From Transactional to Transformational
Drexel University and Aramark Collaborate on Mission
Keywords:anchor strategy, enterprise stability, procurement, auxiliary services
This analysis of the supplier relationship between Drexel University and Aramark offers a demonstration of the potential for intensifying an anchor institution’s local economic inclusion strategies by leveraging the economic power of supplier partnerships. The operation of a major food service contract represents a substantial set of campus jobs and procurement, but this economic activity often remains outside the remit of economic inclusion efforts when the institution has no contractual influence over it. When an anchor institution can partner with a major supplier that shares a commitment to community impact, it offers opportunities to strengthen an anchor strategy. This article describes how Drexel University and Aramark used their campus food service relationship to deepen Drexel’s anchor mission and core strategic priorities and Aramark’s enterprise sustainability agenda, including the value of the negotiation process, and a set of outcomes in the form of initiatives in food insecurity, local economic inclusion and community engagement, research and technology transfer, and student co-op employment. Both the relationship building process and its outcomes offer a model for other institutions as they look to leverage the untapped economic activity of the major service suppliers.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Jennifer Britton, Jami Leveen, Don Liberati, Anna D'Isidoro
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