Below you will find a brief overview of the RealSource Project.


The RealSource Project began in February 2018 with the primary mission to modernize Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) entire source-2-pay cycle. The software platform selected was JAGGAER (formerly SciQuest), a well-known integrated source-2-pay solutions with a market focus in manufacturing, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, retail, education, life sciences and public sector, higher education, research and healthcare entities throughout the country, including Virginia Tech and The University of Virginia. It is a 2-year project and impacts business practices, policies and systems. The goals of the project are to:

  • Simplify processes; maximize operational efficiency, both up and down the source-2-pay cycle.
  • Improve speed of delivery of goods and services; boost the university’s agility.
  • Leverage VCU’s overall spend; reduce cost and increase overall value.
  • Track and improve vendor performance; establish solid relationships with key business partners that add value.
  • Enhance visibility and accountability; build taxpayer and stakeholder confidence in the source-2-pay cycle.
  • Improve reporting and measurements; boost business intelligence across the university for strategic decision-making.

What Is Source-2-Pay

Source-2-pay, sometimes referred to as source-2-settle or procure-2-pay, are the up and downstream business activities that support the procurement life-cycle including:

  • Supplier Management
  • Purchasing
  • Contracting
  • Receiving
  • Accounts Payable (invoicing)
  • Sourcing (RFx, such as RFPs, RFQs, IFBs, etc.), and
  • Spend Analytics

RealSource has the capacity to perform the above activities within a single, integrated tool and fully integrate with VCU’s (ERP) system.

Traditional Purchasing vs. Strategic Sourcing

To better align with best-in-class universities, operate more efficiently and leverage the university’s overall spend, VCU must successfully navigate a shift in focus from traditional purchasing to strategic sourcing, while also responsibly preserving public sector procurement, financial and audit requirements.

“Traditional Purchasing” is a routine, short-term and oftentimes reactive approach to buying supplies, services and equipment within departmental units using quick-quotes and order processing with emphasis on satisfying public procurement, financial and audit requirements.

“Strategic Sourcing” is a systematic, long term and holistic approach to acquiring current and future needs for the university on-the-whole at the lowest total cost, risk and effort. Increased focus is placed on simplifying low-dollar/risk transactions, so that quality time can be spent instead on strategic activities, such as market research, contracting, vendor management, customer support and spend analytics.

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