BGSU research with United Way highlights benefits of collaborative procurement strategy

Written by Sydney Flora, Dean’s Communications Intern

New research from the Schmidthorst College of Business shows how both public and private entities can benefit from a combined procument strategy for essential products and also reveals disparities in the supply chain.

Schmidthorst College of Business Professors Karen Eboch and Amelia Carr’s paper, "Strategic Procurement Collaboration for the Common Good:  Private and Public Procurement Relationship during a Pandemic," was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Public Procurement. Chad Rutkowski, a representative from the United Way of Greater Toledo, and Bertie M. Greer, a professor from Wayne State University, also co-authored the article.

The groups' research began in April 2020 when the United Way of Greater Toledo formed a committee to procure personal protective equipment for a donation center in Toledo, Ohio. Eboch was selected as a representative from BGSU and worked with area organization supply chain leaders. The study highlights the value of strategic procurement to both public and private firms by reviewing the development of a collaborative private-public partnership, the Supply Chain Advisory Committee.

The SCAC was established during the COVID-19 pandemic and served the community and small businesses by using the purchasing power of larger organizations to find and allocate scarce PPE supplies, as well as provide insights into vetting suppliers and managing their supplier relationships.

“The SCAC was very successful in improving their procurement methods,” said Karen Eboch. “We hope that this research highlights the benefits for the creation of other private-public partnerships.”

The findings of the study also revealed that public firms are more vulnerable in times of crisis and revealed inequities in the supply chain. According to the authors, The United Way of Greater Toledo has often faced challenges managing and distributing donations to area locations, even beyond those surrounding the pandemic. Due to its success and the ongoing needs, the SCAC is now a permanent group supporting the United Way of Greater Toledo.

Contact Karen Eboch and Amelia Carr to learn more about this research.


Karen Eboch, CSCP


Amelia Carr, Ph.D.

Updated: 10/12/2021 08:41AM