Lia Scott is the Associate Director for A&FS Procurement Technology and Operations and is leading the transition to the new e-procurement process, AggieBuy.
When did you join the university?
Actually, I've been roaming the halls and paths of this campus since I was 8 years old, when my mother came here for graduate school. UC Davis has played a central role in my life ever since. I have been a performer, a volunteer, a student, a student employee, and now a career employee. After a stint working in private industry, I became a permanent staff member in 1996.
What's your day-to-day role in stewarding university resources?
My primary role, in recent years, has been to manage the UCDBuy e-procurement application. E-procurement is the key to procurement savings for the university. Not only is the pricing pre-negotiated on contracts that fully leverage the buying power of the UC system, but the procurement process is also the most efficient one we have. Catalog shopping in UCD Buy saves employee time they can spend on other high-value tasks. The limitation of UCD Buy is the number of catalogs we are able to implement. We are currently working on a project to bring a new e-procurement platform for UC Davis: AggieBuy. With AggieBuy we will be able to offer a much broader range of catalogs, with more savings, and simplifying the process for even more purchases made by campus.
What's an example of how you delight customers?
We recently had a customer from one of the remote locations contact us for help with a procurement problem. We worked with them to understand their unique need, set the parameters we would allow, put a plan in place for monitoring transactions, then granted them an exception to use their Procurement Card. In this environment, I see so often where the answer is "No!" I always try to look for the way that we can make the answer "Yes!" while still abiding by our legal, moral, and ethical standards.
What do you like best about working at UC Davis?
Growing up in higher education environments (University of Washington before coming here), I came to love the atmosphere of a university more than almost anywhere else. Even as a child, professors would ask me what I thought of a play or a work of art. They were not pandering to a child, but would actually engage in serious discussion. To this day I thrive on that kind of exchange of ideas. I can think of nowhere better to experience it, and keep it alive, than at the university I grew up in!
What's the most challenging part of your job?
Insufficient resources seem to be an ongoing challenge for many of us at UC Davis. There are always new initiatives and projects coming along, but not always with any allowance for new resources to support them. Whether it's people or tools, being able to get what you need and keep it is the constant struggle. I have gotten very good at being creative with what tools I have available to build workable business solutions.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people wouldn't know.
Since my career at UC Davis has been centered on technology, in one way or another, people are generally very surprised to find out that my degree at UC Davis was actually in Studio Art. I was privileged to study under such talent as Robert Arneson and Wayne Thiebaud. Although art is not my career, it is still an important part of my life.
What's something you like to do when you aren't at work?
One word: horses! Whether training, caring for, drawing, or writing about them, horses are at the center of my world outside of work. They are my lifelong passion.