Strategic Transformation

Implementing procurement processes and operations solutions to save approximately $45 million annually.

Annual Key Performance Indicators


Spend on existing strategic supplier contracts


 Noncompliant payment spend


Huron Consulting and AArete, a procurement consulting agency, identified the following supply chain and SIMBA improvements: 

  • Increase synergy and collaboration over University contracts and purchases by creating a centralized procurement model and office.  
  • Connect suppliers to end-users to negotiate the best possible pricing strategies by implementing category managers to build a relationship management standard of practice.
  • Hire communication, compliance, and data management specialists to manage better and support each category strategy.
  • Route the majority of spend dollars through Central Procurement's category management, reducing Purchasing Cards and non-PO invoice payments, the least cost-effective purchasing measures.  

Working Groups

Organizational Alignment

  • Realign procurement from Auxiliary and Business Services to Finance and Business.
  • Create new positions, including the Chief Procurement Officer.
  • Identify organizational structure with category management teams.
  • Create a Strategic Procurement Leadership Council.
  • Develop a comprehensive staff training program that leverages Smeal College of Business Executive Programs and Human Resources Talent Management.

Category Management

  • Develop eight goods and services categories by analyzing nearly $400 million in University spend. 
  • Guide procurement experts with category playbooks.
  • Form long-standing category relationships to negotiate best-in-class contracts.

Policy and Guidelines

  • Modernize existing policies and guidelines to enable Central Procurement to support the University’s cost savings goals.
  • ​​​Develop sustainable purchasing, diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and guidelines.

Compliance and Business Intelligence/Analytics

  • Determine best business practices for analyzing spending data.
  • Maximize departmental performance and savings by utilizing business intelligence to make data-driven decisions on strategic vendors and compliance.

Technology Insertion Working Group

  • Evaluate and drive technology efficiencies in Cental Procurement.


Executive Sponsors

  • Dr. Justin Schwartz, Provost and Executive Vice President
  • Dr. Sara Thorndike, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer

Working Sponsor

  • Duane Elmore, Chief Procurement Officer

Executive Steering Committee

  • Jason Bush, Director of Business and Finance at the Fayette and New Kensington Campuses
  • Joe Doncsecz, Associate Vice President for Finance and Corporate Controller
  • Jody Heckman, Academic Budget Director
  • Virginia Teachey, Associate Vice President for Finance
  • David Snyder, Associate Vice President of Auxillary and Business Services
  • Richard Roush, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Steve Tracey, Executive Director of Center for Supply Chain Research
  • Lora Weiss, Senior Vice President for Research
  • Keith Brautigam, Interim Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Project Management

  • Jeremy Bean, Director of Change Management & Organizational Excellence
  • Amanda Karl, Organizational Change Management Consultant, Enterprise Projects & Initiatives
  • Matt Gourley, Project Manager, Enterprise Projects & Initiatives

Strategic Procurement Leadership Council

  • Chair​
    • Duane Elmore, Chief Procurement Officer
  • Standing Members ​
    • Central ​Procurement: Meg Harpster, Assistant Director Central ​Procurement
    • Corporate Controllers Office: Kim Fisher, Assistant Controller and Director of Financial Officers ​
    • Office of Physical Plant: Todd Webber, Construction and Contract Specialist for OPP ​
    • Housing and Food Services: John Mondock, Director of Purchasing for Housing & Food Services ​
    • University Libraries: Courtney Dillon, Business Manager ​
    • Applied Research Lab: Melisa Peck, Associate Director of Purchasing ​
    • Penn State Health: Pat McGovern, Chief Supply Chain Officer
  • Rotational Members (2 Year Cycle)​
    • College Dean: Mary Beth Williams, Dean, Eberly College of Science ​
    • Faculty Senate: Christina Grozinger, Ph.D., College of Agricultural Sciences​
    • Dan Heckman, Director of Institutes of Energy and the Environment​
    • Commonwealth Campus: Randy Geering, Director of Business Services, Penn State Erie ​