UC is leveraging the collective buying power of its 10 campuses to save more than $10 million annually on laboratory supplies through a new systemwide agreement with a major distributor.

The university has partnered with Fisher Scientific as the flagship distributor for laboratory supplies, equipment, chemicals and other materials. Under the “Fisher First for the UC” program, researchers at the more than 10,000 labs across the UC system will be able to access lower prices as well as dedicated support and service when ordering. Campus e-commerce systems will be updated May 1 to reflect the new pricing in the agreement.

The Fisher agreement is one of the largest purchasing contracts UC has negotiated in recent years to streamline operations and spending across the system. The agreement is estimated to save $10 million in the first year alone, and more in subsequent years.

“These types of innovative procurement agreements allow us to maximize every dollar supporting our core academic and research missions as well as operate more efficiently,” UC Chief Procurement Officer William Cooper said.

Over the next several weeks, UC procurement teams will meet with the research community at each campus to introduce the new program and answer questions.

UC campuses spend more than $7 billion a year on goods and services. The university has been evaluating its purchasing practices as part of the Working Smarter initiative, which aims to streamline administrative operations and redirect the savings and revenue to the university’s core missions of teaching, research and public service.

The university’s procurement arm successfully saved $132 million last fiscal year by pooling resources across the system, implementing new contracts, and improving data reporting and analytics.

So far this year, procurement efforts have captured $146 million in savings exceeding its $140 million year-end goal, through competitive contracts that range from computer software to dining hall produce and from furniture to audio and video conferencing.

The agreement does not include UC’s five medical centers or Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

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