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Case Study

eProcurement Platform Automates Cooperative Purchasing

The Interlocal Purchasing System, better known as TIPS Purchasing Cooperative (TIPS), selected EqualLevel to help automate and streamline purchasing for its members. The TIPS eProcurement system allows TIPS members to easily access the cooperative’s approved suppliers within a single, intuitive marketplace to ensure compliance and best value purchasing decisions. 

About TIPS

TIPS is a national purchasing cooperative that offers its 10,000 members access to competitively sourced purchasing contracts. TIPS members consist of organizations in the education, government, and non-profit sectors. The cooperative began as part of the Region 8 Education Service Center (ESC) and is one of 20 regional education centers in Texas. Jensen Mabe, VP of Sales & Business Development for TIPS, said of EqualLevel’s selection, “We wanted a cooperative marketplace and directory platform that was comprehensive, easy-to-use and administer, and adaptable to our individual member needs. EqualLevel was the easy choice.”

The EqualLevel Marketplace

The EqualLevel marketplace will provide TIPS members with a consistent, consumer-like shopping experience across supplier storefronts. The new system will ensure members are purchasing from contracts that have been awarded through TIPS’s stringent competitive bid process. Further, guided buying navigation and supplier contract profiles will provide shoppers with the necessary steps for purchasing. 

In addition to contract compliance, TIPS’s new marketplace features the EqualLevel Savings Advisor™ (ELSA), a patent-pending technology that combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and a growing database of commonly sourced products to automatically identify in real-time the lowest price for items, or best available substitute, from approved suppliers. 

“EqualLevel is excited to partner with TIPS to create a one-stop-shop for its members. The marketplace will ensure compliance, drive productivity, and deliver hard dollar savings,” said EqualLevel CEO, Orville Bailey.


School Districts Realize $600K in Procurement Savings with AI

Maverick spending is costing schools significantly each year. EqualLevel developed the EqualLevel Savings Advisor™ (ELSA) to thwart this overspending. ELSA combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify in real-time the lowest price for an item, or the best available substitute. In 2021, EqualLevel examined spend data from twenty school district customers that utilize the EqualLevel Marketplace with ELSA and the total amount of procurement savings the districts achieved in one year was remarkable.

EqualLevel Savings Advisor

The EqualLevel Marketplace solution consolidates supplier catalogs into a single marketplace to easily comparison shop items. ELSA combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify, in real-time, the lowest price for an item, or the best available substitute. This enables shoppers to quickly edit their shopping cart to accept ELSA’s recommendation, or to enter a justification for keeping their current item. Detailed reporting is available that includes the alternatives suggested, decisions made, and the savings achieved or missed.

Procurement Savings With ELSA

To measure the impact of ELSA, in 2021, EqualLevel examined the spend from twenty school district customers that utilize the EqualLevel Marketplace with ELSA. These districts were spread among five states and utilized marketplaces that were integrated with eight different ERP systems–eFinancePlus, MUNIS, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Skyward, TEAMS, and USAS.

In total, ELSA saved the twenty districts a combined $642,454 for 2021. These savings were a direct result of ELSA auditing shoppers’ carts and recommending the same or comparable products at a lower price from other approved vendors, and the shopper accepting the substitute. The savings for each district depended on their total spend, but average savings were $32,122, and the highest savings calculated from data from one of the larger school districts was $282,852. In addition, data showed that savings increase over time. As more contracts are added to the marketplace, and as the AI engine learns more about shoppers’ buying behaviors, ELSA identifies more alternatives and drives even more savings.

Most of the twenty districts achieved a return on investment for their marketplace application in the first year with their savings from ELSA alone. This does not include the savings achieved via the marketplace itself. Ensuring contract compliance, increasing productivity, and reducing manual data entry and errors all contribute to greater savings beyond those achieved with ELSA.

For K-12 school districts, EqualLevel’s marketplace 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 for comparison shopping, the EqualLevel marketplace can prevent overspending and deliver immediate cost savings to school districts.

Click here to learn more about ELSA.

Click here to learn more about EqualLevel’s eProcurement solution.

Case Study

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

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.

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