04.06.2023 by David Garza

Reflections from ACCCA 2023: The Role of Procurement in Time Management


Procurement and time management were both popular topics at this year’s 47th annual Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA) conference. College officials attending the conference had a chance to learn more about inclusivity training, student lifecycle management software, and procurement purchasing habits. Directors and other leadership in attendance were also interested in finding new ways to harness a wealth of data while automating their processes to save time. These trends highlight an opportunity for colleges to optimize the procurement process in a way that ultimately restores bandwidth to staff and grants them more time to focus on students.

Community colleges rely on procurement to function smoothly. When you provide staff with reliable tools and methods to procure the items they need, it can help streamline operations in a way that benefits your organization as a whole. It is therefore critical to have a well-defined procurement strategy in place that can help your institution thrive.

Resisting the status quo

This year’s keynote speaker Dr. Abdimalik Buul challenged attendees to leave their comfort zones and resist the urge to remain complacent with the status quo. Within the context of community college procurement, the status quo can often mean relying on outdated systems to manage the procurement process. Some aspects of a college’s procurement solution may even be manual, making oversight a more time-consuming challenge. Procurement processes that are tough to navigate can further consume a team’s already limited bandwidth. When these hurdles lead to procurement delays, it disrupts staff’s ability to keep operations running smoothly.

Although the status quo may hold some comforts, its long-term effects can lead to strain. Community college executives at the conference described a feeling of being stretched too thin, making it more challenging for their organization to manage costs, maximize efficiency, and meet stakeholder expectations. To help reclaim the time lost due to inefficient procurement processes, it’s important to examine these operations closely and identify improvement opportunities.

A way forward

If your institution is aware of the opportunities for improvement within its procurement processes, it’s already taken an important preliminary step away from the status quo. After areas for improvement have been identified, colleges are poised to continue down this path, discovering new procurement solutions to help streamline and improve the purchasing experience.

A modern, innovative solution like Varis can help leadership reduce procurement inefficiencies, simplify oversight, and facilitate data reporting. Varis’ easy-to-navigate platform also requires little to no training, encouraging faster and more consistent user adoption. This combination can ultimately save time, leaving staff with increased bandwidth to create a more enriching experience for students.