August 19, 2005  


(Image courtesy of ES&H)

Chemical Management System is Here

By Brian Sherin

Since 2001, SLAC has been working toward implementing a Chemical Management Services (CMS) system to best control the lifecycle of chemicals used at this institution. The main goals of such a system are to:
  • reduce risks to employees and the environment;
  •  improve quality and management of chemical products used to in support of operations;
  • improve productivity by eliminating chemical management tasks from non-mission critical responsibilities;
  • reduce expenses by leveraging the expertise of a CMS partner though improved chemical supply chain management;
  • reduce scrap and waste; and
  • minimize legal and financial liability.

After the substantial efforts of a long list of stakeholders, we are pleased to announce that the SLAC CMS program officially went ‘live’ on August 1. As of this date all chemical purchasing and management is being coordinated through HaasTCM and their web-based tcmIS application.

Implementing the CMS Catalog has allowed SLAC to reduce the total number of independent chemical suppliers from ~100 to one. The vastly improved data management will allow us to accurately track chemical usage by organization and be better able to do financial analysis and planning. We have created a comprehensive catalog of 1,350 products. The vast majority of chemical products used at SLAC are now captured in the system.

HaasTCM has created a system using either a Min/Max (minimum/maximum) inventory maintained at their Chemical Hub in Gilroy, or can be ordered as OOR (order on request) items for non-standard materials. Because HaasTCM can secure preferred pricing through its suppliers SLAC will experience a minimum cost savings of at least 5 percent. Other key benefits include reduced onsite storage reduced risk of environmental impact, and improved recordkeeping for regulatory compliance.

Items that are part of the Min/Max Inventory are delivered within one business day when the orders are placed and approved by 1PM. OOR items are to be delivered by Haas by the delivery promise date that is shown in tcmIS once the PO is placed. Having an accurate system to manage the inventory will improve our ability to receive the correct chemicals from the vendor and the just-in-time delivery method helps ensure we are only purchasing what we need.

Once the item is delivered to the requester, it becomes the responsibility of the user(s) and is to be handled in accordance with normal SLAC ESH policies and procedures. Users of chemical materials should avail themselves of the integrated MSDS Viewer in the tcmIS application (accessible both from tcmIS and from the ESH CMS webpage).

Collection, Disposal and Liability
Most chemicals eventually require proper collection and disposal as hazardous wastes. With improved inventory control, we anticipate that there will be further reductions in hazardous waste generation since we will only have what we need for operation and will have a dramatic reduction in scrap and obsolete chemicals. This waste reduction will also lower our long-term liability.

Financial Management
Chemical purchases at SLAC have traditionally averaged about $1.2M per year. However, this only represents the direct expenditures on chemical deliveries. Industry experience places the indirect costs (labor, facilities, insurance, disposal, environmental restoration, etc.) at as much as 10 times the direct cost. An analysis of SLAC’s operations in 2001 placed the estimate between 5 and 6 times the direct chemical spend. That puts our total estimated cost at $6-7M per year. This program will provide us with a much better sense of how we are spending money and will likely result in lower chemical commodity and indirect expenses.

Implementation and Management
The immediate impact of the full implementation of the program is that ALL chemical purchases must now be placed through tcmIS and the former methods of chemical procurement are to be discontinued and will not be supported.

If there is the need for a chemical product that has not yet been incorporated in the catalog SLAC ESH will be able to assist you. For assistance or help in troubleshooting, training and general questions on the system contact:

Ray Barbara, SLAC HaasTCM Representative,
Ext. 8776,

Matt Padilla, ESH,
Ext. 3861,

Over the next weeks and months we will be very carefully monitoring the system to make certain that it is working as envisioned and we will make any necessary modifications to ensure we meet our goal of providing efficient, cost effective, and safe management and delivery of chemicals. We will also provide ongoing reports through the CMS Website on how the system is working.

A program implementation of this size, scope and importance could not have been completed without a large cast of characters and stakeholders. Please join me in congratulating all of them on a job well done.

For key program elements and the full CMS Project Team, see:





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Last update Friday August 19, 2005 by Chip Dalby