The University Record, June 5, 1995
Customer responses to queries from purchasing agents about what they wanted from a laboratory supply vendor have resulted in a multi-million dollar contract awarded last month to Fisher Scientific Inc.
The firm will guarantee 24-hour delivery from receipt of order. It also has provisions for emergency orders, a state-of-the-art ordering and return system, improved technical assistance and representation, access to a wide number of products and improved and consistent pricing.
"The bids we requested called for 1,800 of the top volume items that had been ordered by units that use laboratory supplies," explains Steve Royce, contract administrator for Purchasing.
"We found that prices had varied to such an extent from department to department that we expect savings to exceed $500,000 annually."
Last fall, a group of laboratory users who order large volumes of beakers, test tubes, slides and other scientific supplies were invited to give their input as the process started. The group determined the requirements that they had, and the bid was built accordingly.
The program is scheduled to be implemented July 1, at which time individual blanket orders with Fisher will no longer be needed. Instead, units will use only their account number when placing an order, which will be funneled through two Fisher customer service representatives who will be dedicated full time to the University. New pricing already is in effect.
Fisher also will provide an on-line catalog and ordering system, including color graphics, so U-M customers can see just what they are ordering and how it will compare to products they currently use.
Pricing, which Fisher has agreed to hold firm through 1996, and stock availability also will be available through the new system.
"We would like to thank all the people involved in the process of defining customer requirements, evaluating the proposals and providing input into the vendor selection," says Kevin Donovan, business manager for Purchasing, Stores and Auxiliaries.
He also notes that administrative areas within the University also will benefit from the reduction of paperwork involved with the new contract.
Initial response to a letter sent to campus laboratory supply users has been very positive. Units that did not receive the letter and that wish additional information, should contact Royce at 998-7251.