It may be the largest effort of its kind in higher education and possibly any industry: The California State University (CSU) and The University of California (UC) have joined forces around a singular procurement system that will benefit both entities and ultimately, California taxpayers.

By sharing, an innovative, newly launched software platform called California Universities Sourcing (CalUsource), the two systems – with their combined 33 campuses – will be able to streamline operations, reduce costs, generate more competitive bids and improve contract management processes. They have already benefited through the decreased expense of issuing one combined request for proposal (RFP) for this new technology and sharing in the implementation and training activities.

“This is a true game-changer in the procurement world,” said UC Chief Procurement Officer William Cooper. 

“This partnership demonstrates our efforts to forge an even stronger collaboration among peer California institutions that yields mutually significant, tangible benefits. It opens the door to consider further procurement and supply chain collaboration with CSU, the California Community Colleges (CCC) and even numerous private California colleges and universities that lack such state-of-the-art technology.” 

"As a state-funded entity, we are always focused on making the most efficient use of resources available to us to operate the university," said CSU Executive Director of Strategic Sourcing and Chief Procurement Officer Arun Casuba. "This new collaborative endeavor is a major step forward in leveraging opportunities and resources and reducing duplicative efforts across our two systems."

Approximately 500 CSU and UC procurement professionals, thousands of stakeholders, and tens of thousands of current and potential university suppliers will access CalUsource for information on the systems’ combined $10 billion in expenditures, electronic sourcing, contract management and supplier management. By sharing valuable information and leveraging their economies of scale, the two organizations will take advantage of:

Higher-value bids from suppliers vying for more expansive opportunities; 
Reduced costs by sharing in or leveraging the other system’s RFPs; and
Increased benefits and revenue by sharing in or leveraging the other system’s contracts, given access to the previously negotiated pricing.
 
UC reaped the benefits of deploying a common technology system for its 10 campuses, saving hundreds of millions of dollars over the past four years. This expanded collaboration is expected to deliver exponential value, allowing CSU and UC to channel the efficiencies and benefits into advancing our respective university’s core missions of teaching, research and public service. 
 
CSU and UC have worked together to create common processes and shared requirements to ensure smooth operations of CalUsource, which went live in December. They have completed their configurations for contracting, sourcing and spending analytics. Training for CSU and UC staff is currently underway. 

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California Community Colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.