The Opportunity

Founded in 1934, E&I Cooperative Services (E&I) is the only member-owned, non-profit procurement cooperative focused exclusively on higher education. E&I delivers unsurpassed value to members through a broad portfolio of competitively solicited contracts, technology-enabled procurement solutions, and consultative engagements. The Cooperative’s strategic spend assessments enable members to make informed, analytics-driven decisions to capture more spend. By working together with industry-leading suppliers, E&I provides an exceptional member experience.

At E&I Cooperative Services, they are proud of the high-performance culture they have created. They believe that talented people and the right culture are the most important drivers of the company’s success and employee’s satisfaction. They are looking for people who share their core values – people who are:  Mission driven, customer/member “obsessed”, high performance; high participation, positive, collaborative, always pursuing better, inclusive and respectful!

The Position

Role of the Sourcing Consultant for E & I Cooperative Services, Inc.

Reporting to the regional vice president, member engagement, the Sourcing Consultant (SC) is responsible for developing, leading, and managing the consultative relationship between E&I and its members by communicating the overall value and competitive advantage of E&I as a strategic sourcing partner. The SC will utilize procurement and strategic sourcing knowledge, as well as experience, to assess the sophistication of a member’s procurement department; consult with members on spend analytics, cost savings metrics, supplier consolidation, contract compliance and supply chain efficiencies, and then determine how E&I can support the members in the development of their procurement strategy; and achieve their annual business plan through selling the benefits of various member product and service offerings, resulting in increased volume of purchasing in existing/new accounts and expanding the number and volume of contracts utilized within an assigned territory. The SC will increase contract utilization, spend on contract, and improve the member experience by maximizing their education dollars, which will be accomplished by presenting member-focused solutions utilizing data analytics.

Additional responsibilities of the SC include the following:

  • Assist members in understanding how and where E&I can help them in support of their sourcing strategy, analyzing their spend to generate insights about where they can leverage E&I contracts to avoid cost, save time and resources, increase compliance, consolidate spend, and manage more spend under contract.
  • Strategically and tactically consult with targeted members on the cooperative’s value and how the benefits of E&I’s professional procurement knowledge and member-focused solutions contribute to the development of their procurement and strategic sourcing strategies.
  • Secure and facilitate meetings with key decision makers on campus specifically focused on introducing E&I’s data-driven engagement model.
  • Collaboratively partner with internal analytics team to develop a comprehensive member-specific report to align the member spend to the E&I portfolio and portfolio roadmap in order to maximize the member’s education dollars.
  • Clearly articulate the findings of the member-specific report and ask solution-based questions to develop sales opportunities at member meetings.
  • Utilize analytical reports to identify opportunities and gaps within the member’s spend and recommend E&I solutions that bring value to the member.
  • Apply procurement knowledge and understanding of the E&I contract portfolio, product, and service offerings to be a trusted advisor to the membership.
  • Continuously utilize business sales reports and tools to properly manage the assigned territory against monthly and annual sales goals.
  • Prioritize and effectively plan travel schedule to manage touchpoints in assigned territory.
  • Build relationships with local business partners and dealer representatives to develop strategies for individual members that increase contract utilization.
  • Continuously provide feedback and ideas across multiple business units to improve the member experience and share new product or service opportunities.
  • Promote and represent E&I at association conferences, on-campus supplier fairs, and regional meetings as assigned.
  • Enter, update, and manage all activity and contacts in the CRM database on a timely and ongoing basis.
  • Monitor personal business plan expenses (e.g., travel, office supplies, etc.) to ensure that expenditures stay within assigned budgets, and submit weekly expense reports.

History of the Position

Under the leadership of their new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), E&I has recently completed an organizational restructuring. The Sourcing Consultant (SC) positions were created, along with a series of Senior Sourcing Consultants, as part of the restructuring in an effort to sharpen the organization’s focus on member engagement and the consultative relationship between E&I and its members.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

E&I has reimagined the previous role of the Member Relations Executive to place a greater emphasis on the consultative relationship between the cooperative and its members. The SC will need to have strategic sourcing experience to ask the right questions and consult with members to assist them in maximizing the value of their membership. The SC is not a transactional role, and consultants must be able to educate and train members on the theory and practice behind strategic sourcing and utilize member procurement data to analyze their needs and recommend solutions. The cooperative’s goal is to service the membership by providing unsurpassed value through a broad portfolio of competitively solicited contracts, technology-enabled procurement solutions, and strategic, consultative engagements. Our innovative strategic spend assessments empower members to make informed, analytics-based decisions to capture savings. We collaborate with our suppliers through a performance management program to consistently deliver an amazing member experience.

  • The SC will manage a robust portfolio of 60-70 smaller and medium-size institution accounts within their region, most of which have smaller numbers of professional staff within the department.
  • E&I has a collegial, high-performance culture. They live their core values every day and expect staff members at all levels to embrace them in their day-to-day responsibilities.
  • The SC will need to maintain a high level of internal communication. E&I’s Sourcing Consultants will work with small and medium-size member institutions, but there is potential overlap with these institutions if a system (e.g., the State University of New York—SUNY) has a wide variety of institutions of varying sizes. Ongoing collaboration with colleagues will be critical to ensure consistent messaging with members.
  • The ability to train, teach, and develop others is critical in the SC role, so the successful candidate will have demonstrated training and educational experience in a professional setting, as well as a charismatic and engaging demeanor with clientele.

Measures of Success

The following items will define the new Sourcing Consultant’s success over the first few years of employment:

  • successful integration into the culture of the organization;
  • positive communication with, support for, and quality of relationships established among internal stakeholders and members;
  • demonstrated ability to listen carefully to all members and develop an understanding of their interests, issues, and needs;
  • generated increased volume of purchasing in the assigned accounts and expanded number and volume of contracts utilized within the assigned portfolio.

Qualifications and Characteristics

A bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of progressive experience in the leadership of procurement and strategic sourcing in higher education are required; experience in sales or consulting to higher education procurement professionals preferred. The ideal candidate will possess a broad understanding of procurement and strategic sourcing in higher education; an ability to discuss the strategic sourcing process and its various methodologies; demonstrated experience interacting with high-level decision makers; and the ability to interpret and utilize data in the strategic sourcing process. In addition, candidates should be: skilled at building professional relationships that create an environment to influence decision makers; proficient in the use of business analysis tools to evaluate present and future performance to identify areas of opportunity; excellent communicators—possessing strong oral and written communication skills, interpersonal ability, and presentation skills; highly adept with computer technology, particularly Microsoft Office; and confident, composed, yet humble, projecting a strong executive presence.  As the SC will work remotely, a highly organized self-starter, who is disciplined to work on their own out of a home office, is essential. The position requires approximately 25 percent regional travel.

Overview of Sourcing Services

Backed by the combined purchasing power of more than 5,000 colleges, universities, preparatory schools, K-12 schools, teaching hospitals, and medical research institutions, E&I delivers the best overall value  and lower costs on a variety of products and services.

E&I’s diverse portfolio of competitively solicited contracts covers technology, furniture, maintenance, scientific supplies, office products, transportation and delivery services, and much more. Last year alone, members collectively saved over $200 million using E&I contracts.

E&I handles the complete RFP process, from research and bid preparation development through contract management. This means members’ staff have considerably more time to focus on other key initiatives. The competitive RFP process has been developed specifically for member needs by member volunteer experts from across the country.

The ultimate goal is to help members achieve lower costs while providing them with increased value. E&I accomplishes this by:

  • ensuring that contracts meet applicable procurement standards;
  • establishing best practices to reduce total costs; and
  • conducting spend analysis across membership.

This allows E&I to identify products, services, and supply partners that are the most meaningful in particular contracting areas.

Leadership and scope of the regions

The Sourcing Consultant reports to one of two regional Vice Presidents of Member Engagement, depending on the location of their assigned portfolio of institutions. Sue Peters manages the West Region, while Phil Goldman manages the East Region.

Organization & Location

E&I Cooperative Services Overview

E&I Cooperative Services is the largest and most experienced member-owned, non-profit purchasing cooperative serving the needs of education. As a trusted advisor to the education community, E&I offers over 120 competitively solicited contracts as well as solutions to help source effectively.

The history of E&I spans more than 80 years. On August 2, 1934, three innovative gentlemen joined together to file a Certificate of Incorporation on behalf of a new organization. This would become the Educational and Institutional Cooperative Service.

George Frank, manager of purchases at Cornell University, Charles Wilmot, purchasing agent at Colgate University, and E.E. Thompson, purchasing agent at Syracuse University had no idea that they were creating what would one day become the premier purchasing organization for education.

More than 80 years later, the legacy of these three thought leaders remains at the core of everything E&I does. E&I’s member-driven approach has always been the core of its success. The organization has come a long way since 1934. This is thanks in part to the visionary leaders who have advanced the Cooperative’s mission through the decades.

Mission

“E&I Cooperative Services assists our members in creating supply-chain efficiencies, lowering costs and reducing risks by collaborating with our members, suppliers, and strategic partners. We deliver exceptional value to higher education, K-12, and related communities by making it easy for them to access high-quality contracts, strategic sourcing expertise, insights, and unrivaled customer service.”

Values

E&I Cooperative Services understands the importance of accountability, professionalism, and transparency toward its members and business partners. As a member-owned cooperative, E&I stands by the Value and Guiding Principles of Public Procurement as adopted by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing.

Strategy

E&I’s innovative strategy wraps value-added services, strategic and consultative member engagements, and an exceptional member experience around a continued focus on competitive contracts. The aspects of E&I’s strategy are as follows:

  • Obsession with member success & experience
    • Strategic & consultative engagement
  • Strategic spend assessment
  • E&I cooperative services (sourcing, strategy, savings)
    • Procurement solution
    • Performance management

For a more detailed look at E&I Strategy, visit the website at https://www.eandi.org/company/about-us/ei-next-chapter-strategy/

Leadership

Eric Frank, Chief Executive Officer

Eric is an entrepreneurial leader with a passion for education and a strong belief in the power of collaboration and cooperation. Eric is firmly focused on advancing E&I’s mission of helping members save time and money while contributing to the greater goal of making education affordable for all.

When he is not busy strategizing innovative ways to break the iron triangle of cost, access, and quality in education, Eric enjoys the martial arts, paddle-boarding on the Hudson River, and embarking on outdoor adventures with his family.

Gary D. Link, Chief Solutions Officer

Gary specializes helping educational institutions achieve their financial goals through a variety of solutions offered by E&I. His team is responsible for developing and implementing innovative solutions and strategies to ensure E&I delivers increased value and an unrivaled experience to members.

Gary is passionate about college sports, travel, and exercise. He is a former private pilot whose commitment to E&I’s membership is rivaled only by his love for the beach.

John D. Orlando, CPA, Chief Operating Officer & Assistant Treasurer

John’s focus at E&I is on transforming the financial, information technology, and human resource areas into a more strategic function that supports and provides organizational leadership to the Cooperative.

In the rare moments John manages to escape his office, he enjoys spending time outdoors, working on home improvement projects, and most importantly, watching his two beautiful grandchildren grow up. His mantra: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” –Michelangelo

Solutions

In addition to sourcing, E&I also provides the following solutions in working with higher education, community colleges, and K-12 education members:

  • COVID-19 Resources: With the global spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is more important than ever for educational institutions to take precautionary measures to prevent and/or respond to the virus on campus. E&I has gathered resources to help members stay updated about COVID-19 news by providing resources from business partners and government agencies.
  • PPE Marketplace: The PPE Marketplace helps members source a variety of PPE products including masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, sanitizer, hand wipes, and more. Additional products and services, including COVID testing, contact tracing, and thermographic screening solutions, are also available. E&I’s industry-leading suppliers are ready to meet member needs through competitively solicited or negotiated contracts.
  • Platforms & Services: E&I is fully committed to driving innovation for its members through leading-edge solutions for procurement optimization, including e-procurement, spend analytics, reverse auctions, and more.
  • Recovery Solutions Navigator: E&I understands that members are facing new, complex challenges that must be overcome while adhering to evolving guidelines, tighter budgets, and limited resources. E&I has created this comprehensive tool to help navigate the ways in which contracts may be able to help.
  • Safety & Wellness: From risk mitigation and emergency preparedness, to ensuring safe chemical handling, health, wellness, and more, E&I’s portfolio of safety suppliers offers the products and services members need to maintain a safe campus environment for students, staff, and visitors alike.
  • Security: E&I wants to do all it can to help members approach security more strategically. This includes everything from information technology (IT) and cybersecurity, to campus policing, background checks, emergency response readiness, and beyond.
  • Supplier Diversity: E&I is committed to supporting diversity spend initiatives by providing members with opportunities to work with suppliers that qualify as minority-owned, women-owned, disadvantaged, and local business enterprises.
  • Sustainability: At E&I, sustainability is one of the key factors considered when awarding a contract to a business partner. While the scope and evaluation criteria of a request for proposal (RFP) can vary depending upon the commodity or service, RFPs regularly include criteria related to environmentally sustainable products and solutions or sustainable manufacturing practices.

Benefits Overview

E&I is a proud and passionate group that does its best to take care of each member of the group. Here are just a few reasons why life at E&I is so amazing:

  • Competitive salary
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • Incentive Plan based on annual performance
  • Generous Vacation & Holiday Policy
  • 401(k) Plus Match
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Employee Idea Program
  • Professional Development & Training

For additional information on benefits, please visit https://www.eandi.org/company/careers/.

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled. All applications received by February 26, 2021, will receive full consideration. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at jsd@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the E&I Cooperative Services website at www.eandi.org