August 2, 2004

Computer Store moves to new location in DUC


By Michael Terrazas

The relocation of the Computerstore@Emory is complete, with the new facility in the bookstore now open for business.

The University announced in May that it was outsourcing management of the computer store to Follett, which also administers the Emory Bookstore. Along with the change in management came a change in location; the modular unit behind the Dobbs Center has been closed and removed. Also different is the process for institutional purchases of Dell hardware above $1,500.

A new, online "self-service" ordering system, directly interfaced with the Dell/Emory Premier website, has been developed for placing institutional Dell orders valued at less than $1,500. Authorized users may convert quotes for configured systems into orders using either an FAS number or an Emory Purchasing Card. The technical support staff, a group involved in the ordering process, have been trained on use of the new ordering system.

University Purchasing will continue to place orders for all Dell systems $1,500 or more, along with orders for Apple, Gateway and IBM machines. Plans are in the works to expand the self-service network to include all of the major hardware vendors, though as of Aug. 1 only Dell is enabled as a self-service solution.

Follett will continue to stock the full range of peripherals formerly available in the computer store's standalone location (Purchasing also maintains a number of volume contracts with vendors that provide discounts on higher volume peripherals). Computer hardware purchases, by faculty, staff or students, still can be made in person at the new location.

"Follett has experience with computer centers at other universities, including Stanford and George Washington, and we have every confidence that the high level of service and support previously offered by the computer store staff will continue," said Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration, and John Ford, senior vice president for Campus Life, in a joint memo. Mandl and Ford are cosponsoring the change in the computer store's management.

"This move allows us to continue to provide personal service at the store's new location while taking advantage of economies of scale for institutional purchases," said Rex Hardaway, director of University Procurement. "We're making every effort to inform people of the change and explain to them how this move and the new ordering procedures will make life easier for staff who make these kinds of purchases."

Some personnel changes were necessitated by the transition; some computer store employees in liaison roles between Emory and vendors were moved to Purchasing, while others were moved to the new location in the bookstore. All full-time regular employees of the computer store were offered positions, though some temporary and part-time positions were eliminated.

Hardaway said he plans to survey Emory technical staff after the transition has had time to "take hold" to determine how the new processes are working and whether changes need to be made.

Information about the transition--and instructions for institutional purchasers--can be found at