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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is Penn implementing enhancements to the Penn Marketplace?

Q. What will the Penn Marketplace Enhancements do? How will it improve our current processes?

Q. I’ve heard of the “Supplier Portal Initiative.”  Is it related to the launch of the enhanced Penn Marketplace?

Q. When are these changes expected to be implemented?

Q. How will I be able to obtain support after Go-Live?

Q. Where can I learn more about the enhanced Penn Marketplace?

 

Q. Why is Penn implementing enhancements to the Penn Marketplace?

A. Penn has launched a campus-wide effort to provide the University and its supplier community with an enhanced Penn Marketplace. By introducing this expanded web-based solution, one that will bring direct benefit to the Schools and Centers, this solution will improve administrative efficiencies related to supplier onboarding, supplier self-service, electronic PO invoicing, and the Non-PO Payment Request (current PDA process). The impetus for implementing this technology and the marketplace enhancements was driven by feedback received from the field and Penn’s Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Champions regarding ways to improve Penn’s P2P processes.

The high-level objectives of this technology for Penn’s end users and its suppliers include:

  • Providing greater visibility into the status of onboarding, invoicing, and payment transactions for end users and suppliers;
  • Improving efficiencies through automation and supplier self-service; and,
  • Enhancing Penn’s controls through improved, electronic procure-to-pay workflows.

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Q. What will the Penn Marketplace Enhancements do? How will it improve our current processes?

A. There are still many decisions yet to be made in the implementation of this technology that will determine how the enhanced Penn Marketplace will look and function. At this point, however, we anticipate that the Penn Marketplace will become the destination where the following Procure-to-Pay processes will be executed:

Supplier Onboarding

Penn users will be able to request all new suppliers in the enhanced Penn Marketplace. They will have increased visibility into the status and progress of their onboarding request.

Once the request is approved, suppliers can register and create a profile with their basic business and tax information along with their preferred payment method. By taking these steps, the supplier can ensure that their data is up-to-date and secure.

Electronic PO Invoicing Process

Suppliers will be able to receive their POs through this technology and have the option to submit their invoices electronically, with fewer anticipated errors minimizing exceptions and delays in processing.

Both Suppliers and the University’s end users will have greater visibility of an invoice’s details along with its payment status than what is currently available.

Non-PO Payment Request (current PDA)

Penn users will submit Non-PO Payment Requests (currently PDAs) in the enhanced Penn Marketplace. These requests will be routed electronically for approval through their Schools and Centers, and then submitted directly to Accounts Payable (AP) for payment.

An electronic workflow is expected to reduce errors, eliminate loss of documents between the Schools and Centers and AP, and decrease manual scanning and logging paper files in the Schools and Centers and AP.

Transaction Authorization Cards (TAC) cards will no longer be needed to approve Non-PO Payment Requests.

Suppliers and Penn end users will have greater visibility into the workflow of the Non-PO Payment Requests as well as the status of the payment.

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Q. I’ve heard of the “Supplier Portal Initiative.”  Is it related to the launch of the enhanced Penn Marketplace?

A. The Supplier Portal Initiative, or SPI as it was called, was the project Penn conducted to determine whether enhancements to the Penn Marketplace would provide value for the Schools and Centers, Central Administration, and Penn’s Suppliers. Based on a robust series of interviews and workshops with over 90 staff members in 27 Schools and Centers, the project’s Steering Committee, comprised of central and School and Center representation, voted unanimously to implement this new technology at Penn. In July 2017, the Supplier Portal Initiative transitioned to the implementation phase of the enhanced Penn Marketplace.

Information about the Penn Marketplace Enhancements Project is available at www.upenn.edu/purchasing.

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Q. When are these changes expected to be implemented?

A. The implementation phase of the project began in July 2017. The project team anticipates the launch of the enhanced Penn Marketplace in the third quarter of FY 2018.

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Q. How will I be able to obtain support after Go-Live?

A. Although the design for the ongoing support model is not finalized, a robust support structure and training materials will be available before the launch for University users and their suppliers. Everyone will be encouraged to use the self-help features and training materials in the enhanced Penn Marketplace.

If questions cannot be resolved through these methods, Penn users will be encouraged to call BEN HELPS/215-746-4357, 6-4357 for all questions related to the enhanced Penn Marketplace. Suppliers should be directed by Penn end users to call a dedicated Supplier Help number so the Supplier’s call can be answered by the appropriate Penn department. This will allow end users and Suppliers to receive timely support and, through call tracking, the University can track call volume and the nature of the inquiries so they can be addressed more systematically. Further information will be available as the Go-Live date approaches.

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Q.  Where can I learn more about the enhanced Penn Marketplace?

A.  Visit www.upenn.edu/purchasing and under "Quick Links", click on Marketplace Enhancements, which is located at the top of the "Quick Links" menu. This will connect visitors to the new Penn Marketplace Enhancements website. The site will house information and resources about the project, its timeline, governance structure, Change Agent Network along with training information and materials.

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All Penn Marketplace Enhancements project-related inquiries can be directed to the team via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .