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IRIS Project News Release IRIS Project Update – Materials Management effort nearing completion

  MM Team members Suzanna Garfunkel (LSI Consulting), Ronda Beck (UK Hospital), MM Lead Kevin Stevens (Purchasing), Jean-Marc Quilter (LSI Consulting), and Tony Day (Accounts Payable) review the accuracy and completeness of a CI template needed for the Business Blueprint.


Through more than 50 work sessions this fall, the IRIS Materials Management Team has gained understanding of how SAP will meet UK’s purchasing and inventory needs. With the blueprint deadline approaching, this group is completing detail work on its portion of the Business Blueprint document. MM Team lead Kevin Stevens recently responded to questions about Materials Management and offered insight on this part of the IRIS Project.

Q. What exactly is included in Materials Management?

A. Materials Management will provide the university with a comprehensive purchasing system that supports electronically all aspects of purchasing a good or service: requisition creation, electronic approvals in departments, Purchasing Office approval, and creation of the purchase order. It also provides for the arrival and receipt of goods, invoicing, and payment.

The software also offers Inventory Management, which initially will be implemented at the UK Hospital to track supply usage and create system notifications about consumption and reordering. For example, after an employee at a nurse’s station requests a particular medical supply from the warehouse, the item can be tracked and the system will trigger notification for reordering of that item.

The MM component of IRIS will replace both the present FRS purchasing system and the hospital’s ESI system.

Q. How would you describe what you’ve covered in blueprint workshops?
A. The team began with the university’s “As Is” processes and evaluated them. From there we focused on the “To Be,” or how we’re going to accomplish purchasing and inventory management in the SAP environment. We brought in different experts from the campus and the hospital to be certain that everyone on the team, including our consultants, understood current business processes in the MM area. With the abundance of workshops, and sessions, complete with expert input, we’ve covered purchasing and inventory in detail.

Q. What about UK’s procurement card process?

A. SAP’s software will allow us to continue to use a procurement card system. There will be some changes, of course, given the new software system, but the convenience and efficiency for departments will still be there.

Q. What has been the biggest challenge for the MM Team during this phase of the project?
A. The terminology, for sure! We were challenged to learn about purchasing and inventory and think about design before we actually knew and understood the SAP terminology.

Q. What has been most exciting for the team thus far?

A. What excites us is working with software that gives us the means to make real improvements in our processes. With so much being done on-line, we’ll become more efficient in several ways. Accounts Payable, for example, will have a better means for taking future vendor discounts.

Q. What work remains for the MM Business Blueprint?

A. The team is completing final CI templates and “To Be” process flows. While there are some remaining decisions on process improvements, I am confident that the blueprint for MM will be compiled on schedule. That blueprint then will be our guide for moving from two systems at UK to one new one designed to meet the MM needs for the campus and the hospital.

VOCABULARY TERMS
Material Group is similar to the present object codes at UK, but includes more detailed categories. For example, SAP will have Material Groups for specific types of office supplies such as paper or toner cartridges.

Outline Agreement is SAP’s term for a contract.

Vendor Master is part of Master Data and includes all the vendor information such as name, address, contact information, and terms of payment.

Item Master is part of Master Data and contains information for managing a material, such as price, vendor, validity of contract (date range), and catalog number.