To significantly improve strategic procurement practices in Australian universities through a collaborative approach, focusing on sharing expertise and business intelligence, promoting the benefits of aggregated purchasing, greater efficiency in processes, professional procurement education opportunities and encouraging the development of regional and national aggregated procurement contracts.
In 2002, a consortium of Australian Universities developed The Australian Universities Procurement Consortium initiative (AUPC), based on successful university purchasing consortia operating in the UK.The consortium proposed a model which resulted in 26 universities providing start-up funding which was applied to the appointment of a Development Director, review of ACCC requirements, university procurement policies, the development of tendering documents and standard contracts, legal costs in establishing an industrial gases contract, Mitsubishi rebate and Thrifty Car Rental arrangements.
In 2006, following a successful pilot programme, a grant was received under the WPP from DEEWR for the establishment of the ANHEP Benchmarking Programme. Twenty-nine (29) Australian universities participated in benchmarking 12 commodities and services and the Procurement Process in the universities, over three years.
By 2008, the AUPC had determined that the Initiative had evolved beyond the original purpose and a more sustainable approach was adopted which would achieve far more than just dollar savings for the sector through improved communications, strategic initiatives, university-focussed workshops and benchmarking. The Australian Universities Procurement Network came into being.
The AUPN Initiative has developed on many fronts; it is a living organisation of Procurement Professionals in the Higher Education Sector, continually reviewing and revising ways to add value.
Surveys are a continuing aspect of the AUPN to validate the directions of the AUPN initiatives and ensure all value propositions are aligned with all AUPN universities.
Discounts have been negotiated for training, conferences and forums, available to all AUPN participating universities.
The Procurement Capabilities Standing Committee has made possible funding for Training and Development opportunities for 2011 through 2013.
AUPN workshops are made available as needs arise and offer fully interactive discussions and case studies.
The National Conference for the university sector is held each year in July/August. The AUPN participates fully in the conference, providing an opportunity for the universities to come together, share streamed procurement events and meet with suppliers in the Exhibition hall.