University of the Fraser Valley

Jason Cherkas recognized for supply chain innovation

Jason Cherkas recognized for supply chain innovation

When UFV departments want to buy or move goods, they turn to Jason Cherkas and the Supply Chain team. His exceptional work as Director has been recognized with an Award of Distinction for Supply Chain Innovation, granted at the National Institution of Supply Chain Leaders conference last month.

Cherkas has worked in the procurement sector for more than 25 years. Since joining UFV’s supply chain department in 2018, Cherkas led initiatives that transformed it into an adaptable, efficient, industry-leading unit. Throughout a pandemic, rapid technological advancements, and an increasing need for sustainable solutions, Cherkas rose to the occasion by prioritizing innovation.

“These recent challenges made innovation very crucial for us, because the supply chain industry is very dynamic and it’s constantly changing,” he says. “So what we wanted to do when we created this whole main structure in the department was build in continuous improvement.”

By automating processes and taking advantage of digital tools like TDX and Bonfire, he has cut the processing time for competitive bids by nearly 50 percent. In an industry where procurement is often seen as a roadblock, Cherkas positions UFV as a strategic partner that businesses want to work with.

“Jason has strategically made changes, done it in a professional, efficient way and is always evaluating,” says Nicole Adams, UFV’s Chief Financial Officer. “The university has grown, so there’s an increased need for services. The university has major projects on the go right now, so having this additional innovation is beneficial to the team and exciting for everybody.”

Cherkas says he’s honoured and humbled by this achievement, but it truly belongs to his team as a whole.

“None of this could have happened without the team, and without the support of Jackie Hogan and Nicole Adams. And so to me, this is a team award. I thank the team; their effort, creativity and dedication inspire me every day to continue to do this.”