Cheri Falkner, director of procurement, is pleased to announce that for the first time in over a year, the Procurement Department is fully staffed.
Jon Willi, procurement specialist II, has been in Procurement since February 2021. His steady, calm nature has been a much-needed north star to the team.
Nick Sommerfeld, procurement specialist II, moved from the Firstsource team in May 2022 and jumped into purchasing items for Facilities. He has been knocking it out of the park, executing ideas for process improvement within the purchasing function that have made a significant difference. So much so, that he has knocked out a huge existing backlog.
While only being in Procurement for two months, Tami Eisberner, procurement specialist II, has been rocking it. She has already made a huge impact on the service level our campus partners are receiving and, in a position that takes a good year to train into, she has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Finally, Shelle Gholson, procurement specialist II, joined the team earlier this month. Gholson had worked in UW-La Crosse’s Procurement Department since 2018, is part of the Jaggaer/ShopUW+ Triage team (the group to which Problem Solvers escalates issues) and served as UW-La Crosse’s ShopUW+ liaison upon deployment of the system. Prior to working in Procurement, she wore multiple hats in UW-La Crosse’s Human Resources department over the course of seven years, with her primary role being Immigration Specialist.
Falkner is excited for what the future holds for this team and the positive effects they will have on our campus. The department's continuous improvement efforts will be subtle and take time while new staff are trained, but the improvements will be impactful. Some of the changes that have already taken or will take place include:
- Moving the department from transactional purchasing to strategic procurement,
- Centralizing the Procurement offices in Schofield Hall,
- Reviewing and revamping the Pcard program,
- Revising website content to provide better guidance in simple, understandable language instead of “procurement-ease”,
- Focusing on campus outreach and training,
- Having greater UW-Eau Claire representation in Northwest Regional and UW System initiatives,
- Creating of a procurement training program for students to gain practical procurement experience, and
- Emphasizing cross-training to gain a deeper back-up plan to accommodate for vacations, sick time, and the regular ebb and flow of peak times.
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