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University of Westminster: Best Practice in Education Procurement

The Challenge

The University of Westminster boasts a rich history and has been providing students with academic excellence, cultural engagement and personal enrichment since its inception as The Polytechnic Institution in 1838. Based in Central London, the University is competing in a global education market and is home to more than 20,000 students from over 165 nations and staff from over 80 countries across 139 undergraduate and 167 postgraduate courses.

With a total operating spend in excess of £60m, and increasing pressure to demonstrate spending control and process efficiencies , the university needed to drive efficiency savings and cost reductions across several sites.

Process efficiencies and management of marketing spend was a specific target area, since, as with many Educational establishments, there was a need to raise profile and attract students and additional income streams. Decisions were being made on historic data and there was no ability to act in real time on individual purchase decisions being made.

The Solution

Claritum rolled out the solution across the marketing teams to enable them to source brand compliant marketing materials that included:

  • promotional products
  • exhibition stands
  • marketing print
  • branded apparel

The University were now able, through workflows, to streamline the complex and time consuming processes involved in specifying, capturing bid prices from suppliers and processing orders. The solution also enabled them to better match invoices against orders.

They were able to control use of approved suppliers, catalog items that were frequent purchases and monitor in real time performance and pricing of suppliers. With dashboards and detailed reporting at hand to manage ongoing supplier engagement.

The Result

Claritum has helped The University of Westminster free up the Marketing team, procurement and finance teams from manual administration of the procure to pay process, enabling them to become more productive and to monitor supplier pricing and control an area of spend that previously was unmanaged. The University is now in a strong position to challenge spend and continue to improve transactional procurement and to demonstrate significant, measurable and sustainable savings.


  • Efficient and compliant workflow

    The use of the Claritum platform to streamline the raising, approving and issuing of purchase orders and receipting provided significant efficiencies in process. Plus, the implemented workflow ensured compliance to procurement policies of the University of Westminster and allowed the organisation to lever volume purchases for better pricing.

  • Release staff, reduce errors and wastage

    Claritum has helped reduce errors associated with purchase decisions; has ensured staff are freed from laborious manual processes to focus on their core work; and reduced risk associated with purchase decisions. Plus, importantly from an environmental impact perspective, has reduced wastage associated with supply of marketing materials.

  • Improved Reporting

    With the team becoming increasingly efficient and the supplier network effectively controlled, the next step was to improve the reporting based on the wealth of detailed data now being collected: the Claritum platform providing data at category, sub-category, product, sub-product and specification levels. Report views from the perspective of Supplier, Buyer and Product could be used to provide management information upon which effective decisions could be made. Ensuring that competitive pricing was based on factual information.


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