Lincoln (Neb.) - Nov. 5, 1999 - Shan Batheja made the casual acquaintance of University of Nebraska purchasing officials during a professional organization meeting some years ago. Business would never be the same.
The resulting relationship has meant a major business boost for Batheja and Associates, a firm specializing in architecture, surveying, and civil, structural and bridge engineering.
Ultimately, the growing Omaha firm landed multiple contracts at NU, tackling major restoration projects at Memorial Stadium, the Sheldon Art Gallery and the Temple Building. They continue to be responsible for structural safety inspections across campus.
Now, Batheja and Associates will share what they've learned. They will be among presenters at a free workshop "Getting to Know Us" aimed at helping other business owners or managers make their way through institutional purchasing procedures.
Bill Bode, director of purchasing and materiels management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says the workshop is open to companies that would like to provide goods or services to schools, government offices or other public entities. It gives small businesses an opportunity to learn how the procurement process works.
The workshop is targeted to historically underutilized businesses such as those owned by minorities or women. This is the third year it has been presented.
Bode says the workshop offers an informal chance for owners or managers to meet with procurement professionals to review procedural requirements and ask questions that might assist them in competing to provide goods and services to the institutions.
"Thanks to previous workshops and networking opportunities, we've been able to hook up with some quality suppliers that otherwise may have been overlooked," Bode said.
Shan Betheja says his firm owes much to an opportunity like this. "Being a small firm and being a minority firm, we feel it is difficult to break into some of the corporations. What this does is open the door for us; and once open, it's up to us as to how wide we want to open it."
"Getting to Know Us" will feature hosts and sponsoring personnel from the purchasing and materials management departments of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Omaha, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Metro Community College, Douglas County, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD), Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), Omaha Public Schools (OPS), Offutt Airbase Contracting, State of Nebraska/Materiel Division, Nebraska State Patrol, Nebraska Correctional Industries, Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), and the Electronic Commerce Resource Center (ECRC).
"It's a unique opportunity where you have 10 or 12 buyers present in one location. It saves time and shortens the process," Batheja said.
The Omaha workshop is set for Nov. 18 from 9 a.m.-noon
and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in the Thompson Alumni Center, 67th
and Dodge streets on the UNO campus. For more information
call University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Purchasing Department
For questions regarding these releases, contact:
(402) 472-8514, Fax: (402) 472-7825