When I worked as a technician in Chemistry here on campus, I routinely bought chemicals on my pcard. I handled the inventory and ordering for the Chem & Biochem department stockroom and had a credit limit of $10,000 a month on my pcard. Only the technical staff purchased chemicals on their pcards. The faculty came to the technicians for all their purchasing and we charged back to their grants and accounts on our Pcard statement every month. As faculty emailed us their chemical request, we asked what account to charge to or if it was for lab class. We were prudent, knew exactly what we needed and what vendor had the best pricing on what we needed to buy. The chemical orders get shipped to us, we know how to handle them, who ordered them, and where and how to store them.
In the bad old days, everything had to go through a PO, Purchasing placed the orders on all PO's, and it was a royal nightmare! You never knew if what you needed was back ordered or when the order went into the vendor. It was like placing your order into a black box and not knowing what would come back and when. As a consequence, we had to keep way more of our lab use chemicals on hand than we do now. If I knew I had 16 sections of organic lab, I may buy way more that what I needed to have in inventory a quarter in advance since I didn't want to run out. It just so happens that labs sometimes changed from quarter to quarter and if they decided they wanted to use another compound for synthesis, etc., I was now stuck with a quarter's worth of material we ended up having to give away or send off as hazardous waste! Now, the inventory is checked every couple days and lab chemicals ordered a couple weeks ahead with just a bit to spare. It is just more efficient and cost effective.
I share your pain.
Safety Training Specialist
Environmental Health & Safety
Cal Poly State University
San Luis Obispo, CA
"ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety Secretary" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>To:
Sunday, August 3, 2014 5:33:25 AMSubject:
[DCHAS-L] Question about Chemical Orders
From: Tambasco, Aniello [mailto:aniello.tambasco**At_Symbol_Here**wilkes.edu]
Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2014 8:53 PM
Subject: Question for the discussion board....Chemical Orders
Our purchasing department is giving us a tough time about ordering chemicals on a pcard (University issued credit card). Does anybody have a policy that they can share with us. Procurement does not want to give up the power because they insist on POs for all orders. The funny thing is that they don't even know what the chemicals are for. We started to move into a centralized stockroom but procurement is on a power trip.
We are open for any suggestions and any sample policies that take place at other universities.
Aniello Tambasco MBA
Lab Tech. & Assistant
Wilkes University Chemistry Dept.
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766