This column is written by Business Services Head Dave Carlson and Procurement Manager Joe Collins.
Acquisition of goods and services to feed Fermilab's projects and operations is a fundamental responsibility of the Business Services Section.
One of the most enjoyable and informative elements of working in Procurement is the opportunity to interact with Fermilab staff and users. Whether assisting new projects with their acquisitions, helping operational
groups to secure a hard-to-find piece of equipment, or working with support
service groups to locate responsible providers of institutional services,
planning is the key to successful procurement. Solid planning produces
substantial dividends in quality, time and money.
The Procurement staff has "cradle to grave" responsibility for Fermilab
acquisitions. Most procurement procedures involve goods and services that
can be readily acquired from commercial sources. A short description, part number or commercial designation and weights and measures usually will be enough information to establish price and delivery. In these cases, there is usually little or no advanced planning required between the requisitioner and the Procurement Administrator. However, there are certain acquisitions such as construction, architect and engineering, equipment, major computing, consulting agreements and specialized services, that are most effectively handled by contacting Procurement before the requisitioning process begins.
Some planning should be coordinated with Procurement months in advance. For instance, a procurement with a non-U.S. firm anticipated at more than
$100,000, requires special handling, as does the selection of architecture
and engineering firms. Both of these situations require actions several
months in advance of the date that the goods or services are required.
Construction and certain service contracts also require additional time, as
the DOE must make wage determination actions before awarding the contract.