MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


During the year, the Office of Laboratory Supplies (OLS) closed its operations and inventory was liquidated. Layoff notices were given to 29 employees within the department. Of that group, only three employees did not find employment prior to the end of their notice periods.

The entire store inventory was completely liquidated either through sales, donations, or disposal. Over $350,000 of inventory was sold directly to MIT partners (VWR, Office Depot, and BOC Gases). In addition, a three-day sale for the MIT community was held resulting in sales of $18,500. Finally, approximately $65,000 worth of inventory was donated to various MIT departments and another $1,000 of inventory was donated to the Cambridge public schools.


New procurement partnership arrangements commenced this year. The selected partners are Office Depot for office and computer supplies; VWR for scientific apparatus, supplies, and chemicals; BOC for the purchase, distribution, and tracking of gas cylinders; and Sterling/Olsten for temporary help.


Department members participated in the design and pilot of the MIT Electronic Catalog (ECAT) System, a World Wide Web based ordering system, which will enable users to order small dollar items directly from the partners. Currently there are 20 pilot users ordering via ECAT to Office Depot and VWR and processing payment through American Express.


The Purchasing Department took a number of steps in preparation for the migration from the current financial system to the SAP system. This preparation included replacing Macintosh computers with DELL personal computers and training department members in the use of personal computers, Netscape, and Eudora. SAP navigation and architecture courses and network drops were also installed for every computer.

The Institute's on-line, interactive electronic requisitioning system (EREQ) is still going to be available.


As mentioned above, the Electronic Requisitioning (EREQ) System is the Institute's on-line, interactive electronic requisitioning system. This free service is available to all members of the community and supports the following major functions: electronic requisitioning to Purchasing and Subcontracting, electronic speed orders, electronic requisitioning to internal providers (including partners), electronic routing, and access to Purchasing and Accounts Payable Systems' information.

Use of the EREQ system increased by 4 percent this year. Over 2,000 users logged on to the system 123,000 times, generating 286,000 transactions to view the status of their business, to create 44,110 electronic requisitions and speed orders to outside vendors, and to create 14,595 electronic requisitions to Institute internal providers.


"Cambridge First Day" was the theme developed to remind and inform Cambridge officials, business owners, and residents of the substantial purchasing business which MIT places each year with Cambridge companies. As part of the festivities this year, the Institute hosted a celebration of the biotechnology industry in Cambridge, commemorating the Institute's fourth annual Cambridge First Day.

The Purchasing Offices employ a "Cambridge First" policy in their purchasing activities, with the goal of placing as much business as possible with Cambridge companies. Last year, MIT contributed approximately $43,200,000 to the Cambridge economy. Direct purchases of goods and services amounted to $33,200,000. The additional $10,000,000 represents municipal revenue derived from MIT's payment of real estate taxes, municipal licensing fees, a voluntary payment in lieu of taxes on tax exempt property, and MIT's public improvements on municipal streets and sidewalks.


Business placed Institute-wide under these affirmative action procurement programs resulted in the award of over $14.5 million to minority and women-owned business concerns. Over $5.5 million was awarded to 800 minority businesses and over $9.1 million was awarded to 1,900 women-owned-businesses.


Subcontracting Plans are required (by law) for each contract proposal to a federal agency which exceeds $500,000. The Subcontracting Plan specifically identifies the efforts that will be taken under a resulting contract to assure the award of a fair proportion of subcontract and purchasing dollars to small business concerns and small minority business concerns. The Subcontracting Plan includes both dollar and percentage goals which are negotiated with the sponsor and become a material part of the resulting contract.

As a service to departments, laboratories, and centers, the Assistant Director for Subcontracting coordinates this effort with the Office of Sponsored Programs and principal investigators, prepares Subcontracting Plans for submission, negotiates changes when necessary, and reports accomplishments to federal sponsors and principal investigators. This year there were over 50 active Subcontracting Plans under Institute federal contracts which necessitated the submission of over 100 separate reports of accomplishments to federal sponsors. Additionally, in order to provide guidance and assistance to principal investigators, over 100 internal progress reports were issued.

Barry M. Rowe, the Director of Purchasing and Stores, retired after 34 years of service to the Draper Laboratory and the Institute.

Diane Shea

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96