The Met automates operations and procurement to support its collection.

An iconic institution updates its technology solution to help bring art alive.

Exceeded savings goal by 220%

Boosted ROI to 15%

Eliminated 24 business process steps

Decreased approval time by 83%

Every day, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) brings art to life for visitors from around the world. With a carefully curated collection, education and internship programs, and online tours, The Met has something for everyone. However, the scope and logistics to procure and manage the goods and services for such an operation are complex and expensive. And as a nonprofit, the museum’s technology investments typically support scholarship, not operations.

Four years ago, The Met found itself with significant debt and mounting operating losses, and the management team resolved to balance its budget by the 2020 fiscal year. The museum owned Workday Financial Management and Workday Procurement, but initial deployment hadn’t made procurement a priority, and as the organization evolved, it wasn’t structured to leverage its benefits. As a result, processes were siloed and inefficient, which hindered insight into indirect spend, requisition approvals, and supplier return on investment (ROI).

Within 12 months of redeploying Workday, we saved 220% of our goal and saw a 15% ROI from our projects.

Chief Procurement Officer

A grand redeployment.

As the procurement team brainstormed a solution strategy that staff would buy into, they expected change to be a challenge. After an extensive analysis of workflows and pain points, The Met realized it could reduce costs, increase control over spend and suppliers, and boost procurement efficiency by redeploying Workday Spend Management. Staff members already used the tool, so they’d be familiar with the basics and only need to learn about changes in automating and managing source-to-pay processes across departments. In addition, Workday Spend Management is easy to configure, so The Met could rapidly address its procurement and financial challenges.

  • Automate finance and procurement processes from sourcing to payments

  • Provide comprehensive and customizable insights and controls

  • Offer employees one easy-to-learn solution with a familiar experience

We took a look at our foundation, implementing tools that we hadn’t leveraged before to improve on the system and modify business processes.

Chief Procurement Officer

The art of procurement.

Managing procurement that supports the museum—which houses 2 million artifacts—is a huge undertaking. A key part of The Met’s redeployment involved restructuring workflows to center around procurement. This shift required educating employees about procurement, its importance, and how Workday could help them be more efficient and effective. Tiffany Sen, chief procurement officer at The Met, says, “We began with a listening tour, changed our approach, and then rolled out a new mission statement and procurement policy.”

They scheduled virtual coffees, conference calls, and one-on-one meetings to help staff get comfortable using the features and understand the value of the new process.

The seamless integration between Workday solutions also makes it easier to create automated workflows with any department because IT staff can assign procurement roles and define who can access those workflows and approve requisitions. Not only does this minimize risk, but it also gives The Met staff greater autonomy and self-service capabilities for managing purchase requests and approvals. Creating custom reports and dashboards is now easier, and staff can have real-time access and insight into the procurement process and operation.

“We started with a very open mind when approaching the redesign of our procure-to-pay process, focusing on roles, approvals, security, and reporting,” explains Sen. “Workday was integral to the success of our procurement transformation because, for the first time, we could put controls in place to minimize risk and position procurement at the heart of all sourcing and payment activities.”

At Workday Rising®… I saw a Workday procurement dashboard for the first time and told Nicole, ‘We’ve got to have this!’

Chief Procurement Officer

Curating a new budget and savings goal.

The redeployment is paying off. By standardizing and accelerating its source-to-pay processes, The Met exceeded its cost savings and budget goals. The museum had nearly 160 projects in FY20 and saw savings across the board in all categories. “That first year after we redeployed Workday Spend Management, we saved 220% of our goal and saw a 15% ROI in our projects,” Sen says. “We also reduced the procurement process from 29 steps to 5 and spend requisition approvals from 12 days to 2. 

The Met now manages 80 percent of its spend using digital dashboards, reports, and workflows. This includes orders for goods and services for displays, special events, education, research, and conservation work. “Our accounts payable team can focus on value-added tasks like cash management, aging invoices, supplier master records, and diversity certification,” says Sen.

Having an automated cloud-based process helped maintain stability when The Met had to shift to working remotely during the museum closure starting last spring. The cost saving was also critical to navigating the current environment.

As new challenges arise, people ask us, ‘Can you find a better way to do this?’ So far, there hasn’t been a problem we haven’t been able to solve with Workday.

Procurement Operations Manager

Procurement transforms into a growth driver.

“Using Workday has highlighted and exposed the strengths of the data in our system and where we need to shore up,” says Sen. “Workday applications help us work smarter, not harder.” And it has transformed the role of the procurement team from tactical operators to strategic leaders. To stay trained and up to date on Workday, The Met has joined user groups and the design partner program, and it regularly networks with Workday employees and customers on Workday Community.

Recently, The Met’s procurement team led a cross organizational project to source new partners for advertising, restaurant services, retail logistics, staff uniforms, and special exhibitions. The museum was also able to initiate and complete several capital construction projects and security enhancements that protect their staff and collection.

“Since we’ve transformed our processes with Workday, museum leaders now understand that our contributions extend beyond cost cutting and into value creation,” says Sen. “We also help all our colleagues with risk mitigation, process efficiency, supplier management, sustainability, and aligned strategy so that we can continue to bring art alive through our galleries, exhibitions, and events by revealing new ideas and unexpected connections.”

We’re leaning heavily into Workday to gain additional efficiencies through artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation.

Chief Procurement Officer

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