|Descriptive Title of Proposal:||Partnering for Success – Modernizing Supply Chain Management at Memorial|
|Person(s) Responsible for the Idea||
|Name of Institution||Memorial University of Newfoundland|
|Office Address||Chemistry-Physics Building, C-2012
283 Prince Phillip Drive
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador A1B 3X7
|Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution)||Gina Jackson|
|Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution)||Senior Administrative Officer|
|Office Address||283 Prince Philip Drive
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador A1B 3X7
The five-year overhaul of Memorial University’s Faculty of Science supply chain management (SCM) function stands apart from similar modernization projects for its holistic approach.
The initiative focused heavily on partnerships and collaboration, drawing expertise from our Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), Information Technology and Technical Services departments to achieve compatible objectives, as well as from Financial Services and Human Resources departments. Individual and group meetings with SCM employees, and open town hall meetings communicated with, and collected input from, staff, faculty and other stakeholders. This team approach enabled all parties to adapt to the major changes required and the project greatly benefited from their operational knowledge.
Together we moved from a system that was decentralized and used inefficient, manual (paper) processes, to a centralized, modern facility featuring new software – The Health and Safety Management System (HSMS) – developed in partnership with EH&S which provides the base for our SCM electronic processing.
Other key changes included the establishment of a supply chain manager, and review of SCM positions resulting in an updated organizational structure now reporting to the Dean of Science Office. Procurement actives performed by non-procurement staff were moved under the SCM function, and non-core functions (for example, ordering stationery) were removed to focus on core competencies.
Standard Operating Procedures and process documentation were developed and required supply chain information reports (Inventory Value, Reorder Reports, Sales Reports, etc.) were identified and created.
The initiative also features several areas of innovation including a unique chemical dispensing system unlike anything currently available from the marketplace, and a specialized safety cart for transporting chemicals – both developed in collaboration with our Technical Services department; as well as the previously mentioned software developed in collaboration with our Environmental Health and Safety department.
While improvements are always ongoing, this modernization project is to be celebrated for its comprehensiveness. Our vision in 2010 has been realized and operational efficiencies have allowed for the enhancement of existing and the addition of new value-added services for SCM customers.
|Criteria||Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.|
Our approach to this initiative can be utilized by any organization.
While modernizing our supply chain has been a difficult and diverse journey, it has also been very rewarding. Careful examination of current operations and of desired outcomes resulted in a long-term plan that was broken into manageable sections which have been executed. Such planning was a key element for achieving success. This along with staff commitment, a dedicated HSMS project team and effective partnering with internal and external stakeholders enabled us to achieve our desired goals.
While we did choose outside vendors to develop and customise the HSMS, other systems could be utilized to achieve the same objectives. However, fostering and maintaining good relationships is critical. Working and communicating with SCM staff went a long way in fostering buy-in and adoption of the new organizational structure as staff involvement in the project and the ability to adapt to major change was required. Their input greatly benefited the initiative and resulted in many ideas which could only be gained from their in-depth operational knowledge.
Memorial welcomes interested parties to inquire further about aspects of our far reaching multi-year project (business practices, programs, workflows, training, etc.), which could be implemented by other institutions.
All employee work spaces have been upgraded with respect to current health and safety regulations including lighting, ventilation, dispensing, shelving and more. These enhancements allow for safer and more ergonomic working conditions and overall risk reduction related to a chemical stores operation. Space to centralize the unit, with appropriate areas for all SCM functions, was identified, approved, assessed and upgrades completed prior to centralization. An improved Health and Safety culture has also developed within the unit as the result of regular staff meetings, safety discussions and enhanced training.
Proactive communication between teaching laboratories and Procurement Services has increased and helps keep stock in line with current needs eliminating the accumulation of dead stock. A new sharing functionality allows the reassignment of chemicals between researchers and labs to reduce costs related to duplicate product purchasing and disposal fees. Centralized purchasing and stores have allowed the elimination of duplicate offerings and provided a common pricing structure for customers. New value-added services have been implemented, including an order delivery option to laboratories via stores, mail services or the university’s movers, based on the nature and destination of the order. Spill kits have been placed along identified chemical delivery routes by EH&S as a safety precaution.
A SCM webpage has been created, containing staff contact information, memos, a link to the online HSMS and a brochure for new faculty which addresses frequently asked questions regarding procurement and stores. Group e-mail accounts have been established and staff have been moved off various legacy email and administration programs onto one common platform.
Other improvements include cross-functional training of procurement services and stores staff to ensure a flexible workforce, and centralized chemical waste pick-up allowing additional departments to avail of the service.
Moving from manual to electronic processing was a challenge but very rewarding. The ability to effectively produce and analyze data for the first time has enabled us to make our operation more efficient. We continue to improve upon our processes and the HSMS provides a platform from which we can move into future generations of software and take advantage of enhanced capabilities as they develop.
Some highlights include:
On-hand inventory value reduction of 33% while at the same time increasing stores annual sales volme by almost 20%.
Service level objectives have been established and communicated. Since the HSMS launch in 2015:
Real-time access to electronic requisitions, and related approval status, enables more efficient bundling of orders and reduction of logistical costs. It also eliminates the need for the physical delivery of these requisitions which removes one to three days delay introduced by utilizing internal mail or other similar forwarding methods.
Compressed gas cylinder reviews have realized an annual reduction of $8,600 in rental charges.
As a result of the online HSMS store-front, stock outs have been greatly reduced as teaching and research labs can now manage their inventories more effectively. Stock can be held in stores and ordered on demand as needed, saving precious laboratory space.
Our novel chemical dispensing system will essentially eliminate worker exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Dispensing chemicals from pails in tip stands was identified as an exposure concern during discussions with staff when pursuing upgrades to chemical stocking spaces in our new centralized SCM location. An exhaustive search of the marketplace did not identify a suitable system to meet our needs. Our new method was developed from a concept generated by the SCM unit and reviewed, engineered and configured in-house by Memorial’s Technical Services department, with input from EH&S and external safety consultants. The system was completed in late 2017 and is expected to enter service in early 2018.
One of the new value-added services now being provided to customers is an order delivery option, selectable in the HSMS. A specialized cart to aid in the transportation of chemicals was developed in partnership with EH&S and Technical Services. This cart has built-in safety features including sealed containment trays, storage drawers for on-board PPE & spill kit, a wide base for stability and a dead man’s brake which will automatically stop the cart should the handle be released.
A review of existing system capabilities also found that no viable option was available for procurement and inventory control. Our new cradle-to-grave procurement and electronic inventory control system, (HSMS), was supplied and customized by Onsite Systems with support from 3E Versik in collaboration with our EH&S department. It includes a procurement and inventory control system with the ability to utilize ordering and supply chain activities to capture inbound chemical order details at the source via electronic requisitioning. HSMS uses SCM workflows to requisition, approve, order, receive, barcode, transfer and dispose of chemicals in real time. Reporting functions allow for collection and review of procurement, inventory and hazard data. The electronic catalogue of chemicals includes related safety data sheets (SDS) meeting regulatory requirements, and the automatically updated online inventory can be accessed by faculty, staff, students, EH&S and even campus enforcement in the event of an emergency. Our real-time online store-front module includes all product, price and stock availability information and enables electronic order processing and billing functions. HSMS was successfully implemented on July 14, 2015, and provides the backbone for our electronic supply chain workflows.
Other innovations include cross-functional training of procurement services and stores staff to ensure a flexible workforce, and centralized chemical waste pick-up allowing additional departments to avail of the service.