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Case Details:

Case Code : ITSY008
Case Length : 09 Pages
Period : 1990-2001
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Organization :
Industry : Information Technology (Electronic Commerce)
Countries : USA

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"Making scientists more efficient benefits everyone. More research time leads to more scientific break throughs, and more innovative treatments and products for people all around the world."

- Scott Andrews, co-founder and CEO,

The Need

In the mid 1990s, scientific products industry experts began realizing that the traditional supply chain had not been addressing the needs of scientists, purchasing professionals and suppliers.

Scientists had to continuously develop new applications and test new theories.

This required forecasting of the quantities of chemicals and other supplies and the kind of equipment they would need.

They sometimes had an immediate need for critical items that were highly technical, which they had never purchased before.

IT and Systems Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, IT and Systems, Case Studies

Most of the time, they had to purchase them from new and different suppliers. This involved going through several catalogs of the size of huge telephone directories.

Purchasing professionals were also frustrated with the traditional paper-based product ordering process that required manual preparation of purchase orders and order tracking.

Scientists sent their requisitions to purchasing professionals, who placed their orders with several suppliers by phone, fax and e-mail.

This multi-step manual process was highly susceptible to errors.

According to a survey1, each requisition cost $107 for orders processed manually, while processing an order through an online procurement system cost only $30 in 1999.

Excerpts >>

1] By the Aberdeen Group, a computer and communications research and consulting organization.

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