Financial Services Procurement: Resources for Higher Ed Procurement Professionals

With increasing budget constraints and a tight focus on cost control, procurement teams are being asked to take on an even bigger role in higher education. Besides buying goods, procurement teams are increasingly focusing on data analysis to ensure they are maximizing budgets and meeting diversity, sustainability, and other college and university initiatives.

In this article, we will look at financial services in procurement and how procurement teams can use data to make better sourcing and procurement decisions.

Spend Assessments to Uncover Cost Savings

Conducting a comprehensive spend analysis of procurement in the financial services category can uncover potential savings. Detailed analysis of your spending by top suppliers across the financial services category can produce insights such as:

  • Areas where you can consolidate spending to achieve discount pricing
  • Priority areas to look for alternate suppliers to reduce costs
  • Comparison with industry benchmarks for existing contracts
  • Opportunities to bring more spending under contract
  • Data to negotiate better contracts with suppliers


E&I Cooperatives Services offers free Strategic Spend Assessments to its members.

Strategic Sourcing

Developing a strategic sourcing plan for financial services is crucial to negotiating better pricing and securing favorable terms. Consolidation often provides opportunities to access volume discounts and reduce administrative overhead.

The financial services category is also changing rapidly, with neobanks and online-only providers entering the marketplace. Strategic sourcing requires evaluating alternate suppliers and new entrants for potential cost savings. This information can be valuable for comparing current pricing and used for future negotiations.

Product Standardization

Over time, colleges and universities can accumulate a long list of financial services providers. By standardizing products and services, you can simplify the procurement and negotiation process. This can reduce maverick spending and bring more spending under contract.

Value Analysis and Risk Management

In financial services, there is more than just cost to evaluate. Procurement teams should take the time to assess vendor performance and ensure they align with institutional goals. Benchmarking performance against industry standards and peers helps identify areas for improvement.

When it comes to financial services, you must also prioritize risk management. Key considerations include such items as data security, regulatory compliance, potential service disruptions, and more. A formal risk assessment framework should be part of any financial services procurement sourcing to safeguard your financial interests.


Adopting technology can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement in financial services. Leveraging digital tools such as eProcurement platforms, supplier management systems, and contract management can save time and money. Predictive analytics for forecasting can provide opportunities to optimize processes and spending.

Technology can also be used to track and manage supplier relationships, meet diversity and sustainability initiatives, and enforce ethical standards.

Cross-Department Collaboration

Effective procurement teams know the importance of collaborating with key stakeholders. By working together, finance, accounting, and legal teams can ensure sourcing and procurement practices align with department and institutional goals for financial services.

Alignment produces better results and buy-in from stakeholders. This is especially important if there is a decision to change providers in the financial service category, which can have a broad impact on your higher education institution.

It’s also important to stay up-to-date on shifting market conditions and regulatory requirements. Those specializing in finance are most likely to be on top of emerging trends, which may have an impact on financial service procurement strategies.

Cooperative Contracts to Lower Costs

One way colleges and universities can lower costs for financial services procurement is by leveraging cooperative contracts. Competitively solicited contracts from E&I Cooperative Services, for example, aggregate purchasing power across member institutions, creating greater cost-efficiencies and producing significant savings.

As a member-owned, non-profit sourcing cooperative focused exclusively on the education sector, E&I’s offerings often contain terms more favorable to colleges and universities, including special rebates and incentives.

E&I Cooperative Services has cooperative agreements with industry-leading providers in the financial services category. You can view contracts and compare their pricing to your existing contracts to make sure you get the best deal. If E&I’s offerings provide savings, you can opt-in at your discretion.

There is no cost to become a member of E&I Cooperative Services, no obligation to use any of its offerings, and no minimum spending requirements. However, colleges and universities regularly find savings in the millions of dollars by using E&I’s cooperative contracts with leading suppliers.

Contact E&I Cooperative Services to discuss ways to streamline your procurement in financial services and maximize your cost-saving potential.


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