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Purchasing Department Consolidation

Cleveland Public Library

Innovation Leader: David Swinerton, Accounting Supervisor, David.Swinerton@cpl.org

Problem Statement

Prior to 2009 Cleveland Public Library (CPL) had a traditional organizational structure that consolidated purchasing of non-library materials (e.g. furniture, supplies, and services) into its Purchasing Department. Reconciliation between amounts paid by the Accounting Department and purchase orders could take anywhere from 3-5 days. Also, in 2009, CPL was set to lose two thirds of its Purchasing Department’s staff to planned retirements.

Innovation

With the staff retirements and the 2009 implementation of MUNIS accounting software, CPL administration decided to incorporate the remaining Purchasing Department staff and functions into the Accounting Department. The decision was based in part on the belief that a new streamlined process in one department would offset the need for returning to pre-retirement staff levels.

Progress

With billing and payments now being executed under one roof, purchase orders and payments could now be reconciled in less than two hours. The Accounting Department’s new streamlined process enabled it to withstand the pressures of a significant staff reduction while continuing to exceed past levels of quality and productivity.