Rensselaer Polytechnic Revolutionizes Chemical Inventory Management with JAGGAER

Chemical Inventory Management

“Implementation of JAGGAER’s ERM system was successful because it was intentionally designed to make inventory management easier for our researchers. This gives them more time to focus on their research, and ultimately supports our core mission as a research institution.”
Ron Moraski,
Procurement Services ,

The Situation

As America’s first technological research university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has been at the forefront of scientific and technological advances for almost 200 years. Rensselaer has nearly 600 wet labs and is responsible for more than 200,000 chemicals on campus. The institute was looking to upgrade from an inefficient chemical management process, which includes the procurement, distribution, storage, tracking, and disposal of all chemicals.

The Obstacles

Implementing a multi-faceted chemical management program was a significant – and complex –undertaking for Rensselaer. The institute had a decentralized, manual procurement process for chemicals that the researchers felt was time-intensive and cumbersome. Much of the responsibility fell on the research community and ultimately took these people away from the important work they were meant to do. The institute also had to meet stringent chemical tracking regulations required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The Actions

Rensselaer created a strategic advisory team – including academic researchers and administrative leaders – to review current policies, procedures, and practices.

The team solicited input from all individuals across campus involved in ordering, handling, budgeting, receiving, and/or using chemicals. This feedback helped determine the space and resources necessary to effectively implement a centralized chemical management system on a campus with a decentralized procurement and receiving process.

Based on the team’s recommendations, Rensselaer launched an entirely new, state-of-the-art, institute-wide chemical management system. The system is supported by JAGGAER, a leading provider of cloud-based business automation solutions. While several universities have a system in place for central receiving of chemicals, Rensselaer is the first in the U.S. to integrate procurement, product life-cycle management, and inventory of chemicals across the entire university.

The Results

JAGGAER’s Enterprise Reagent Management (ERM) solution manages the complete chemical life cycle, from sourcing to receiving, tracking, and disposal. The solution provides Rensselaer with the ability to track all chemicals on site and properly manage access to effectively meet compliance and safety requirements. In addition, users are provided with up-to-date Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and detailed material hazard profiles for reporting. Additional benefits include:

  • Centralization: Rensselaer established a centralized chemical receiving office within the Division of Human Resources’ Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S).
  • Increased Safety: The chemical receiving office enters information about any chemical special handling requirements into the university’s online learning management system. This enables Human Resources and EH&S to provide training to the appropriate employees. In the event that a lab is using hazardous chemicals, a signage program has been implemented for increased safety.
  • Time Savings: Researchers can now search for a chemical by name, CAS number, or structure, making it easier than ever to find what they are looking for. Researchers also benefit by having their lab inventory automatically updated when orders are delivered, as well as subtracted when they follow the disposal process.
  • Training: Researchers on campus are using the same tool that is currently utilized by many successful pharmaceutical companies, supporting Rensselaer’s goal of training students in the standards and practices used by the leading commercial research labs.
  • Supplier Consolidation: Rensselaer has gone from using more than 200 suppliers down to about 25, with 90 percent of chemical purchases now coming from its top five preferred suppliers – including VWR, among others.

For Rensselaer, the ERM system effectively completes the supply chain between chemicals and campus, which is a considerable bridge to gap.

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JAGGAER is the world’s largest independent spend management company, with over 2,000 customers connected to a network of 3.7 million suppliers in 70 countries, served by offices located in North America, Latin America, throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. JAGGAER offers complete SaaS-based Source to Pay eProcurement solutions with advanced Spend Analytics, Sourcing, Supplier Management, Contract Lifecycle Management, Savings Tracking and intelligent workflow capabilities. JAGGAER has pioneered spend solutions for over two decades and continues to lead the innovation curve by listening to customers and analyzing the market. Additionally, JAGGAER holds 38 patents–more than any other spend management company.

Chemical Inventory Management