WILTON, Conn. -- Commonfund executives are looking to save academia a few bucks.
The money manager is joining forces with Intelisys Electronic Commerce Inc., New York, to provide the largest online business-to-business electronic commerce network for educational institutions.
Commonfund plans to launch an electronic procurement system for schools and universities nationwide, which potentially could save schools thousands of dollars each year on supplies such as books, building materials, printing equipment and electronics by creating cooperation between suppliers and schools and by saving time with a completely automated transaction process, said Ben Riordan, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Wilton, Conn.-based Commonfund.
Part of the investment philosophy behind e-procurement is that the more money schools save by combining purchasing power, the greater their potential for setting aside money to invest for the future.
Mr. Riordan and others at Commonfund hope their new system will help lower the cost of education and give institutions of varying sizes similar access to vendors.
According to the Commonfund, the North American higher education market spends $100 billion annually on supplies, fixtures and services. The firm estimates the average school could save 15% by using the e-procurement system.
The Commonfund is also collaborating with Scullnet, a supplier of Internet-based information services to the education market, to co-market the new service.
The website, which has yet to be named, will be available to all educational institutions regardless of whether they are Commonfund clients.