Cooperatively Speaking Podcast

Welcome to Cooperatively Speaking, a podcast by E&I Cooperative Services. Each episode, we discuss the topics most important to procurement and end-users at schools and universities.

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Season 2

The Hidden Risk in Your Vendor Master

Season: 2 | Episode: 2 | Category: Services



Hosts: Joe Castelluccio, Business Development Manager, General Products & Services at E&I Cooperative Services

Guest: Naomi Emmons, Deputy Chief Procurement Officer at the University of Kentucky; Rick Gay, Director of Procurement Services at Spring Branch Independent School District; and Taylor Nemeth, Head of Payments at PaymentWorks

With 74% of organizations reporting they were the target of an actual or attempted payments fraud in 2020, the problem is well known — but not well understood.

In this episode, Joe and our guests discuss the common ways these frauds are successful using real-world examples from higher education and K-12 institutions. You’ll learn why the risk inherent to the vendor master is not solved by traditional cybersecurity, common ways in which fraudsters try to trick AP/procurement into changing bank account information, and the processes in place at Spring Branch ISD and UK that thwarted fraudulent attempts.

Helpful Resources:

  • Free webinar: Payments Fraud and Your Vendor Master: Uncovering Hidden Risks
  • E&I’s competitively solicited PaymentWorks contract
  • For a limited time, E&I members receive 15% off MSRP from PaymentWorks through 9.30.2022. Learn more.

Breaking Down Funding for Facilities

Season: 2 | Episode: 1 | Category: Facilities



Hosts: Saul Alvarado, Vice President, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services and David Manz, Business Development Manager, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services

Guest: Matt Robeson, National Enterprise Account Manager for K-20 at Carrier

Since March 2020, Congress has allocated $264.5 billion for private, public, K-12, and higher education spending in response to the pandemic. Much of these funds can be used for your facilities project — including construction — if you are able to justify the costs as being necessary to virus mitigation.

In this episode, David, Saul, and our guest Matt discuss the different kinds of funding available for educational facilities (CARES, CRRSAA, ARPA, GEER, ESSER, HERF) and how they can be used to fund your facilities projects.

Helpful Resources:

Season 1

Supplier Diversity Part II: Starting & Improving Your Program is Easier — and More Important — Than You Think

Season: 1 | Episode: 4 | Category: Facilities



Hosts: Saul Alvarado, Vice President, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services & David Manz, Business Development Manager, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services

Guest(s): Mark Cartwright, Director, Supplier Diversity at E&I

Join us for part two of our discussion on supplier diversity within the education space (check out part one here!). You’ll walk away from this episode with practical, tangible tips on how you can establish your program and build on it to make it truly great.

In this episode, we dive deeper into supplier diversity and how it affects your end-users, your procurement staff, and the suppliers with whom you are partnering. We touch on the importance of diversity at its many levels, and why these programs are not only beneficial for all parties, but also not as difficult to implement or improve as you might think.

Helpful Resources:

Supplier Diversity Part I: Reflecting on the Past, Considering the Present & Looking to the Future

Season: 1 | Episode: 3 | Category: Facilities



Hosts: Saul Alvarado, Vice President, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services & David Manz, Business Development Manager, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services

Guest(s): Mark Cartwright, Director, Supplier Diversity at E&I

Join us for part one of our two-part discussion on supplier diversity within the education space, particularly for facilities departments, EH&S, and other departments responsible for serving their campus.

In this episode, dive into the history of supplier diversity within the U.S. Find out what’s important to schools and universities and how to get the conversation going around supplier diversity. We’ll tap into Mark’s experience for a look at what works, what doesn’t work, and what can be done better to initiate, grow, and sustain a supplier diversity program.

Helpful Resources:

IAQ: If It’s Important, You Measure It

Season: 1 | Episode: 2 | Category: Facilities



Hosts: Saul Alvarado, Vice President, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services & David Manz, Business Development Manager, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services

Guest(s): Karl Stefan, CIEC, Northeast Regional Manager, Industrial Hygienist, Pure Air Control Services, Inc.

Join us for part two of our discussion on indoor air quality (IAQ) — and why if it’s important, you measure it.

In this episode, Saul and David chat with Karl Stefan from Pure Air about best practices,  what people do right and wrong in their facilities, and key contributors to IAQ that you may not be quite aware of.

Helpful Resources:

IAQ: Supply Chain Challenges, Buying vs. Renting, & Choosing the Right Products

Season: 1 | Episode: 1 | Category: Facilities



Hosts: Saul Alvarado, Vice President, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services & David Manz, Business Development Manager, Facilities at E&I Cooperative Services

Guest(s): Kirk Steward, National Product Manager, Climate Control Division at Sunbelt Rentals

The need for good indoor air quality (IAQ) has been a topic for years, but COVID-19 significantly exposed deficiencies, challenges, and concerns surrounding IAQ. 

Now, with facilities teams around the world discussing how to better clean their air, this area of facilities maintenance is more important than ever. 
 
In this first episode, Saul and David chat with Kirk Steward from Sunbelt about supply chain, buying versus renting equipment, and the types of products that are available — and how to choose through the noise.

Helpful Resources: