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New Institute-wide purchasing procedures begin July 1

The Office of Laboratory Supplies will close as scheduled on June 29 as MIT begins broad new procurement partnerships with three major suppliers with whom it has done business for many years.

The selected partners are VWR Scientific for laboratory supplies, chemicals and solvents; L.E. Muran, now Office Depot, for office supplies, and BOC Gases (formerly Airco) for the purchasing, distribution and tracking of gaseous and liquefied cylinders.

These companies were selected after extensive consultation with MIT customers and surveys of evolving trends within the industry, according to William R. Dickson, senior vice president, who made the announcement. He said there will be no immediate change in procedures for buying furniture.

The new arrangements are a major step in the ongoing reengineering effort by the supplier consolidation team, Mr. Dickson said, that will greatly reduce the number of suppliers MIT has traditionally used.

"All three of these new partners are companies we have done business with for many years who are well acquainted with MIT preferences for specific products. By focusing our purchases, we expect to achieve immediate savings that will be passed along to the end user."

In addition, BOC Gases expects to improve the cylinder tracking process while reducing overall costs to MIT.

All three partners will provide sales, order processing and technical support from offices in Rm 18-B90 while integrating MIT's systems with the ones they use (e.g. moving from EREQ to their order fulfillment).

VWR Scientific will carry approximately 1,000 items, including apparatus, chemicals and solvents in the stock area in Building 18 at the start of the partnership. Supplies can be picked up there or will be delivered from the local VWR warehouse. Office supply orders to Office Depot will be delivered within four to 24 hours. For the time being the partners will follow the same procedures that have been used by OLS, including using the present OLS catalog part numbers. The only significant difference immediately will be that items purchased will require separate requisitions or purchase orders for each partner.

Key dates for the transition over the next few weeks are:

��������������������������� June 23-Rm 18-B90 closes for the transition to new partnerships.
��������������������������� June 26-30-Rm 18-B90 renovated to accommodate new partnerships.
��������������������������� June 28-Final day OLS will accept orders.
��������������������������� June 29-Rms 4-070 (office supplies) and 4-062 (cylinders) close permanently.
��������������������������� July 5-Rm 18-B90 reopens to support new partnerships. Part of 18-B90 reopens (8am-4:45pm) under VWR as apparatus and chemical stock area.
��������������������������� July 5-Rm 18-105 reopens under VWR as solvent stock area. (Hours will be posted July 5).

All other OLS facilities will remain open and operating through June 29 and orders received and delivered by then will be charged to 1995 accounts.

Other transitional arrangements include:

  • The purchasing agent for furniture, Nancy Hannula, has moved to the General Purchasing Office, Rm E18-360. Her telephone number remains x3-8373 and her new fax number is x8-7575.
  • Dry ice and electronic supplies and tools will not be available through these partnerships. Orders for these commodities should be placed through the General Purchasing Office.
  • ������������������Plans are being made for VWR Scientific to continue to provide enzyme/freezer items in Rm 18-B90.
  • Restricted items, such as alcohol, needles and syringes, will be available for distribution through VWR Scientific. Forms for updating the approval list for ordering sensitive items have been sent to department heads and administrative officers. VWR, in dispensing these items, will assure that the existing MIT policy and procedures regarding such items will be continued.

More information concerning these new arrangements will be mailed to everyone in the community in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, specific questions or comments can be addressed to:

��������������������������� Diane Shea, x3-8370, , on implementation and logistics.
��������������������������� Diane Devlin, x3-8380, or Peter Roden, x3-0147, , supplier consolidation reengineering and new partnership arrangements.
��������������������������� John Jordan, x3-4761, BOC Gases.
��������������������������� Tonya Petone, x3-4760, Office Depot.
��������������������������� Steve Tardivo (formerly with OLS), x3-1881, VWR Scientific.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 21, 1995.

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