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"By having critical supplies on site, client companies can weather the occasional missed delivery or avoid the cost of rush shipments of necessary products." — Sandra Cochrane, Southwest Michigan Innovation Center COO

On-Site Storeroom for Scientific Supplies

Forget the pencils and paper clips. The storeroom at the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center in Kalamazoo, Mich., instead stocks chemicals, solvents and other scientific supplies needed by its early-stage life-science clients. Since June 2004, the Innovation Center has provided an on-site storeroom with a variety of research supplies to give clients a convenient, low-cost alternative to maintaining their own inventories. By reducing the amount of standard scientific supplies clients need to store, the program allows clients to fill their labs with the equipment and researchers they need to grow their firms.

The program came to fruition when the incubator struck a deal with Sigma-Aldrich, an international life-science product supplier. Under the agreement, the Innovation Center provided a secure room, a locking cabinet, utilities and Internet access; Sigma-Aldrich handled all invoicing and provided the stock, the personnel and the equipment: a refrigerator, a freezer, two chemical solvent cabinets and a $60,000 vending system.

Sigma-Aldrich later turned over storeroom management to Single Source Procurement and donated the storeroom equipment to the incubator. Single Source Procurement has expanded the products available and hired a part-time on-site storeroom manager to answer questions and assist with special orders.

Single Source Procurement negotiates discounted prices with vendors. The incubator and its clients saved $35,000 by purchasing scientific supplies from the storeroom in 2005.

Contact NBIA

Phone: (740) 593-4331
Fax: (740) 593-1996
PO Box 959
Athens, OH 45701-1565
info@nbia.org