Stony Brook University is an economic engine for the region — with more than 38,000 students, faculty and staff, 16 miles of road and 122 buildings, Stony Brook has the purchasing needs of a small city. Running its sprawling campus requires everything from surgical supplies to printing services to snow removal, as well as countless other goods and services, many of which are supplied by Long Island companies. In fact, every year Stony Brook spends more than $200 million on goods and services from local merchants.
So, how can companies conduct business with the University? Stony Brook recently held an event to help explain how it purchases goods and services so that more businesses could benefit from serving the campus.
The University invited all Suffolk County chambers of commerce members to its “Doing Business with Stony Brook” breakfast networking meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn Stony Brook. Co-hosted with the Three Village Chamber of Commerce, the gathering drew more than 80 businesses. It was “a giant step among many that are erasing boundaries between the campus and the rest of the community,” said Three Village Chamber President Andy Polan.
Representatives from the University, Hospital and Long Island State Veterans Home offered insights into the types of services each of their areas buys and ways for business to bid. James Fabian, Stony Brook University Assistant Vice President for Procurement, talked about what it takes to become a qualified Stony Brook vendor. He encouraged all prospective vendors to register in the State Financial System and noted that University Procurement Office representatives are available to assist businesses with completing applications.
Fabian also spoke about Stony Brook’s new eProcurement system, an ecommerce site that makes it easy for faculty and staff to shop for goods and services. With eProcurement, qualified vendors can upload their product catalogs directly into the digital Stony Brook purchasing system. This reduces the need to update print product catalogs from vendors, allows for quick and efficient shopping, reduces paper waste and streamlines the ordering process.
eProcurement is eliciting positive feedback from users. David Woods, Three Village Chamber Executive Director, applauded the changes, saying that in the past purchase order processing might take 90 days, but with the new system, “I saw the process completed in less than a week.”
Joining Fabian were Eve Taitz, Assistant Director, Hospital Purchasing in the Service Contracts Division; Michael Giambalvo, Assistant Purchasing Director; and Jonathan Spier, Associate Administrator from the Long Island State Veterans Home. Each presenter discussed the wide range of commodities and services his or her area buys, which gave those in attendance an opportunity to see where potential sales could be made.
Some vendors wasted no time making a connection. “One company already reached out to my office the next morning,” said Taitz.
Elaine Crosson, Vice President for External Relations, also shared a new business development program from Albany. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s job creation program, Start-Up NY, is designed to help grow the local economy by providing tax incentives to new businesses and their employees. These businesses must partner with a State University of New York (SUNY). Local merchants would benefit by potential for business with these new companies and the people who work there. To learn more about Start-Up NY, visit startup-ny.com.
Stony Brook continues to find new ways to enhance its business relationships with the community. The next procurement event to be held on campus is the Long Island Community and Economic Development Conference for small business focusing on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) and companies owned by veterans. The conference is scheduled for June 17, 2014, at the Charles B. Wang Center and is presented by New Millennium Development Services SUNY. Click here for more information on the conference.