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Scientific Supplier Consolidation Initiative, Phase II

TO:                 Health Sciences, Arts & Sciences, and Engineering
                        Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, and University Purchasers

FROM:          Maureen Beal, Associate Vice Chancellor for Financial Operations

DATE:            June 15, 2012

SUBJECT:      Scientific Suppliers Consolidation Initiative (Phase II) 


The Office of the Chief Financial Officer is pleased to announce the second phase of our successful cost saving Scientific Supplier Consolidation Initiative effective July 1, 2012.

As you may recall, in June 2010, through a collaborative effort with the University’s scientific community and a competitive bidding process, Fisher Scientific was named the University’s Preferred Provider resulting in $7 million in savings over five years.  In order to maximize cost savings through Fisher Scientific’s market position, the first phase of the Scientific Supplier Consolidation Initiative was launched on July 1, 2011. Approximately 90 key scientific suppliers comprising $9.7 million of annual spend consolidated their purchases through the University's Fisher Scientific channel. This provided substantial benefits to the University by utilizing Fisher Scientific’s larger volume discounts and streamlined ordering and distribution systems. The consolidation effort allowed the University to realize an additional $500,000 to $750,000 of annual product cost savings.

To continue to achieve cost savings and efficiencies with our Preferred Provider of scientific supplies, a second phase of this initiative will be launched on July 1, 2012. Phase II of the consolidation will cover approximately 70 additional suppliers for a total of $1.1M in annual spend providing an additional annual cost savings opportunity of approximately $200,000.

What does this mean to University Purchasers?

In order to streamline the purchasing process and benefit from this cost savings initiative, effective July 1, 2012, approximately 70 suppliers of scientific supplies, equipment, and instrumentation will be consolidated and will no longer have direct supplier accounts in PRISM. Instead, purchasers will be able to acquire these same products from Fisher at improved discounts by using a one-stop-shopping experience on PantherExpress System. These suppliers and their respective products are still available to University purchasers, but they have been streamlined through the Fisher Scientific consolidated purchasing channel.    

What do Purchasers Need to Do?

Purchasers should be PantherExpress System ready by July 1, 2012.  Please refer to the University of Pittsburgh Scientific Supplier Consolidation website for a full directory of information including a list of participating suppliers, PantherExpress System training requirements, frequently asked questions, contact information, and copies of all related announcements.

How does consolidation increase efficiency? 

The Scientific Supplier Consolidation Initiative increases efficiency in the following ways: 

  • By streamlining the purchasing process from electronic order placement to electronic invoicing.
  • By decreasing processing time. 
  • By providing a one-stop-shopping experience. 

Is it appropriate to contact a supplier directly to place an order?

University purchasers may directly contact suppliers for quotes and information on products that require specific supplier expertise. However, the purchase must ultimately be placed through the Fisher Scientific punchout on PantherExpress System. 

In these challenging economic times, we appreciate your cooperation in achieving the full benefits of this initiative. Thank you.

cc:         Arthur G. Ramicone, Chief Financial Officer

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