Every morning, research scientists arrive with the goal of making groundbreaking discoveries. You have protocols to design, lab supplies to procure, and experiments to perform. One morning, you see a meeting with procurement or strategic sourcing on your calendar and sigh, seeing it as just another obstacle to getting your work done. However, the goals of procurement managers and the lab are more aligned than you think.
Here are ten things that life science procurement managers really want the lab to know…
Yes, savings are important to us (and to the company on the whole). Spending willy-nilly isn’t good for the bottom line. But, in addition to helping you manage your lab budget, we want to help you solve backorder issues, strengthen supply chain continuity and diversity, and devote less time to long-tail spend.
You are the company’s backbone. You’re in the trenches, doing the work, on the front lines. We don’t proclaim to know your job better than you do (you wouldn’t want to see us wielding pipettes), but we do know tried and true ways to alleviate purchasing related bottlenecks and manage supply chain risk.
You see us as red tape that makes it more difficult for you to get your supplies. Actually, we’re going to make it easier, more reliable and faster.
When we talk about the future state, we know you’re probably just nodding your head, fully intending to stick with the old process once we leave. But we’re here because the company believes we can achieve more together. So, if you keep using the free text feature to order off-catalog in the procure-to-pay (P2P) system, we will know… and it really does make things harder for everyone!
Our goal is to help you spend more time on the bench and less time thinking about supplies. We want to know what you want from the ordering process and suppliers and to hear your pain points. We’re not here to tell the lab manager how you, specifically, could do your job better or if we saw you taking a Candy Crush break.
Just like you would expect a colleague to follow your experiment protocol, we request the same. If we jointly implement a new process, please follow it. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Add the cost center to the invoice and purchase order. Come to us if you need a product that isn’t in the PunchOut catalog. We’re here to help.
When was the last time someone asked about your daily work experience and truly listened? Do you have ideas to make the ordering process run more smoothly or any burning issues with order tracking or supplier management? Let us know. We can incorporate it into our findings and use your feedback to make a change.
Just like your experiments are geared towards getting quality data, so are ours. We review ALL enterprise-wise spend so we can leverage consolidated purchasing power where it makes sense. Depending on the tools available to us (like the self-service eCommerce marketplace, ZAGENO), we can probably get you the same product, from the same or equally trusted supplier, for less money and a quicker delivery time. Sounds good?
We do the heavy lifting for you. We thoroughly research the industry, help vet suppliers according to your criteria, and negotiate on factors other than savings, such as delivery, customer service expectations, and order tracking.
This is about continuous life cycle management. It’s the start of a beautiful friendship in which the lab is happy and productive. We’ll ensure suppliers are meeting key metrics and step in if they’re not, make tweaks, and do it all again. Just like a hypothesis needs testing and refinement, ongoing collaboration with procurement and suppliers improves the overall product development cycle.
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Working together, procurement can help the lab make smart, streamlined purchasing decisions, so you can spend more time on science and achieve those eureka moments.