Iowa State University enjoys big results after move to ESM spend management


Once Iowa State moved to ESM's eProcurement solution, the number of users skyrocketed.

“Compared to our previous provider, I feel like an important client to ESM. I feel like they care about what I want and what I need and will support me in any way that they can.” Cory Harms, Iowa State's director of procurement

Warrington, Pa.

After a shift to ESM from another spend management provider, Iowa State University is reaping the rewards, more than doubling the number of users and seeing major growth in vendors and on-contract purchases, according to a case study released today.

Located in Ames, Iowa, Iowa State University serves more than 36,300 students and is a public flagship land-grant and space-grant research university. It switched to ESM, a leading provider of spend management solutions for higher education institutions, in late 2013.

Iowa State’s previous spend management provider had proposed a 29 percent increase in its licensing fee and offered no room to negotiate. Iowa State leaders looked elsewhere and landed on ESM where it found a more affordable and ultimately effective solution.

“From day one after we flipped the switch, we didn’t miss a beat,” said Cory Harms, Iowa State’s director of procurement. “There was no downtime, no lost orders. From the start, ESM’s team has impressed me with their hard work to earn us as a client and ensure the transition was smooth. They continue to impress.”

ESM’s eProcurement solution automates procurement functions and features an online marketplace with an intuitive user interface that looks the same as any other consumer e-commerce experience. In the marketplace, users shop from only an organization’s approved vendors and negotiated contracts.

Harms hoped for gains after moving to ESM’s application, and he’s thrilled with the results so far. Since moving from the previous provider to ESM, Iowa State has enjoyed a:

  • 127 percent increase in users
  • 73 percent increase in the number of vendors in the online marketplace
  • 58 percent increase in the number of orders placed in the marketplace
  • 73 percent increase in the number of dollars spent in the marketplace
  • 50 percent decrease in non-contract purchases

“Compared to our previous provider, I feel like an important client to ESM,” Harms said. “I feel like they care about what I want and what I need and will support me in any way that they can.”

Switching from one provider to another can be tricky – politically and logistically – for organizations, even when the previous provider plans on charging more for the same solution, said Anthony Rotoli, ESM’s CEO.

“That’s why these are the kinds of story that we love to share,” Rotoli said. “With ESM, those moves can be seamless and incredibly cost effective.”

To learn more about Iowa State’s gains since shifting to ESM, read the case study.

About ESM
ESM is a leading provider of cloud-based spend management and eProcurement solutions, giving customers complete control of their spend through a comprehensive suite of integrated, yet modular solutions. The company’s flexible sourcing, purchasing, invoicing and contract management applications help organizations save time and money. As a SaaS-based solution, ESM makes financial system integration, data visibility and streamlining of the entire procure-to-pay process fast and easy. On the web:

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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