Page 17 - CT Innovation in Education, November 2021
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means a college doesn’t negotiate based on the lone savvy of the individuals in its own purchasing division or regional consortium, but based on the collective talent and expertise of state and local government agencies, the largest systems of higher education and the most sizable K-12 districts throughout the country.
The service costs nothing for the institutions that participate. That may be why more than 87,000 agencies have used at least one of our contracts, including — in the last year — nearly 97% of public colleges and universities.
OMNIA Partners serves as the intelligent connector. Our experts work closely with procurement, IT and facilities, to better understand what the goals, needs and issues are for buyers. Then we connect them with suppliers, to help them further hone specific answers to address challenges.
Once customers settle on a solution, they can turn to the contracts in our portfolio, currently numbering more than 350, all of which have been nationally bid and awarded by another public lead agency. We didn’t do the solicitation — one of your school’s peers did. Our channel partner Vizient, which has an additional 1,200 contracts, addresses purchasing in the healthcare segment, whether for research, student health
centers or laboratories.
In the rare event where a contract doesn’t already exist,
our business development team will do an evaluation to understand the scope of the need, working with channel partners such as Carahsoft. In cases where demand is sufficiently broad, we’ll work with a lead agency on putting out a solicitation on behalf of the category or product.
Even as learning and teaching have been energized in the last two years, other innovations on campus have lagged simply because the process of acquiring goods and services has slowed them down. Let this be a time when procurement rises to the challenge of accelerating the processes of purchasing to meet the needs of people all over campus.
Alton Campbell serves as vice president, higher education for OMNIA Partners, Public Sector. He leads a national team of regional managers who bring strategic contract solutions to colleges and universities. Alton has held roles supporting the University of California System lead agency contracts and managing the OMNIA Partners and Vizient channel partner relationship. Previously, he has worked with Office Depot, Procter & Gamble and Western Union.

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