need."
According to the story, placing an order can take anywhere from 5 minutes to over an hour and returning incorrectly ordered items takes several days, greatly hindering any productivity and efficiency gains the system was designed to deliver.
When SDSU''s departments order supplies online, an 18 percent markup is added and the goods are delivered free of charge to Stores, the old campus supply market that is now used for shipping, receiving and storage, the story noted.
Some common items like tape, boxes, paper towels, etc., will be kept on campus because having to frequently order them would be an inconvenience, the story added.
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