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EqualLevel Launches MyFunds to Automate the Management of K-12 Supplemental Funds

ROCKVILLE, MD, Apr. 13, 2022 — EqualLevel, the leading procure-to-pay compliance platform, announces the launch of MyFunds, a solution for K-12 school districts to manage supplemental funds.

MyFunds will allow school districts to allocate supplemental funds directly to teachers for easy access and to track all spending. Teachers can use their funds to make purchases in an online marketplace or to quickly submit reimbursement requests. As an innovative solution, MyFunds will automate the fund management process, and eliminate paper receipts and forms.

“With K-12 operating under tight budget constraints, school districts need an all-inclusive solution to manage the procure-to-pay process for all district spending. Therefore, MyFunds was designed to complement EqualLevel’s eProcurement & eInvoicing offerings”, explained Orville Bailey, CEO of EqualLevel.

MyFunds Features
The EqualLevel MyFunds solution will transform K-12 fund management practices by automating the fund distribution, shopping, tracking, reconciliation, and reimbursement processes. This collapses the supplemental fund management cycle and minimizes administrative overhead. Having visibility into the spending of allocated funds and access to real-time reporting is also paramount for school districts across the country. MyFunds delivers line-item level transparency of every purchase and makes the audit process seamless.

MyFunds equips school districts with an easy-to-use marketplace of leading K-12 suppliers. Funds used in the marketplace will go further because teachers can shop from competitively bid contracts. In addition, the marketplace is AI-powered with the patent-pending EqualLevel Savings Advisor (ELSA) – technology that determines the optimal cart for the items being purchased and identifies savings that would otherwise be missed. To further streamline resources that school districts may find cumbersome, MyFunds automation of invoice capture, and reconciliation with orders and receipts, will decrease manual processes performed daily.

Teachers may also make purchases outside of the marketplace, therefore MyFunds has a mobile-friendly feature for online submission of reimbursement requests with receipts. Funds are encumbered while reimbursement requests are routed for approval. With an option for ACH reimbursement payments, EqualLevel has modernized the fund management process for school districts leaving no detail unnoticed.

EqualLevel continues to be a leader, providing a compliance platform that delivers full automation of the procure-to-pay process to ensure transparency and eliminate savings leakage. EqualLevel’s products provide solutions that are innovative and tailored for their customers.

For additional information contact info@equallevel.com or call 301-560-1492.

About EqualLevel
EqualLevel provides an innovative procure-to-pay compliance platform that guides employees to all approved contracts and monitors shopping carts to ensure they never overpay. We simplify organization-wide purchasing with our patent-pending AI-powered marketplace. EqualLevel ensures access to high-level transparency on spend, compliance, and savings. We guarantee the fastest ROI with quick configuration, deployment, and adoption. Learn more at www.equallevel.com.



MHEC Launches the i-buy marketplace

Amherst, MA – April 6, 2022 – MHEC, the not-for-profit buying consortium for its New England members, announced today the launch of their new e-commerce site, i-buy marketplaceTM. This new free capability simplifies purchasing for MHEC members, regardless of contract, supplier, or product/service they desire. Like many other online shopping sites, i-buy equips members with the capabilities to compare products and pricing, brands, and suppliers. As a buying consortium, a key member benefit of i-buy, is its ability to enable members to buy from multiple contracts during the same shopping episode from reliable, vetted suppliers. Now, members have a tool that can serve as a “one stop” shopping experience.

Michael Di Yeso, executive director of MHEC spoke of the benefit to MHEC’s members saying, “We have over 2100 members that range from large university systems to small local libraries, from municipal government offices to K-12 schools, with varying levels of support for the purchasing function. Our i-buy marketplace delivers a powerful capability for a member organization to target their search and purchase specifically to what they need, regardless of size, sector, location, or purchasing operations. It’s a game changer and I’m proud to offer it to our members.”

The MHEC, known for its vast and diverse offering of over 25,000 products and services, began searching for an online platform following research conducted in 2020. Findings indicated members desired a simpler means to access and purchase from the 50+ contracts currently in the MHEC portfolio. Chris Raymond, director, contracts and operations noted, “It was a difficult task to find a platform that could embrace everything that was needed. We have many contracts, many products and services, and many suppliers. We needed a purchasing platform that could enable a many-to-many capability to meet the requirements identified by our members; including system integration. We found that in provider, EqualLevel.”

Michael Di Yeso added, “MHEC’s staff has over 300 years of collective experience in understanding the needs of those who buy. This is the team that supports our members. Their experience, training, and passion is what distinguishes us when it comes to sourcing products and services, bidding contracts, and delivering service. Our research led us to offer i-buy, but it also told us that service is our number one attribute. And that’s not going to change.”

A training video, a PDF with a list of steps, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available on the mhec.net website.

MHEC is a not-for-profit Group Purchasing Organization. The organization was created in 1977 as the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium to provide purchasing contracts for the state’s higher education systems. Its membership reach has expanded to include any not-for-profit organization with an educational component located in the six New England states. For this reason, the organization now identifies itself as MHEC to eliminate confusion over its regional coverage and the additional sectors beyond higher ed such as K-12, Municipalities (Cities and Towns), and Libraries.


Over $600k Saved at School Districts with EqualLevel’s Savings Advisor (ELSA)

Rockville, MD, Feb.15, 2022 – When schoolteachers or those in K-12 procurement are making purchases for their classrooms, they often just make the most convenient purchase. But, choosing the item at the top of the search results, or going with the supplier they are most familiar with, often leads to unnecessary overspending. The extra dollars spent on these small purchases can add up fast and cost schools a significant amount of extra money each year. The EqualLevel Marketplace, by consolidating supplier catalogs and punchout stores into a single marketplace for comparison shopping, provides a unique opportunity to prevent this overspending.

Our patent-pending EqualLevel Savings Advisor™ (ELSA) combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and a growing database of commonly sourced products for K-12 to automatically identify in real-time the lowest price for your item or the best available substitute from your approved suppliers. This feature enables shoppers to quickly swap in the best price or enter a justification for keeping their current item. Detailed reporting is available on the alternatives suggested, decisions made, and the savings achieved or missed.

To measure the impact of the EqualLevel Savings Advisor, we looked at the spend from 20 school districts utilizing an EqualLevel Marketplace with ELSA in 2021. These 20 districts were from 5 states and integrated their marketplace to 8 different ERP systems — eFinancePlus, MUNIS, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Skyward, TEAMS, and USAS. In total, ELSA was able to save these districts $642,454 in 2021. These savings were realized directly from ELSA presenting shoppers a lower price from another approved contract for an item in their cart and the shopper choosing to make the replacement. The savings for each district depended primarily on their total spend. The average savings for a district was $32,122, with the highest savings being $282,852 for one of the larger school districts.

For most districts, these savings alone were able to provide an ROI for the marketplace application in just the first year. And even further savings were achieved through the marketplace ensuring contract compliance, increasing productivity, and reducing manual data entry and errors. Also, from the ELSA savings data for these 20 school districts, the savings are increasing over time. As more contracts are added to the marketplace and as the AI engine learns more from shoppers’ behavior, ELSA can identify more alternatives and drive more savings.

For K-12 school districts, a P2P solution can do more than streamline their procurement processes and ensure compliance—it can also drive significant cost savings. By incorporating real-time analysis using an AI engine into comparison shopping, the EqualLevel marketplace is able to prevent overspending and deliver immediate cost savings to school districts that can be put towards the classroom. An EqualLevel Marketplace can complement a variety of financial systems and can be implemented in 60 to 90 days, enabling a powerful return on investment within a single fiscal year.

About EqualLevel
EqualLevel provides an innovative procure-to-pay compliance platform that guides employees to all approved contracts and monitors shopping carts to ensure they never overpay. We simplify organization-wide purchasing with our patent-pending AI powered marketplace. EqualLevel ensures access to high-level transparency on spend, compliance, and savings. We guarantee the fastest ROI with quick configuration, deployment, and adoption.


DonorsChoose Simplifies Its e-Invoicing and Order Management With EqualLevel

Rockville, MD, May 18, 2021 – DonorsChoose, a non-profit organization with an online platform that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects, has selected EqualLevel’s e-invoicing solution to automate its supplier orders and invoice processing. The move will streamline both its management and accounts payable processes. The new solution has been integrated with DonorChoose’s existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and automatically transmits invoices to accounts payable for reconciliation and payment.

The sheer volume of invoices and variety of sources that they come from, makes the accounts payable process a daunting task for organizations, said Orville Bailey, CEO and Co-Founder of EqualLevel. Digitizing this process streamlines the workflow and frees up valuable time for these financial professionals to spend on more strategic tasks.

EqualLevel’s e-invoicing solution manages supplier enablement to ensure that DonorsChoose suppliers are set up to send e-invoices. The solution can also create rules-based exceptions for suppliers such as price thresholds, or where to route an invoice for review. Automated invoice entry and reconciliation have proven to reduce errors, shorten processing times, and reduce processing costs by up to 60-80%.

For years, we handled large vendor payments outside of our ERP system and had to manage two separate accounts payable processes, said Geoff Hill, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Fulfillment at DonorsChoose. EqualLevel was able to help quickly integrate e-invoicing into our existing ERP system and has saved us time and money. We now have a fully integrated system that allows us to focus more time on our mission of getting much-needed materials to public school teachers.

About DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose is the leading way to give to public schools. Since 2000, 4,831,527 people and partners have contributed $1,103,209,997 to support 1,945,688 teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. As the most trusted crowdfunding platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets each request, ships the funded resources directly to the classroom, and provides thank yous and reporting to donors and school leaders. Charity Navigator and GuideStar have awarded DonorsChoose, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, their highest ratings for transparency and accountability. For more information, visit https://www.donorschoose.org.

About EqualLevel
EqualLevel provides an innovative procure-to-pay compliance platform that guides employees to all approved contracts and monitors shopping carts to ensure they never overpay. We simplify organization-wide purchasing with our patent-pending AI powered marketplace. EqualLevel ensures access to high-level transparency on spend, compliance, and savings. We guarantee the fastest ROI with quick configuration, deployment, and adoption.


Chicago Public Schools Utilizes AI to Uncover a Quarter Million Dollars in Savings

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, DECEMBER 2020 – Facing significant financial shortages and possible budget cuts, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has contracted with EqualLevel to utilize their e-Procurement Marketplace, featuring an AI-powered technology to unearth massive savings opportunities. With EqualLevel’s ELSA software in place, CPS has uncovered a staggering $250,000 in savings in just 180 days. These funds will be redirected toward the purchase of vital resources needed to ensure students and staff are supported.

ELSA was designed specifically to achieve these types of returns, explained Orville Bailey, CEO, and co-founder of EqualLevel. We are proud to partner with CPS in their quest to support students and provide the highest quality education possible. CPS has faced significant financial shortages in 2020 and announced the possibility of major budget cuts as recently as August. With AI-powered ELSA, CPS procurement has taken a major step towards ensuring that budget dollars for goods and services are spent wisely.

EqualLevel is a Rockville, Maryland-based technology company with over ten years of experience in e-procurement software development. EqualLevel’s ELSA (an acronym for EqualLevel Savings Advisor) allows CPS and other school districts to leverage the power of advanced data analytics and AI to achieve greater visibility into spending, unearthing critical areas where savings can be captured as employees shop. But most importantly, ELSA captures the shopper’s justification for choices that don’t fall in line with established procurement protocols, Eddie Potocko, EqualLevel CTO, explained. It delivers that information in a structured report that provides just-in-time knowledge to managers. The patent-pending, groundbreaking AI also learns and grows with the organization, offering additional insights and intelligence the more it is used.

EqualLevel provides an innovative procure-to-pay compliance platform that guides employees to all approved contracts and monitors shopping carts to ensure they never overpay. We simplify organization-wide purchasing with our patent-pending AI-powered marketplace. EqualLevel ensures access to high-level transparency on spend, compliance, and savings. We guarantee the fastest ROI with quick configuration, deployment, and adoption.


Ohio Schools Council Way Ahead of the Service, Value Curve

The Ohio Schools Council is not your typical cooperative program. What sets them apart from other K12-focused councils of government and national public sector group purchasing organizations? OSC understands that delivering the greatest member value cannot stop at their menu of contracted suppliers.

Giving members the ability to easily identify, compare and choose the products they need from multiple supplier catalogs AND have their purchases automatically routed for required approvals, purchase order creation and transmission goes far beyond what the vast majority of cooperatives provide their customers today. While the cooperative industry has been slow to adopt these functionalities, OSC has been providing its members’ online supplier transaction capabilities since the early 2000s. OSC recognized that introducing marketplace and procure-to-pay technologies would streamline their members’ buying and financial processes to shorten purchasing cycle times and give them greater visibility into savings opportunities.

In November 2016, OSC implemented its EqualLevel-powered marketplace, the eBuy Cooperative Purchasing Portal. eBuy gives members both source-to-pay functionality and a customer-friendly environment on par with consumer online shopping sites. Kelly Rocco, OSC program manager, describes eBuy as “a one-stop e-marketplace that’s so easy for members to use.  It’s like shopping on Amazon.” OSC has over 110 contracted suppliers in its online marketplace. From eBuy, members can purchase directly from multiple suppliers on one order or request quotes.

“Other [ERP and financial system] e-commerce solutions we looked at could not search across supplier contracts and comparison shop. You had to go to each catalog one-by-one, take notes…Very time-consuming and a lot of effort,” said Ms. Rocco. “Plus, for our members who want their own dedicated marketplace integrated into their financial system, we know EqualLevel integrates well with Tyler MUNIS, eFinance Plus, and [USAS] state software. That’s a huge plus for our members, and one reason we were recently contacted by a member who specifically asked for the EqualLevel marketplace.”

The Ohio Schools Council has many business services programs to support school operations. But by providing their members an easy-to-use, visually friendly online portal where they can easily compare products supported by system-identified savings opportunities, and transact with local and nationally contracted suppliers, OSC takes an active role in connecting their members to greater efficiencies and real-dollar savings. A key message that Ms. Rocco takes on the road when she meets with schools and one that will be front-and-center in an upcoming webinar presentation this fall.

  • To learn more about OSC and how they drive value for their members through the eBuy portal, reach out to Kelly at krocco@osconline.org or (216) 447-3100 x6101.
  • To elevate your customer procure-to-pay experience with the ELSA-powered Marketplace, contact EqualLevel at 301.560.1492 or info@equallevel.com.

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