To: College Presidents, VPs of Finance and Management Council Members
From: Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, Interim SSC Director
Reason: Our On-going Partnership
Date: March 23, 2020
Good afternoon college Presidents, VPs of Finance, and Management Council members,
Though together we are in the midst of dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, with the health of our families, co-workers, students, ourselves, and people around the world being everyone’s utmost priority, I wanted to reassure you again that the SSC is here to support you with our regular business office and HR services. On March 19, 2020, we also shared tips on Emergency Purchases and Deliveries with Management Council members and all eVA users. As noted by the Chancellor in his message to VCCS, the situation surrounding the pandemic is fluid, and we will continue to adjust as necessary in the days ahead. Our website at ssc.vccs.edu will continue to be one of the main vehicles we use to share updates as needed, should anything change.
In the spirit of continuity, process improvement and robust communications, I did want to share with you some work currently underway to address feedback we’ve received from you over the past 12 months, and opportunities discovered through our continual analysis of the services we provide.
Over the past year, we visited with all 23 colleges and benefited from the generosity of your time, questions, ideas and candid feedback related to the Shared Services Center. Below are some common themes we heard, and efforts underway to improve our services.
• Improving Issue Resolution and Communication
• Focusing on College Needs and Vendor Relationships
• Reducing Costs
• Enhanced Training
• Relieving Administrative Burden
Please use the links below to learn about improvements that were recently implemented or are underway related to Procurement, Accounts Payable, Training, Metrics, and more. These efforts are a direct outcome of the honest dialogue and feedback you, and the other colleges, provided to us during the visits and in our day-to-day interactions. As this work is on-going, the updates below are current as of March 23, 2020.
We encourage you to continue to reach out to our Help Center at 877-340-5577 or help with questions, issues, or feedback. If you are experiencing a recurring or unresolved issue, you may request the issue be escalated to a Client Partner for analysis.
As the Chancellor stated in his message to us, stay safe and take care of yourself and your family.
I encourage you to share this email with faculty and staff at your college. We appreciate your ongoing partnership and support.
VCCS Shared Services Center
- Utility and American Express invoices:
- Accounts Payable collected utility and American Express payment information from colleges, and has automated those payments.
- Vendor billing issues:
- Accounts Payable is working on standard notifications to vendors regarding improper invoices, inappropriate shipping charges, and COVA W9s.
- A report of all Help Center calls, sortable by college and date, has been developed and will soon be made available on Buzz II along with existing metrics for Accounts Payable, Travel & Expense, and Procurement.
- Two training sessions on Accounts Payable metrics were held in January 2020. An invitation to the sessions was emailed to All Management Council members, Business Office Managers, and VPs of Finance with a request that they share the information with others who may wish to participate.
- Our Project Management and Payroll teams have standardized processes for onboarding payroll services. Additional opportunities for standardization are also underway.
- Streamlined purchasing workflows:
- Purchasing workflows have been streamlined when using punching out catalogs to purchase most items from these mandatory sources: Virginia Industries for the Blind (VIB), the Virginia Distribution Center (VDC), and Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE). We continue to review other contract vendors for additional opportunities.
- Proactive ordering for FY21: An eVA workflow gating system allowing FY21 orders to be entered prior to the new fiscal year opening has been implemented. This will improve purchase request turnaround time at the start of the fiscal year.
- Thank you to CVCC and JSRCC for being part of our PCard pilot! We are now working to expand the benefits of this project across VCCS through our PCard Optimization project, which will help address complexities around policies, utilization, duplicate payment risks, and reconciliation.
- More robust internal tracking and staffing alignments have been implemented, and a standing committee for contracts has been established as part of our governance structure. We also have searchable lists of contracts on our Website.
- Slimline forms:
- If your college is still using slimline forms, we encourage you to switch to submitting requisitions to help expedite getting you the exact items you want. The Procurement Process Council also recently voted to eliminate the use of slimlines. Their recommendation will go to Management Council for final approval. If slimlines are sunset, the colleges will be notified. Training sessions on how to submit a requisition are available. If you don’t see a session that meets your needs, you may submit a training request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service Level Agreements
- Our Service Level Agreement was finalized and approved by Management Council and is posted on the Shared Services Website.
Standardization of SSC Processes and Procedures
- The Content Development Program that is currently underway will help establish and formalize standard procedures for each service line, which will strengthen consistency and compliance. As part of this initiative, VCCS Shared Services Procure-to-Pay Business Rules documentation has also been updated and published.
Training for Colleges
- Check out our training calendar to register for one of our scheduled sessions.
- Procurement training:
- In response to feedback, we are offering more frequent, shorter sessions on specific topics such as Change Orders, Micro Vendor Searches, Basic eVA training, and Procurement Year-End recommendations.
- A session on Receiving in eVA is currently in development.
- Sessions on proactive FY21 ordering were also held on January 21, 2020, and March 4, 2020.
- When possible, recordings of the sessions are being provided to attendees, and checklists and job aids are being developed.
- Travel & Expense (T&E) training:
- T&E offers training and Q&A sessions for all users and approvers on a rotating monthly basis.
- T&E has numerous resources available including a resource for submitting non-employee reports.
- For hands-on assistance with completing or approving a travel reimbursement, please call our Help Center at 877-340-5577 and allow them to remotely view your report and step you through how to complete, submit or approve it.
- To request training on a specific topic from one of our service lines, please send an email to email@example.com.
Recent Communications Archive
- You may also find a list of our most recent communications, which are posted to our website, to be a helpful resource.
Questions on any of the above may be submitted to our Help Center at 877-340-5577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.