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Lab and Scientific FAQ

  1. Who are the laboratory supply vendors awarded this contract?
  2. Is the Office for Supply Management Services (SMS) trying to tell me what to buy?
  3. Are the price discounts offered confidential information?
  4. How was the selection of the vendors made?
  5. What if I have a vendor other than a contract vendor quoting me a better price?
  6. What value are these strategic relationships?
  7. What about minority and small business vendors?
  8. How will Cornell continue to have competitive pricing?
  9. Will there be pricing opportunities where we have high volume or state contracts available?
  10. What about the vendor's different discounts and their relation to list price?
  11. How do I deal with vendors that call on me that have not been awarded this contract?
  12. How do I establish relationships with a contract vendor if I haven't done business with them in the past?
  13. What if I have problems?
  14. What can I expect of the sales representative?

 

1. Who are the laboratory supply vendors awarded this contract?
Fisher, Krackeler, and VWR International have been awarded contracts for general laboratory chemicals, supplies, and basic laboratory equipment. Laboratory Products Sales (LPS) has been awarded a contract for specialty life science supplies and basic laboratory equipment. Sigma Aldrich has been awarded a contract for specialty chemicals and basic laboratory equipment. This is a combination of small and large businesses with product lines that should meet 95 percent or more of Cornell's laboratory supply needs and basic laboratory equipment.

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2. Is the Office for Supply Management Services (SMS) trying to tell me what to buy?
NO! We recognize the varied requirements and technical expertise needed in deciding what products best meet the needs of your labs, and that you are the experts in deciding your needs. Our goal is to provide you with sources that offer the best combination of price, service, quality, and delivery for your requirements. Any items that cannot be obtained from the awarded vendors will be sourced where the product is available. We will advise you of industry equivalent products that have lower costs; it will be your decision to authorize the equivalent product for purchase.

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3. Are the price discounts offered confidential information?
Yes. However, the vendors realize we will publish the discounts to Cornell users. This information should in no way be divulged to a competitor or any other outside individuals, businesses, or institutions. We appreciate your full cooperation in following these ethical principles.

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4. How was the selection of the vendors made?
Evaluation criteria were: past performance, price, service, systems, financial stability, and facilities inspections.

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5. What if I have a vendor other than a contract vendor quoting me a better price?
Fisher, Krackeler, VWR, LPS, and Sigma provide basic laboratory equipment.  To provide for additional laboratory equipment needs, we have other vendors that have contracts for special supplies and equipment.  At any given time in the marketplace you may find a vendor that will quote a price lower than our negotiated discounts. All of the current laboratory vendors who service the Ithaca area were given the opportunity to bid on this contract under similar conditions. The selected vendors offered us the best combination of price and service.

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6. What value are these strategic relationships?
Better pricing and service, but this is just the beginning. Now that we have established these strategic relationships, we will be working closely with the awarded contract vendors to improve the way we do business. We have discussed with them several measures we could develop to lower our acquisition cost, such as summary billing, or billing via the Web, special reserve inventories, product seminars, special third-party supply arrangements, and more. The process allows for this kind of progress because of the commitment we have made to each other.

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7. What about minority and small business vendors?
We have not been successful in finding a minority vendor in the lab supply commodity area that could fill Cornell's needs for this type of contract. Two of the awarded vendors, Krackeler Scientific and LPS are small businesses. In turn, each of the awarded vendors provide us reports that include minority and small business vendors that supply them products.  Additionally, the minority and small business vendors that have been found for special equipment and chemical supplies are listed in our contract pages.

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8. How will Cornell continue to have competitive pricing?
The bid was based on a very competitive situation in the marketplace. The contract will be rebid approximately every five years to ensure a competitive situation exists. We will monitor this process regularly.

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9. Will there be pricing opportunities where we have high volume or state contracts available?
Cornell retains the right to bid any supply items with high volume to obtain higher discounts. Bids will go to the contract vendors only. State contract items that have discounts higher than the Cornell contract can either be purchased from the state contract or we may negotiate pricing with a participating vendor that will meet or exceed the state contract price.  Please note that many of the state contract items in this category are currently awarded to one of the five Cornell selected vendors.

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10. What about the vendor's different discounts and their relation to list price?
The contract allows for list prices to change periodically. The discounts have been offered firm for five years. The list prices sometimes vary from one vendor to the other, and the discount is not always a true indication of the low price. Net prices can be obtained through us or by contacting the vendor directly. The Cornell representatives will be glad to set you up on the Web to access special Cornell pricing. We feel that, even though the discounts are not the same between the vendors, your choice of vendors can be based on your priority needs, such as service, delivery, technical expertise, price, ease of doing business, quality, etc... These can more than make up for price differences between the awarded vendors in many cases.

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11. How do I deal with vendors that call on me that have not been awarded this contract?
All of the vendors have been notified. If you have any concerns, please contact us. You may still meet with the nonparticipating vendors to discuss capital equipment, chemicals, or other products not included in this contract.

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12. How do I establish relationships with a contract vendor if I haven't done business with them in the past?
Our site contains information about the contract vendors and how to reach them. You may also contact us to arrange a visit or meeting with the sales representative of a participating contract vendor.

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13. What if I have problems?
Once again, please contact us. We are here to meet the procurement needs you have.

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14. What can I expect of the sales representative?
The sales representative should be here to meet a multitude of your needs, including pricing, cross referencing, finding hard-to-source items, showing you new products, keeping you informed of changes in the market, meeting your delivery requirements, discussing cost savings measures, etc. You may ask them to stop into your lab at mutually agreed intervals of time. Please notify us immediately of any problems you may have with a sales representative.

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