On June 27, 2016, the University of Alberta successfully implemented Coupa eProcurement (branded as “SupplyNet”) campus wide. Coupa is currently rated the eProcurement market leader by two leading American Research Firms, Gartner Inc. and Forrester Research. It is considered the most user-friendly and innovative product among its competitors. 

To date, Supply Management Services (SMS) has successfully managed four Major Coupa Upgrades. In addition, SMS manages a Procurement Roadmap with ongoing implementation initiatives that are periodically reviewed and prioritized to maximize institutional benefit.


The implementation of SupplyNet had the following objectives:

  1. To implement an efficient, easy-to-use eProcurement solution.
  2. To position the university to significantly reduce manual purchasing and payables activities.
  3. To reduce the number of available purchasing processes.
  4. To improve spend visibility, management and controls by consolidating all purchasing activity in one solution.

The first objective was achieved with the implementation of SupplyNet, and the transition of business activities continues with additional transactions migrating to SupplyNet and the ongoing consolidation of processes.

Success Factors

Adoption has been successful. Since implementing SupplyNet:

  • 1,450 active requesters have placed 40,000+ orders to date, and that number is increasing quarterly;
  • 97% of orders have been sent electronically, and 76% of invoices have been received electronically;

The following factors have contributed to the successful implementation of SupplyNet:

  • a detailed business case
  • early and continuous stakeholder involvement including:
    • discovery sessions
    • participation and evaluation of demos
    • campus information sessions and ongoing training
    • a change agent group;
  • the selection of an easy-to-use and innovative solution;
  • phased implementation approach;
  • prioritization of opportunities;
  • commitment by Supply Management Services (SMS).


For the first year, the benefit to UAlberta is estimated at $809,500, and this annual benefit will increase as:

  • SMS implements new SupplyNet initiatives identified in the Procurement Roadmap;
  • user and supplier adoption rates increase; 
  • contract negotiations, category management and analytics improve as more transaction detail becomes available.

SupplyNet incorporates many leading eProcurement best practices that are now available to UAlberta, such as:

  • improved financial controls and lower risk with electronic records and audit history;
  • improved access to data and business intelligence;
  • the opportunity to go green by reducing manual/paper-based processes; 
  • simplifying procedures by reducing the number of purchasing processes.

Impact on Supply Management Services

The implementation of SupplyNet had a significant impact on SMS staff, with benefits such as:

  • a reduction in paper invoice processing done by SMS;
  • an increase in the number of orders processed through SMS;
  • an increase in updates received from vendors;
  • the transition of application management and support to a fast evolving, cloud-based system.

SMS has successfully managed a number of Coupa software upgrades since its initial implementation. Coupa will continue to implement new features and enhancements that support a number of opportunities at UAlberta. In order to take advantage of these opportunities and to maximize institutional benefit, SMS maintains a Procurement Roadmap that is periodically reviewed and assessed with identified projects prioritized for implementation.

For all SupplyNet inquiries, please email or visit the SupplyNet website