Bloomfield College migrates from Mercury Commerce to ESM’s eProcurement solution
When Bloomfield College made the decision to migrate from Mercury Commerce, ESM’s original eProcurement solution, to the newer ESM Purchase, Barbara Mormando admits it: She was a little hesitant.
Channeling buyers at the New Jersey college, where Mormando is Director of Purchasing, into Mercury Commerce just three years ago was no easy feat. At the time, there had been no formal procurement system. For years, buyers had been ordering their pens, paper, computers, and books without much oversight.
Now, less than two years later, she was faced with migrating those same users to ESM Purchase, a cloud-based, intuitive eProcurement platform that helps users better manage spend, control costs and boost compliance.
“My biggest fear was how were they going to adapt,” she said. “How were they going to react to another major change? They were just getting used to Mercury Commerce and I came along and disrupted their life again.”
But, as it turns out, those initial concerns were unfounded. To the end users, the switch from Mercury to ESM Purchase looked like nothing more than a system upgrade - with benefits.
Bloomfield College Needed To:
Reduce off-contract spending
Consolidate spend to common vendors
Improve spend visibility - need line item detail
“The thing with ESM Purchase and Mercury, is that the new system is easier to use because it is more like everyday ecommerce shopping,” she said. “There was a lot of familiarity for the end user. That’s what made it easy.”
Spend management strides
The college, 15 miles from New York City with about 2,000 undergraduate students, started down the path of procurement automation in 2013 when leaders started with Mercury Commerce, ESM’s original eProcurement platform.
ESM continues to support the Mercury platform, but has shifted its focus to the newer ESM Purchase. There will be no more major updates to Mercury Commerce. And now, Bloomfield is one of several ESM customers, who have enjoyed smooth transitions from Mercury to ESM Purchase.
“The new system is easier to use because it is more like everyday ecommerce shopping,”
Since signing on with ESM, Mormando said there’s been a “pattern change” in spend management at Bloomfield. With support from her vice president, Mormando said buyers now are required to go through the eProcurement portal to buy items.
“It’s forcing contract purchases,” she said. “People know they have to go through those first for those contracted items instead of shopping all over the place.”
No cost, better solution
Other than her initial concerns about user adoption, Mormando was ready for the change, comparing the migration to ESM Purchase to the need to update apps on your smartphone or software on your laptop.
“This is just the way technology is going,” she said. “You may as well bite the bullet now instead of going into it kicking and screaming. It’s technology. You just have to do it.”
What’s more, she said, ESM Purchase is better.
Here are six ways that Mormando and Bloomfield are benefiting from the new system.
1. Free upgrade: It’s free for ESM customers to transition to ESM Purchase. “It’s not like it’s costing you more to use it,” she said.
2. Better order summary: Thanks to a new comprehensive order summary, Mormando can tap into people’s orders and take a look on her own computer.
If they have questions or hangups, she’s able to automatically pull up their orders on her screen to resolve issues and move orders along. With Mercury, she didn’t have that capability. If people were stuck, she had to physically go to their office to help them.
“There was no way for me to search for something until somebody brought it to my attention,” she said. “I couldn’t be proactive in Mercury. With ESM Purchase, I can be proactive.”
3. New user interface: The interface brings a true consumer shopping experience to eProcurement with quick links to favorite and preferred items; a dashboard with details about pending approvals or received carts; and a notification widget for easy access to updates on the status of orders and other information.
Because it’s familiar to anybody who has shopped an e-commerce site, it requires little training to get users on board. “I can do a lot with it,” Mormando said.
4. Purchase order transmission: Vendors can easily sign up within the system so, once a buyer releases an order, it gets automatically emailed to the vendor. There is no wasted time looking up an email address and other information to get an order processed.
“With Mercury, we were faxing a lot. ESM Purchase really makes it easier for me, especially if I’m working from home,” Mormando said.
4. Amazon ready: Users can’t add Amazon as a preferred vendor in Mercury. They can with ESM Purchase. Mormando is slowly rolling out Amazon to buyers but, she said, so far, users are thrilled that the e-commerce giant is included. “Everybody is happy about that,” she said.
6. Cart transfers: For some users, the ability to transfer a cart from one employee to another for approval is key. With ESM Purchase, one staff member can create an order and transfer it to another employee, for instance, who can simply add the correct budget code and place the order.
Now that Bloomfield has migrated to ESM Purchase, Mormando said the move is a no brainer. It’s free. It’s better. And it’s a seamless transition for users.
“It’s technology,” Mormando said. “It’s where we’re going. And it’s a very good tool.”