WeBuy is Minneapolis Public Schools’ enhanced online shopping process.
A few of the benefits we'll see as the district adopts this new approach to purchasing include convenient shopping from online catalogs and leveraging contracts already in place with vetted vendors. This will simplify the shopping process and save you time.
You will still maintain local control of the shopping and approval process within your department or school, but with this new paperless approach, that work will be easier to accomplish.
The WeBuy team has created an entire curriculum of courses and support materials based on your role in the enhanced online purchasing process.
For more information about WeBuy, check out the Procurement Page on the Staff Intranet.
If you have WeBuy questions and/or need support, please call the MPS Procurement Team at (612) 668-5400. If you are having technical issues accessing the WeBuy system, please submit an eTicket under the Finance category.
Tariro Chapinduka, Executive Director of Finance, introduces the benefits of WeBuy.
Shoppers (Formerly known as Requisitioners)
Shoppers will learn how to access catalogs, use shopping carts, receive orders, and work with Approvers and Suppliers to enable the shopping process in WeBuy.
Frequently Asked Questions
To view each answer, click on the questions below:
+ What is WeBuy?
WeBuy is the district’s project to fully implement the online shopping features within our SAP Procurement system using a module called Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). WeBuy will enable those who currently purchase goods and services in all of the district’s schools and departments to browse vendor-maintained catalogs with pre-negotiated pricing that takes advantage of our collective purchasing power. WeBuy will reduce the burden for shoppers to research sources whenever they wish to buy something, because suppliers will have already been vetted and the necessary contracts will already be in place. Shoppers will simply browse and select catalog items to load their online shopping cart before sending it electronically for approval – usually by their Principal or Manager. The process will be paperless and faster for everyone.
+ Why is MPS moving to online shopping?
Online shopping with SAP/SRM will allow the entire district to benefit from better purchasing analytics, improved transparency and compliance, and lower negotiated pricing based on our collective purchasing power.
+ What vendors have online catalogs for me to use?
Of course, SRM will include the familiar online catalogs for Innovative Office Systems (IOS) and School Specialty, but the team also plans to have around a dozen more catalogs available when the enhanced system comes online late this fall. More are being added all the time, so please contact Procurement if you would like to have them research the possibility of adding another vendor’s online catalog to our system. The order in which catalogs are added will be based on many factors, including:
- which suppliers MPS shoppers would like to see made available,
- which suppliers have completed the contracting process that allows catalog access to MPS-negotiated pricing,
- and the supplier verifying that their catalog integrates well at a technical level with our SAP system.
+ What if I need something that’s not available in one of the online catalogs? Can I just buy it from my favorite vendor?
The district’s introduction of online shopping does not intend to block MPS shoppers from buying from any specific vendors - and you will still be able to buy from familiar suppliers, but a few things need to be considered as you work with vendors:
- If the vendor has an online catalog within the MPS SAP/SRM system, always use that route to purchase what you need.
- If the vendor does not have an online catalog with us yet, have them work with the MPS Procurement team to have their goods and services added to SRM as an electronic catalog if possible.
- Finally, you can still order what you need using a process called a “Free Text Shopping Cart” where you describe what you need and the Procurement Department helps you source that need. The goods and services may or may not come from the exact same supplier as before, but the Procurement team is committed to helping you get what you need as quickly as possible, at a fair price. This process will be covered in the training class.
+ I went to training a long time ago, can I get a refresher?
Yes. Most of the materials covered in the training courses, as well as reference guides, helpful articles, and ‘how to” instructions will be made available to you after training via the WeBuy page on The Source.
+ Who do I call if I get stuck using the new process?
Please call the MPS Procurement Team at (612) 668-5400 or submit an eTicket under the “Finance” category.
+ When will all of this be available?
The system will go live in three phases. The first phase is expected to go live on November 12th with 42 schools and 5 departments, a second phase is expected in December for the remaining schools, and the last phase is expected to go live in January.
+ What is the future for Novatus?
Novatus will be available until July 2019. Once your site goes live in the new system then all the new contracts will be initiated by procurement from SAP SRM. The contracts entered in Novatus will be available to use in SAP SRM if you have not consumed the entire contract. The current blanket purchase orders will be available to use until the end of the fiscal year.