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Enhancements to the Penn Marketplace

An enhanced version of the Penn Marketplace will be introduced to the campus community on January 5, 2004. The Marketplace, a component of BEN Financials, is Penn's private online buying exchange.

In recent months, the Marketplace project team has been investigating opportunities to enhance "ease-of-use", address evolving customer requirements, and respond to issues raised by various users. The results of these efforts and input from our customers form the basis for the planned enhancements to the Penn Marketplace. The enhancements will include a new look and feel; additional functionality (such as individual and University "favorite lists"); quick order capability; and improved searching to further reduce the time required to create a requisition. In a single ordering session, users will be able to search not only across a larger selection of Marketplace suppliers and content, but also on the web sites of certain Penn contract suppliers, for custom items such as computers. Researchers will be able to utilize an online configuration tool to develop chemical compound, antibody, oligo, and column requirements, and then search for the desired product from Marketplace suppliers.

Purchasing Services staff have conducted a review of university-wide procurement activity to identify opportunities to increase supplier participation in the Marketplace and are in the process of reviewing the effectiveness of existing supplier relationships and pricing agreements. Purchasing Services expects to ultimately have over 70 suppliers and 2,000,000 items available in the new Penn Marketplace. 

A two-part, self-paced, web-based training program, with online exercises in the system, will be offered to users in order to familiarize them with the new look and features. Please note that all individuals who currently have Requisitioner responsibility in BEN Financials will be required to complete training in order to maintain their access to this responsibility. Training will be available beginning November 17, 2003 and must be completed by December 18, 2003 to ensure January 5, 2004 access to the system.  

The Penn Marketplace project team will be providing updates to the campus community over the next several months to ensure a successful transition, and prepare everyone to take full advantage of the enhancements. 

In the meantime, more information about this initiative and the suppliers that have been recruited for participation in the new Penn Marketplace are available at: www.purchasing.upenn.edu/buytools/pm.php.

--Kenneth Campbell, Comptroller

--Robert Michel, Director, Purchasing Services

--Jeanne Curtis, Executive Director,
ISC Administrative Information Technologies

 

 


  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 10, October 28, 2003

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