Change Champion Chats: Letty Gibson

Our change champions are an integral part of our change programme. In this blog we speak to Letty Gibson, Research School Services Manager, School of Life Sciences, about her role as a change champion.

Please tell us about your role.

I have been employed by the University of Dundee in Life Sciences since 1997 and my role has changed several times during this time as the School has expanded. I am now the Research Technical Lead in Life Sciences within the senior management team. I’m also a member of various management committees across the university. Part of my role includes responsibility for the delivery of the Laboratory Management Support Service which includes a team of lab managers and junior lab technicians. Our work includes dealing with procurement, budget management, health and safety and compliance with legal requirements and adherence to UoD policy in all aspects. We focus on these areas so researchers can focus on their research activities.

What made you want to be a change champion?  

It’s very important to me, in fact, I’ve been involved in initial design workshops, user acceptance testing and training since before I became a change champion.  From day one I’ve contributed to shaping and influencing the way Business Transformation will work. Procurement in Life Sciences is highly complex due to volume, range of funding bodies and types of spend. I’ve been fully involved to make sure the system can meet the procurement needs of Life Sciences regarding what we buy and where we buy it.  But I carry out this work as part of a team, with lab managers and other key Life Science staff, who join me in workshops so we can get the best of their knowledge and expertise.

From the beginning it was critical to me that our School should have a strong voice in the development stages of the Business Management System in order to influence. I’ve been involved in the introduction of new business systems in the School of Life Sciences before, namely in the development and launch of PECOS. Seeing the challenges that change brought, that’s where I learnt where potential obstacles can arise, what critical issues need to be addressed and what can be put in place to make change as seamless as possible.

The key to success is preparation, planning and strong communication. That’s my role as liaison between the BT programme team and the staff within Life Sciences who will be affected by the change.  Understanding and pre-empting what we will and won’t have is critical. I highlight our needs and identify if system solutions are in place and what will be available at go live. The smooth running of our labs during the cutover period is paramount and we do all we can not to compromise service delivery to staff.

What benefits do you see OneUniversity bringing?

I’m very excited about the undertaking to improve business management processes. Currently we spend time looking for information and aren’t always able to access the data required, often duplicating our efforts and not being 100% sure that the information we have is current and accurate. I have been at many sessions where the data provided in the new system is described as a ‘single source of truth’. I’m really looking forward to this and it’ll be fantastic when managers can go and access the data they want instantly.

I know that the grant holders are very excited when given an insight into the type of budget reporting that will be available and accessible using any device, anywhere. When the research model goes live it will have a huge impact on Life Sciences when researchers can trace a single pathway from idea to award. In HR too, to run my team of 25 people, it will be so useful to have a single source of information that’s easy, quick and efficient to access. Having simple access to complex data is going to help me do my job.

Fun fact about Letty

I love driving but have never mastered reverse parking!

Accessing catalogues in OneUniversity: what you need to know

On Tuesday 27 February at 5.00 pm the PECOS purchasing system will close down. Over the past few months we’ve been testing how we can store, access and maintain catalogues in OneUniversity and we’ve found that the best option from 5 March is the PECOS Gateway.

What is the PECOS Gateway?

The PECOS Gateway enables public bodies like us at the University of Dundee to ‘punch out’ from their Finance and Procurement system and seamlessly ‘punch in’ to the Gateway. Here we can shop from a range of available hosted catalogues and punch-out sites.

How does it work?

We are going to access our catalogues and punch-out sites on the PECOS Gateway, which is not the PECOS you know as it contains no order functionality. Instead, you’ll be pleased to know, requisitioning will all happen in our new OneUniversity system!

We select content from the PECOS Gateway and the requisition comes back to OneUniversity. Here, we add the financial coding and submit the requisition for approval. Once orders have been approved, OneUniversity transmits them directly to the supplier.

What are the benefits of using the PECOS Gateway?

  • a straightforward tool for Procurement to manage and maintain catalogues
  • reduces administrative burden of catalogue maintenance
  • best and familiar means for searching for required catalogue content
  • existing PECOS catalogues and punch-out sites available from go-live
  • national and local suppliers familiar with of PECOS catalogue formats
  • many suppliers on APUC frameworks produce catalogues in PECOS
  • access to punch-outs set up by other organisations using PECOS
  • minimises University risk as the Scottish Government hosts our catalogues

So get ready to walk through the Gateway and go live!

PECOS Changes

What’s happening to PECOS?

We’ve had a few queries recently from people wondering what’s going to happen to Pecos when we launch OneUniversity Finance on 1st December, so we thought we’d explain how this will be done.

The three things you really need to know are:

1. We’re not technically switching off PECOS, but at some point prior to the 1st November all requisitioning rights will be removed.  This means you can still log in to PECOS and see your current and historical orders, but you will not be able to raise new requisitions or receipt previous purchase orders.

2. All orders that are open on PECOS from August 2017 to the time we remove requisitioning rights will be transferred to OneUniversity.  This means that any work on existing open orders will be carried out in OneUniversity.

3. All new requisitions from 1st December should be raised in OneUniversity.

Don’t worry, we’re keeping PECOS beyond the go-live date to ensure that we have contingency for any unexpected issues.

We’ll be issuing a timetable soon detailing what will be happening and when so that you know exactly what’s going on.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

 

Finance and procurement training starts!

We have now completed our first training session on the OneUniversity Finance & Procurement solution, which kicked off on 29 August with two days of ‘General Navigation’ training.

We asked School Managers and Directors to nominate two members of their team to take part in Key User Training (KUT) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT). These sessions are taking place between 29 August and 2nd October.

What’s Key User Training and User Acceptance Testing?

Key User training is given to nominated staff who have good knowledge of the current system and will be using certain aspects of the new solution, whilst User Acceptance Testing is carried out to make sure that the system functionality actually meets the University’s requirements and is fit for purpose.

Those nominated will take part in one day of classroom based training which will be followed by a second day of testing. They’ll use the knowledge gained during the training, along with information provided by the Programme team, to carry out testing based on real-life university scenarios.

For a full schedule of KUT and UAT dates for Finance & Procurement visit our all-staff folder on Box.

How are we going to roll-out training?

We need to make sure that everyone who needs to use OneUniversity to do their jobs has the required knowledge and understanding from day one! Some people will need very specific training whilst others may just need an understanding of how to do a particular activity such as submitting an expense claim.

Our challenge is to make sure that everyone receives the appropriate training. We’ll do this through a mix of classroom-based training plus a range of support from videos and “how to” guides to drop-in surgeries.

Interested? We want to hear from you!

Do you have an interest in training or do you currently have responsibility for training others? If so, then we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch.

More information about training will be posted soon so please check back soon!

 

 

 

 

Top Five Tips on Expenses

As you will be aware, the way that we process our Finance and Procurement is changing.  Part of this change will involve submitting claims for expenses, which will be done online.  Here are some of the questions that we are frequently asked at drop-in sessions on the new solution, OneUniversity.

Q: How do we deal with the expenses of volunteers and others who are external to the University?

A: For go live these will continue to be processed in the same way as they are done at the moment, that is, you complete an external claim form which will be authorised and passed to Accounts Payable. We will continue to pay these as sundry payments.

Q: How will we deal with claims for expenses under £50?

A: This applies to staff-only claims and this amount is still to be confirmed.  These claims will automatically be processed for payment unless a restricted item has been purchased. The staff member will be required to confirm that they have read and understood the reimbursement policy. There will be regular checks as part of the audit process.

Q: What do I do with my receipts?

A: OneUniversity requires you to upload valid receipts which can easily be carried out using a scanned image or a photo capture by smartphone. You don’t need to retain the original paper copy but you may choose to in the event of a query.

Q: What is the policy on alcohol?

A: • When a claim is submitted, the staff member has to confirm they have read and understood the reimbursement policy. This includes a clear stance on alcohol. If you submit, process or approve expenses claims, you must ensure you are familiar with this.

Q: How will I claim mileage?

A: OneUniversity will have the mileage rate automatically applied. Staff will be required to confirm to and from locations (preferably confirming post codes). Any claims over £50 will be checked by the relevant approver, with under £50 handled through the pre-approved expenses process.

For further information please contact the team on business-transformation@dundee.ac.uk